My memory of seeing Requiem for a Dream is in a dank smoke-filled ground-level flat in the city centre of Toulouse, France at about 3am on a weekday, alone. The film and probably more so the score, were two things that I knew from the second I bore witness to them, would be with me for the rest of my life.
In all honesty, Clint Mansell with the Kronos Quartet, never did quite replicate the cult hit that was the score to Requiem.
The bitterness and pain was however present in his 2006 follow up The Fountain, where a man’s thousand year struggle to save the woman he loves is portrayed. The Fountain is a film where the cinematic beauty of Aronofsky’s art and the passionate yet tortured score together created what can only be described as a masterpiece. In no story has the anguish of true love and death been more visually enchanting and sense evoking.
In anticipation of The Wrestler, I read no reviews, saw no trailers, expecting a film with a schizophrenic and twisted story arc and an unforgettable score by Clint Mansell. What surprised me was the fact that The Wrestler marked a somewhat significant departure from the psychadelic poetry of the frenetic filmaker’s first three films, as stated by Rotten Tomatoes, “The Wrestler might be at once a simpler and more complex meditation on addiction and eternal struggle than any of Aronofsky’s earlier work”. Struggle and depression are both portrayed with as much vigour as in his previous works, but lacking cinematic charm and epic visuals that were so prevalent in Pi, Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain. A full score by Clint Mansell was also greatly missed. But less can be more. Having accepted the fact that Aronofsky had moved on, and watching Mickey Rourke’s brilliant performance, did leave me somewhat satisfied.
The Wrestler is in cinemas now.