In Darren Aronofsky’s 2000 film Requiem for a Dream, editing is used to bring the viewer closer into the reality of an addict. The film features over 2,000 cuts and has several quick moving montages of short shots and also uses split screens. The frequent cuts and fast paced montages help to create a sense of being sped up especially after a character takes a drug or is high. The editing helps to show the world through the eyes’ of the four protagonists who are all dealing with drug addiction.
In a scene where Marion, Harry and Tyrone pop pills to “pass the time” there is a fast paced montage showing what they do over the course of a few hours with hip-hop music. This montage helps to show the frantic feelings and urgency these characters feel being addicted to drugs and always needing their next hit.
In another scene where Sara Goldfarb who is addicted to weight loss amphetamines is eating breakfast, it is edited so the egg, grapefruit and coffee disappear before the viewer’s eye without the character actually touching the food. This shows how the character is sped up by the pills and how her mind has been playing tricks on her because of her severe addiction.
There are also cuts in the film that show blood cells rushing through the body with a close up of the dilated pupil. This gives the sense of how frequently the characters are using drugs and how it is instant ecstasy for them. The editing in the film helps to convey the highs and lows experienced by the characters as well as the hope, fear, panic and chaos that their world becomes when they spiral deeper into their addictions.