By Leah Rozen
October 16, 2000 12:00 PM

Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn

Requiem, my eye. The title suggests something elegiac, poetic and dignified. This harrowing, awful movie feels more like a protracted, lonely death in an anonymous hospital ward, followed by a cheap, unattended funeral and capped with burial in a potter’s field. After that, who knows? Eternal damnation? Requiem seems longer.

Burstyn and Leto, as mother and son, succumb to addictions, the mother to the speed a doctor gives her to lose weight, the son to heroin. Shot in a hellishly grim yet hallucinatory style by p director Darren Aronofsky (who recently signed up for the next Batman), Requiem synchronizes their suffering so that they hit bottom simultaneously. By that point Leto’s arm has developed a gangrenous sore from mainlining and Burstyn is insane. Eyes rolling, teeth clacking, hair on end, she looks as if she just came from a salon run by Chucky of Child’s Play.

Requiem generates waves of anger, disgust and anxiety. Barely visible, bobbing along on this sea of roiled emotions, is a tiny speck of cork. That would be pity. (Not rated)

Bottom Line: Merciless killing

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