Rainer's Review of Dazed and Confused
Dazed and Confused(1993)
"That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."
Born in the early 90s, I have not much connection to the 1970s. One thing though, I can really connect with in Richard Linklater's essential high school comedy is the soundtrack. Dazed and Confused has probably the best mix of 60s and 70s songs ever put together in a movie score. Some of my favourite songs of all-time are featured in there.
The film itself, is a sincere look on high school students on the last of school in the summer of 1976. It takes place in Austin, Linklater's home town, and I wonder how much of the stuff is autobiographical.
Beside the sincere nature of the film, Dazed and Confused is most famous for the sick number of future stars who participated in the film. Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Jason London, Adam Goldberg, Milla Jovovich among others - all in their early twens or late teens star in the movie, alongside a number of other talented young actors.
Especially McConaughey is awesome, and gives an outlook of what he's stellar career will look like. The quote I put at the beginning of this review is from his character.
It is said, that Linklater perfectly captures the period and social environment of the time. I can't judge on that, he delivers on other levels for me though.
He has a knack for dialogue as I already know as a fan of his work. The absence of a real plot and the thematization of trivialities are also among his trademarks.
I didn't like his debut feature Slacker much, because of the randomness of the encounters (which is I guess what regular daily life is all about, but I don't need to see a film about it). Dazed and Confused is also trivial, but it also has some underlying themes and conflicts.
It's also on a thin line between comedy and hefty drama. Some minor changes and this could have been Kids. He could have killed a good number of the characters too. Linklater avoids that though, and does an uplifting comedy instead.
Uplifting is the right word indeed. When they drive off to the sound of Foghat's "Slow Ride" in the final scene, a warm feeling grew inside me and forgotten were the pointless conversations and the lack of plot - Linklater magic!