Thursday, 6 May 2010

It's Just a Movie right?

It's a movie and a sound track that was later released as a song and remixed to death and re released into different music genres.

In fact, I had the song before I saw the movie. So one night when I was sleeping with my bedroom TV still on,  I recognised the music and glanced at the TV still half asleep.

Something about what I saw woke me up immediately and had me rigid with interest for almost 2 hours and left me crying in the dark after that movie ended and I turned out the light with some vain hope of sleep.

Course, I couldn't sleep. Thoughts whirled around in my head about what I had stumbled upon my TV screen and how my previous life experiences reflected some of the issues addressed in this movie.

Whilst discussing my wild youth to someone in a "one a one" situation would be OK I guess,  I am not sure I am quite comfortable  publishing it to the www the ups and downs of my less than squeaky twenty somethings. 

What I will say is I have bore witness to almost everything in this movie and I mean everything. (Ok 'cept for the last scene with the girl being paid for a live lesbian sex scene.) 

Requiem For A Dream haunted me then, and still does today.

It's not only a compelling story in which both extremes of drug addiction from illegal to prescribed are played out from the beautiful first hit to the very last teeth grinding, electric shock treatment, septic arm amputation, selling your ass for drugs - end.

In my troubled youth, I have known young people who died from an over dose.

People who had their legs amputated because of septicaemia caused by using dirty needles.

I have watched "normal" good people turn into thieving slimy low lives in less than a year.

I have had cash stolen from my purse by my best friend (at the time) and my flat robbed by friends of friends who had heard of my recent cash windfall and I can only assume they thought I would hide 8K under my mattress. (?)

I recall that last issue vividly. As the police say, 9 times out of 10 when your house is burgled, it's by someone you know.

I remember being in a club and seeing these smack addicts in there and thinking to myself:
 "huh? they don't socialise. They stay in peoples flats and drool on sofas all night... what are they doing here?"

The answer become apparent when I got home that night to find my flat trashed and bits of jewellery stolen, my bed turned upside down (looking for my 8K of cash! lol) and the place generally wrecked.
 I remember thinking to myself :"Why haven't they riffled through my underwear drawer!! Thieves always do that!"

Drug addicts aren't interested in sex or anything related to sex. All they care about is their next fix.

I have seen it, being involved in it to a small degree and thankfully escaped from it.

Then there's the flip side of the coin in Requiem For a Dream, and that's prescription drug addiction which in my opinion is much much more damaging than elicit drug use.

When someone buys drugs off the street, they know what they're buying and that its risky and may result in addiction and loss of any quality of life. But no one starts taking any class A drug with the intention of becoming an addict. 

But when someone goes to their Doctor, someone of great respect in the community, someone whom you trust and gets prescribed a bottle of slimming pills or sleeping tablets, those people are the real victims, we trust Doctors... 

The movie covers the life of a lonely ageing housewife (played by Ellen Burstyn) who wants to loose a few pounds for her dream of being on her favourite quiz show, which she had recently been accepted for.

What starts off as a few "innocent" uppers to suppress her appetite end ups on a cocktail of uppers for the day and downers to help her sleep at nights and she fast ends up loosing her mind and purpose for why she took the pills in the first place. 

It ends with her found in her dressing gown on the tube station crying and gibbering nonsense to passengers. The last scenes shows her head shaven, in a padded cell and having daily doses of electric shock treatment.

Sounds over dramatised? Think again, I know personally of one man who was in and out of psychiatric wards as doctors mixed and remixed his cocktail of medications trying to make him stable and when that failed, he had EST too.

The point is this, the man above went to his doctors with a little life trouble initially 20 years earlier, perhaps some work stress or insomnia and like most doctors, a prescription was the quickest, cheapest and easiest fix. 

The doctors just want you in and out of their practise ASAP. Your just a ticket number.

Had that same doctor prescribed a course of counselling INSTEAD of pills, this poor man would never have ended up in and out of hospitals and classed as insane.

The medication threw gasoline on what was a relatively small fire and that man lost his mind, family, dignity and most of his adult life and is now a very bitter angry man having finally got off all of the prescription drugs which were messing his head up,  and trust me getting off these prescribed drugs is harder than getting of Heroin and takes months or years to be finally free.

Requiem For a Dream is not some over dramatised movie designed to shock and scare people into not taking drugs. It is a very realistic portrayal of how fast the highs become the lows in both illegal and legal drug use.

That aside, the sound track is totally mind blowing and apparently used by 34% of YouTube users for their own personal video uploads for that reason alone.

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