Requiem For A Dream Ending And Plot Explained

Published Categorized as Movies
Requiem for a Dream ending explained

Requiem for a Dream is a movie that entails a tragic ending for all the characters at its forefront. All four characters find despair and tragic solace in drugs. The film opens with Sara Goldfarb, one of the main characters and Harry’s mother. She is a widow and lives alone in Brighton Beach. Her son Harry, his friend Tyron and girlfriend Marion are the other three main characters the movie revolves around. All three of them are heroin addicts, and the story focuses on how all three of them fall into a never-ending abyss of addiction with the light of their dreams keeping them entranced in the euphoria of it all.

Harry, Tyron, and Marion traffic heroin to realize their dreams. Harry and Marion’s dream is to open a clothing store for Marion’s designs. Tyrone, meanwhile, dreams of breaking out of the economic adversity of the ghetto he lives in. He also wants his mother to approve of him. There are also two surreal sequences of tragic dreams two characters had for themselves. Let’s delve into the ending of Requiem for a Dream and how the immensely depressing film unravels a tragic ending.

Requiem for a Dream review
All characters end up in a fetal position, lamenting their tragic life at the end of RFAD.

Sara’s Dream And Fate

The first tragic dream begins with Sara, who gets a call inviting her to her favorite game show. Being a loner widow with an addict for a son, she takes solace in daytime television and her neighborhood friends. She takes the bait and sees a glimmer of an opportunity for happiness again. And so, she begins a difficult diet to fit into the red dress she wore for Harry’s graduation. With dreamy eyes, she sees a future where her son and the people return the happiness she once had. Upon her friend Rae’s advice, Sara visits a physician to help her reduce weight. The physician prescribes her diet pills (amphetamines) to suppress her appetite. With rapid weight loss, an increasingly optimistic Sara sinks ever deeper into her dreams.

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Harry catches on to her drug abuse and tells her to stop. However, Sara is blinded by her friends’ increasing admiration and the excitement for a TV appearance. With passing time and no callback on her TV show invitation, she cranks up her drug abuse even more. Always anxious and high on pills, she develops an addiction to amphetamine. Growing frantic day by day, she goes to the casting agency in Manhattan to confirm her TV show appearance. Her disturbing state lands her in a psychiatric ward instead. Following several medications, she undergoes electroconvulsive therapy. Her treatment only makes her state worse, leaving her in a near vegetative state.

What happens to Sara in Requiem for a Dream
Sara undergoing Electroconvulsive therapy.

Tyrone, Harry, and Marion

Tyrone’s story begins amidst a shootout between the Sicilian Mafia and drug traffickers. Despite being innocent, he faces arrest, and Harry has to spend most of their money to bail him out. Following the gang war, the local heroin supply also gets cut off. With no heroin to buy, he and Harry hear about a big heroin shipment to Florida. Tyrone decides to go to Miami to buy heroin, along with Harry. However, Harry’s decaying arm due to needle abuse lands them in a hospital.

The doctor informs the police about them being drug addicts. The police arrest Harry and Tyrone, and they face prison again. Meanwhile, Harry encourages Marion to sell her body as a prostitute to her psychiatrist for money. This, coupled with her withdrawals, fractures their relationship. While Harry gets arrested, Marion begins falling ever do deeper into the world of prostitution. She even does a humiliating sex show for some heroin from her pimp.

What happens to Tyrone in Requiem for a dream
Marlon Wayans plays Harry’s friend Tyrone.

At the end of Requiem for a Dream, Marion is lying on her sofa in a fetal position, clutching her score of heroin and surrounded by the crumpled designs she dreamt of selling one day. Meanwhile, Harry’s defunct and decayed arm has to be amputated. In prison, he lies in a fetal position, too, suffering from withdrawals and broken that Marion wouldn’t visit him. Tyron faces racial abuse at the hands of the prison guards. Adding to his misery are the grueling manual labor and the withdrawal symptoms. In the end, Tyrone ends up in a fetal position, drowned in the drug and his dream.

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What Do The Requiem for a Dream Ending Sequences Mean?

There are two surreal sequences at the end of Requiem for a Dream. These two sequences are hallucinations or dreams of Harry and Sara. While Sara dreams of a world where she has finally appeared on her favorite game show, Harry dreams of Marion. Harry is back the pier from earlier on in the filmy, approaching a woman standing at the end. This woman, we understand, is Marion. Just as Harry approaches her, calling out Marion’s name, she vanishes. The sequence ends with Harry falling into a dark abyss, screaming Marion’s name.

Harry and Marion/Requiem for a Dream.

Sara hallucinates a vision where she is finally on the game show and won the prize she wanted. Her son Harry is engaged and happy and the people all admire her and celebrate her. Requiem for a Dream ends with Sara at the hospital, curled up in a fetal position, imaging her perfect world.

Requiem for a Dream is currently available to stream on Lionsgate Play.

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By Rishabh Chauhan

Rishabh couldn't ask for a better job than writing about the eclectic bunch of pop culture content that he consumes with a worrying fervor everyday. You can reach out to him at