In the following analysis of Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For a Dream I will examine how the four elements of cinematic style affect the film's theme and the audiences responses to both the characters and the overall story. The audience remains immersed in the story throughout the film due to Aronofsky's acute attention to detail and finely tuned editing. The audience's senses are heightened by the intense emphasis placed on unusual aspects of specific scenes. The audience is no longer a passive spectator but an active participant, as we are reluctantly absorbed in to the dark world of addiction.
Mise en scene, cinematography, sound and especially the editing all play key roles in the development of the story. .
The sound throughout the film is sharp, and often heightened to an almost unbearable pitch. This takes the audience out of their comfort zone and places them firmly on the edge of their seats. The musical score consists of eerie classical music, which is usually associated with dramatic scenes in horror movies. The score also comprises of a continuous droning sound and buzzing noise from the broken lights, which are uncomfortable to listen to. From the very beginning of the film, the unsettling music seems to be nearing the point of climax, and this injects a looming sense of doom and parallels the character's increasing anxieties. .
The music relies on a heavy beat, in the rhythm of a heart pulsation, so consequently the audience almost becomes one with the characters. The strange, exotic music that Sara Goldfarb dances to after she takes her first dose of diet pills loses its tune when Sara begins to make coffee. The music sours the atmosphere and becomes disturbing as she embarks on yet another addictive drug, caffeine. The same piece of unsettling music is heard later in film when Sara imagines that her flat has become a television set and various eccentric characters are dancing around her.