Requiem for a Dream

Corrected entry: There is absolutely no way that there would ever be a drug shortage in New York City. If that would ever happen then the DEA needs to pat themselves on the back until their hands break.

Correction: Although the movie does not do the best job of making this obvious, the drug shortage is artificial, created by the drug lords to raise prices. It is not a real shortage, but it does make it hard for people like Harry to get drugs. This comes across much clearer in the book.

Corrected entry: When Harry is in the car with his friend driving to Florida, his friend hits his right arm and he winces, but it is later seen that it is his left arm that has the infection from shooting up. His friend didn't hit him that hard, so there would be no reason for Harry to wince unless it was intended to be the hurt arm.

Correction: Tyrone does hit Harry hard enough to make him hit his left arm on the door.

Corrected entry: In the many scenes where Marion, Harry and Tyrone are injecting drugs, the pupils dilating is a mistake. The drug used in the movie is heroin, which constricts the pupils.

Correction: The three main characters in this movie do a variety of drugs. Although no specific drugs are even mentioned once in the script of Requiem for a Dream, it is strongly inferred that the characters are doing amphetamine, coke, and heroin at the same time Methamphetamine makes pupils expand wildly. This is why we see the pupils dilate.

This correction is wrong. It is strongly inferred that the drug they are using is heroin. It even says "heroin addicted son" in the Netflix description the movie. They are not taking a cocktail of drugs, they are mentioning "pure stuff" several times in the movie. Cocktails of drugs are not sold prepackaged like that. It's seen that there is only the one drug, and what effect it has on them. They don't get up and jump around. It relaxes them, and that is an understatement. It is a mistake. As for the strong inference that they are doing amphetamines, coke and heroin at the same time, whoever wrote the correction didn't understand the scene. Mom is doing amphetamines, the girl is snorting heroin and the son and his friend are injecting heroin. Their pupils shouldn't dilate, they should contract.

I agree that Harry and Tyrone are using and dealing heroin, not amphetamines. When they are shown using the drug they bought with the money from Sara's TV, Tyrone actually says "This is some boss skag baby, I mean dy-no-mite!" Skag is slang for heroin.

Even if they were doing a cocktail, the pupils would still constrict with the heroin. I'm an ex-junkie. Clean 11 years. I know what a speedball (coke+heroin) does. The pupils still constrict. So yeah. They got it wrong. In a weird way, it's almost insulting? You wanna make a movie about something as raw as active addiction, then do your homework. Care enough to be authentic, and get it right, because the people you're writing about? Will see right through you.

Corrected entry: A recurring feature is the shot of blood carrying the drug of choice to the the brain, a sigh of bliss and the dilation of the pupils. Sadly, heroin - the drug of choice of several main characters - causes the pupils to contract rather than dilate.

Correction: Actually, the drug of choice is cocaine, is it not? So the dilated pupils are actually not a mistake...Even though they are constantly injecting the drug, this may lead people to think it's heroin but cocaine can be injected too.

They were using both heroin and cocaine. A.K.A speedball. I will say that it has always bothered me that they never show a pupil constrict in this film. They only show us a dilating pupil, which confuses those who don't know much about that world. They were using heroin, and hard. She was more into the cocaine, but definitely did her share of heroin. That party thing she pulled? That wasn't for cocaine. Him. He was a full blown heroin addict, and he broke my heart. There's a look to a heroin addict that's hard to explain. It's in the skin and under the eyes. Any addict, or anyone who truly knows addicts, could take one look at him, and know. Plus, his arm. Only a terror that accompanies the prospect of getting sick will make someone do that to their arm. I'll add that it isn't uncommon for heroin addicts to lose limbs. The biggest piece of proof was the withdrawals. Addicts do not experience a withdrawal like that when the coke is gone. No. They may panic, freak out, crawl around, scream for more etc. - cocaine is more of an mental come down. The sweating, shaking, turning gray, and rolling around in agony? Oh yeah. That's opiate withdrawal. Only opiates, leaving the body, can make a person feel quite like... that.

No, it's not speedball. Speedball isn't sold prepackaged like that. What ratio would they use? Whoever read the book knows it's heroin. It says heroin in the description of the movie on Netflix. The girl snorts it, the guys shoot up. They are mentioning "pure" stuff several times in the movie. There is only the one drug, and it's most definitely heroin. Effects of the drug are shown. Pupils dilating after using is a mistake.

While it certainly portrays them as poly substance abusers and doesn't specifically say it certainly seems to imply the main drug as heroin. If it is coke then the whole pupil thing would make sense but a lot of other things wouldn't. I can't recall any times I have shot coke all day and then spent the rest of the evening lying on the floor nodding off. I definitely could be wrong but another thing that always made me think it was heroin was the amount they used and the way it was packaged. And I don't mean when they were buying in bulk but when they had the regular single doses. Absolutely none of the coke and all of the heroin I have ever gotten in small amounts have been in.05 to.1 gram stamp bags.

Since we are in fact talking about the film not the book, so many of these replies are wrong. It is indeed heroin they are shooting (while Median snorts it), not cocaine. How could anyone be silly enough to think they do coke then nod or lay around in a dreamlike bliss? Coke and meth make you manic and crazy. Dope creates a noddy blissful state - and correct in saying being desperate and deathly I'll comes from opiate withdrawals, not cocaine or other stuff! So most every sequence of drugs in the movie should show all three characters' pupils constrict. Harry's awful abscess/arm infection is from shooting dope. Tho he appears to have tons of good vein alternatives to choose from lol. Powerful movie that gets most drug details right, but not the pupil thing! How could anyone watch Requiem and think its about coke or meth? Harry's mom is prescribed diet pills/speed, and they do take amphetamines in the "wanna waste some time?" Scene, which is sped-up time lapse to help that concept be clear.

Revealing mistake: Whenever someone takes drugs and their pupils "dilate" you can see that it's a normal eye being distorted by a computer because the arc of reflected light also is distorted.

Low Cow

More mistakes in Requiem for a Dream

Sara Goldfarb: I'm somebody now, Harry. Everybody likes me. Soon, millions of people will see me and they'll all like me. I'll tell them about you, and your father, how good he was to us. Remember? It's a reason to get up in the morning. It's a reason to lose weight, to fit in the red dress. It's a reason to smile. It makes tomorrow all right. What have I got Harry, hm? Why should I even make the bed, or wash the dishes? I do them, but why should I? I'm alone. Your father's gone, you're gone. I got no one to care for. What have I got, Harry? I'm lonely. I'm old.
Harry Goldfarb: You got friends, Ma.
Sara Goldfarb: Ah, it's not the same. They don't need me. I like the way I feel. I like thinking about the red dress and the television and you and your father. Now when I get the sun, I smile.

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Trivia: Director Darren Aronofsky included nearly the entire cast of his debut film Pi in Requiem for a Dream. Abe Rabinowitz, Arnold the shrink, Nurse Mall, the mailman and the E.R. Doctor were all in Pi. Joanne Gordon even plays the same character Mrs. Ovadia (in Pi she was the evil landlady and is one of Sarah's friends in Requiem). Also his mother Charlotte Aronofsky is Mrs. Miles, another of Sarah's friends; and his father Abraham Aronofsky is the newspaper reading man on the subway.

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Question: [Spoilers] What exactly happens to Sarah Goldfarb at the end? Some people say she's in a catatonic state, but she seems to be functioning too well for that. Can someone please explain the situation she's in after the Electric Shock Therapy?

Answer: Sarah Goldfarb is not catatonic, but she appears lethargic and withdrawn after the ECT, and she has lost the vigour and excitement she had while taking the diet pills. The way she walks around suggests she has been given typical antipsychotics (eg thorazine, stelazine) to subdue her.

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