Back in the days of Y2K, Darren Aronofsky had two choices. He could jump from Pi to the big leagues with Batman, or he could adapt and film Hubert Selby Jr.'s Requiem for a Dream with the writer himself. Most would have chosen the former and skyrocketed to fame or infamous nipples. Aronofsky, on the other hand, chose the latter and crafted one of the most harrowing dramas to hit the screen, and certainly the most challenging and worthy film on addiction, even if it exists outside the realms of mainstream love.
At its simplest, the film is the story of four good people whose lives are destroyed by addiction. But rather than offer a catchy Trainspotting look at drug use, or make his characters so loathsome that we don't care what happens to them, Aronofsky makes us feel the experience on every level. He pulls us into the world of addiction as almost active participants, before emotionally slamming us with the reality that no matter what the intent, no matter who is targeted, despair will come.