Compare And Contrast The Movies Requiem For A Dream And Malena


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Although both Malena and Requiem for a Dream were released in the year 2000, they are very different films. There are multiple reasons why either film would be chosen over the other including storyline, affect on the viewer, actors/actresses, and the taste the viewer has with certain movies. Another aspect of the decision is the amount of themes a movie has and their importance. The more themes a movie forms the more a person can learn from sitting down and watching a movie. Malena is a romantic film about courage, lust, and cherishment. Requiem for a Dream is a completely different movie because it tells a story of four people's lives ruined and dreams destroyed because of an addiction to certain drugs. I believe that Malena was much better of a movie because it had a lot more to offer embracing its multiple genres, great performance without movie stars, and real life story convey perfectly.
Requiem for a Dream is a great film that tells the story of four individuals that ruin their lives because of their addiction to drugs. Although the situations of how they become addicted were different, it showed the variety of ways addiction is caused and how it affects people's lives. I liked how this movie showed what addicts really go through when they're on drugs and what they do to get them once they're addicted. This movie takes the viewer to a different world, where people with great aspirations still come out on the bottom just because of drugs. We see this in horrible scenes where Marion uses sex to get drugs, which I believe is the ultimate low for a woman. We also see this in an extreme scene when Harry sticks the needle of heroine into his horribly rotten forearm because he is so addicted. Another time is when Sara, Harry's mother, starts taking diet pills that are really the drug speed, and then starts taking larger amounts until she experiences her last high and doesn't come back from it. I will never understand why drug addicts put themselves through so much. It really opens the minds of the viewers on what really goes on in the drug world and probably scares most people out of their casual drug use because of the horrors they see in this movie. Another thing I liked about this movie is that it used many known actors and actresses.

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I don't usually watch movies unless the actors/actresses are fairly well known. It makes the movie that a lot better for some reason. Also the movie takes place in a more modern time than Malena so it is easier to relate to and follow. I loved the fast motion sequence the movie used. Instead of showing the characters using the drugs directly, for example when the movie basically shows the steps of preparing each drug very quickly from putting the heroine in some type of metal, to heating it up, to shooting it up. Each part was separated to see the process and creates a different type of process for scenes. This is also shown by how the movie goes from scene to scene in a fast motion rate instead of each seen developing into the other. As soon as soon as one scene is over, it shoots to what the next person is doing.
Malena on the other hand, tells a completely different story of a boy longing for a beautiful woman he can't have. The story also goes into how a woman who loses her husband, loses everything else in her life, but shows great courage when she comes back to town with her husband who turned out to be alive. Instead of a modern film like Requiem for a Dream, this movie is set back during World War II. This isn't the first movie that I've seen with subtitles, but it is the first Italian movie I've seen. I think that having subtitles and listening to the Italian language really got the viewer into the movie because it was real Italy, not just a story based in Italy with the people speaking clear English. In this movie, the story seems so much more passionate than any other romantic movie I've seen. Many movies fail to show the emotions like this film has. Although this movie only had one fairly known actress, I feel it didn't hurt it in any way. Although I would have never watched this movie if it wasn't in class, I'm glad I did because it turned out to be one of the best movies I've ever seen. It didn't need to have a bunch of great movie stars; the director and actors/actresses did a great job portraying the story line and moved me with that alone. The actors and actresses in the film were perfectly played and acted out the Italian stubbornness and the other such stereotypes of Italians as well. Another great feature of the movie was the extensive amount of genres. The film shows signs of drama, comedy, romance, and war. There is drama when the women of the town beat up Malena and she screams at the men just standing there watching, comedy at various moments with Renato such as when he knocks off the arm of the statue in the church, romance with Renato's obsession with Malena, and war because it is based during World War II.
Both films are very entertaining and each produces their own important themes. In Requiem for a Dream the main theme is that drugs can ruin anyone's dreams once you become addicted. This is seen in each of the four people mainly shown. Harry's dream of giving everything to his girlfriend Marion is ruined because they spend their money on more drugs and he goes to jail and has his arm cut off in a hospital. Marion's dream of independence is ruined because Harry goes to prison and she becomes so addicted she has to depend on giving sexual favors to others for money or drugs. Tyrone loses everything after being arrested, and his dream to see his mother again, is ruined. The saddest of all, Sara, Harry's mother, gets addicted to speed, the diet pills prescribed to her, and has to get shock therapy to try and get her out of the last high she experienced. But the therapy doesn't work and she ends up in an insane asylum ruining her dream to be on television and seeing Harry become successful.
The movie Malena uses such themes as courage, lust, and cherishing memories are used. Courage is seen when after being beaten up by the women of Castelcuto, Sicily, Malena returns to the town after her long lost husband finds her and they are reunited. After being so disrespected by the people of the town, she goes to the food market alone showing great courage. Courage is also seen by Renato when he finally sends a letter, but not to Malena, to her husband Nino about where Malena is and that all the rumors were not true. Lust is seen mostly with Renato because a lot of the movie revolves around his secret obsession with Malena. His desire for her is shown when he sneaks around and spies on her, and also with his little devious acts like peeing in a ladies purse to get back at her for talking about Malena. Although he never tells Malena his feelings after all the letters he wrote, he treasures her memory and will never forget her or how she made him feel.
If the decision was based alone on taste, I would have to say that Requiem for a Dream was a better film. But putting all the different characteristics and features of the movies in comparison, I would have to say that would win my vote just because it is such a great movie all around. It communicates so many ideas to learn from, has acting that seems like real life, a great storyline, and a uses many genres that make the movie complete. Even if it is the only Italian movie I will see in my life, it was worth reading the subtitles for two hours, and I'd do it all over again.


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