Written & Directed By: Richard Linklater
Cinematography By: Shane F. Kelly
Editor: Sandra Adair
Cast: Blake Jenner, Wyatt Russell, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Glenn Powell, Juston Street, Temple Baker, J. Quinton Johnson, Will Brittain, Zoey Duetch, Dora Addison, Sophia Ali
A group of college baseball players navigate their way through the freedoms and responsibilities of unsupervised adulthood.
This is Richard Linklater’s spiritual sequel to DAZED & CONFUSED. Which I can dress it is similar In fashion of being more of a ensemble piece that spans a certain short amount of time.
The film was originally going to be titled THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. Which pretty much sums up this film as it is a film more about characters, dialogue, conversation and moments. making them all seem natural and entertaining. Even though supposedly the reason for the original title was that it was a line and saying that was repeated all through DAZED & CONFUSED
The film focuses on character types that he seemed to avoid in his previous film BOYHOOD.
The film is made up of everyday conversation that reveal personalities and strength of character. That seem to have little if any motivation or story they just are.
The film doesn’t necessarily have that much to say except in minutiae about the average human experience and condition.Sort of like when you meet someone awesome in transit or at a certain place or certain time have a conversation or share a moment or maybe even sometime like at a bar or lounge. Who you never see again, but in a sense always remember even in the certain exact details fade away, but the essence is always there.
Maybe that is why he makes studio films other then a one for them one for me mentality or to raise his profile to get funding easier with a more recognizable name. His studio films are on but usually never feel like anything special. As they don’t seem to focus on aspects that ate his strengths, but the films subjects are of interest to him. Almost challenging himself to make a more straight laced mainstream film.
We are only with the the characters for a few moments but we feel like we know them as no matter how bad their behavior they are likeable. We know little of them past except what they share not any of their future as out time with them as with the credits. We can only hope what happens for their future.
The film lacks conflict and any that there is seems to boil for a minute and then boils over to get settled very easily. As most of the characters in the film are so agreeable. Where as in most films there are some that at least are either unlikeable or just can’t get along with other characters but aren’t villains.
The film boils down to just having a good time. That only comes from youth. As you still have so much to look forward too. As the film seems to be a continuation it begins exactly where BOYHOOD left off. Really where the characters in DAZED were heading too.
One of the biggest actions in the film that would most like be sensationalized in most films is more minor here. So minor it barely causes any reaction. It is dealt with so matter of factly. So that like the behavior of most of the characters it is just one of those things that happens.
This film even has a romantic angle that stays in the background and only comes out more in glimpses rather then taking over any section of the film or taking away from the flow of the rest of the film.
It is rare a film of this depth and more artistic technique has most of it’s characters be more alpha male athletes the type who in most films would be the bullies or villains. Here they are given more dimension and treated just as normal people than anything else.
As they show an acceptance of different cultures. Here more examplified by music genres. Though they show a willingness to be open even if it is just tolerable to help get girls. It also allows for the culture shock for most characters.
Laid back style that moves along but never seems to be in a rush.
I can’t tell if this film will have the significance that DAZED & CONFUSED seems to have with audiences. Only time will tell as this film seems to be more challenging to the audience even though it is simpler. Though the previous film had more of a cross section of characters and spanned a shorter time period. This film is made in the same manner and mood but doesn’t really repeat that film. Though this film is something special and different.
Ultimately this is what most would call a slice of life. It’s the type of film that looks like hardly any effort goes into, but is rewarding nonetheless. Unfortunately, it is the type of film that is disappearing. So when it comes along it feels so special.