The Review/Short Read/

Hump Day Movie: Dazed And Confused

A casual hangout film that makes us feel alright, alright, alright

Mar 30, 2016

The only thing people seemed to be able to talk about this weekend was Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Many feelings have been felt, but none more acute than those of Ben Affleck as he learned of the relatively unkind reception his turn as the Caped Crusader has had among critics. Affleck sits contemplatively as his co-star Henry Cavill engages with the interviewer, his face as still and motionless as a Muskoka lake before dawn. But beneath his serene facade, the viewer sees the pressure of the negative reviews in Affleck. As the light in his eyes is finally extinguished by the interviewer's negativity, he quietly utters "I agree".

I choose to think of Affleck in happier times, and thus suggest that you get over the bat-blues with Richard Linklater's 1993 classic, Dazed and Confused.

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Set on the last day of school at Lee High in Austin, Texas, this film distills the feeling of a very specific kind of youth, one where life is an unending road with limitless possibilities. The drama portrayed here is small in scope but large in heart - will Randall "Pink" Floyd subvert his individuality to sign a pledge not to "jeopardize the goal of a championship season?" Will Mitch Kramer escape the worst of the hazing he is to be subjected to as a freshman? Why is O'Banion so mad all the time? Shouldn't Wooderson make some friends his own age? Linklater's films are time machines. They have the unique ability to take a specific moment and mine it for all of the richness and beauty present in the inner lives of all human beings. This is what makes Dazed and Confused feel so personal. The movie ends with a shot of the open road in front of a a car full of friends careening into the infinite future. Watch and enjoy the ride.