This is a film that somehow came and went from the cinemas without me noticing or seeing any advertisement or trailer for it. A friend recommended it last year and it’s been on my to do list for a review on this blog since. Its set in the 70s and from the creator and director of “Dazed and Confused”. It’s an incredibly original piece that reminds you of nothing else, but gives good metaphorical nods to previous works. The colour scheme is something thats done to perfection and its like there’s a film laid over the camera for the scenes and sets that transport you back in time. If you didn’t know any of the actors it wouldn’t be difficult to convince you that this film was made decades ago. One more thing, something i was not expecting…. it’s actually clever. We’re not talking Sopranos level but this is actually up there & deceptively thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating, hence the rating The Happi Hippi gives it is …
Rating : 8/10
The cast has a few familiar faces in it, the female lead is played by Zoey Deutch (who I’ve a particular soft spot for..) and Blake Jenner as our protagonist & Tyler Hoechlin. Our protagonist “Jake” we follow over the course of a few days before he begins his new life in college as a baseball player. The film begins with a bit of Kerouac inspired road time, as he moves into his frat house and meets his “brothers”. The cast also boasts “Wyatt Russel” (Kurt Russel & Goldie Hawn’s son) He’s an actor that has caught my attention recently, the first thing i saw him in was 22 Jump street where he and Channing Tatum had a fairly adorable bromance. Then he was the main character in an interesting Black Mirror episode which had me pretty damn impressed. All in all, and eclectic grouping of a cast whose dynamic is quite unique and endearing.
We then meet “Beverly” and her friend who shrug off the advance of Jake’s teammates, and who appears to spark an interest in Jake. She’s a musical theatre student and quite a smart cookie.
There is a surprising amount of discussions on philosophy and different kinds of philosophical schools of thought, i was pretty taken aback when this layer or thought was added in and seems to be knitted into the fabric of the film pretty seamlessly. This is one film that i have in three categories (and I’m sure it could be added to more) as it’s incredibly versatile and interchangeable, no matter what mood your in when you sit down to it you’ll be immersed quickly. Also one that, because of the philosophical lines running throughout it is really enjoyable to rewatch, and of course to no ones surprise, the stoners are the ones that discuss these things most. Hell yes this is an ideal film to smoke up to.
Another diamond part of it is the soundtrack.. not quite on par with Guardians of the Galaxy but pretty sweet nonetheless, the guys head to a different themed bar or party three nights in a row, the first being disco which had some of the best songs going.
There’s an interesting edge to the film as you have people from all walks of life in this, who discuss their passions, what they want out of life, and how college can be a time to cultivate the thing that you love most in life, or spend time finding out what that could be. Watching them speak passionately about their focal points in life was a little infectious. (For anyone entering college or in it and haven’t really given much thought to the concept of finding something your passionate about to spend your life working on.. it’s a little eye-opening, in the best way. Like Sisyphus, find your arbitrary boulder)
Lastly, the visuals… This part of the movie really comes to a head when the guys attend a Visual Arts party at the main theatre house appropriately named “Oz” one seriously trippy place.
So dive into this incredibly intriguing and original film, you will not regret it, and you’ll possibly be exposed to a few life-affirming or changing philosophies, enjoy!