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  • Dazed and Confused
    • Dazed and Confused
    • Runtime:102 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-20 11:10:59
    • Director: Richard Linklater
    • Genres: Comedy, Drama
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:Dazed and Confused


Dazed and Confused has a lot in common with Fast Times at Ridgemont
High; both movies contain a lot of future stars playing teenagers, both
have lots of terrific Rock tunes on the soundtrack, and both derive
laughs from their characters and situations and not through jokes,
pratfalls and other typical Hollywood clichés. One difference between
the two films is that Dazed and Confused is a period-piece, filmed in
1993 it takes place in 1976, and directer Richard Linklater does a
marvelous job capturing the habits, the styles and the attitudes of the
era. In that regard maybe this movie is more inspired by "American
Graffiti" than Fast Times at Ridgemont. But it doesn't matter because
to me D&C is the best of them all.

This movie seems to be as personal to Linklater as it is to me, and its
not so much about plot or big scenes as it is about realism and the
overall flow…and it flows beautifully. The movie follows a group of
high school juniors and another group of 8th graders (next years
seniors and freshmen)through the events surrounding the last day of
school in Austin, Texas in 1976 (the whole film takes place in
approximately 24 hours). We observe the hazing, the partying, some
introspective banter and many familiar rituals as the characters
prepare not just for the summer, but for the next school year and
beyond. This was the same general time period I was in high school, so
this movie had a special impact on me.

At this point I need to mention Wooderson (McConaughey,in his film
debut), a key character, he's that 20-something dude that still hangs
with the high school crowd. Did every town in America have a guy like
this or what? Wood, Dawson, Slater, Pickford; these guys all remind me
of guys I grew up with in my hometown.

The greatness of this film is that it rings so true…the way the
"jocks" party with the "freaks" (or "grits' as they were also called
where I grew up), the way they just aimlessly cruise around in muscle
cars until they find out where the party's at, or the mailbox bashing
(here it was beer bottles thrown at signs), or even the bottle cap
flipping…we did that all the time! The only thing i didn't see was a
bong. (besides the one Slater was making in shop class..HEY, we did
that too!) Yeah thats right -joints are better for cruising anyway.

This is the kind of movie to rent on one of those Friday nights where
you have to work early the next day. I first rented this movie on one
of those very nights. Its a great Friday night movie and why not? No
heavy handed plot, lots of partying and good music, and it makes you
feel good. Speaking of the soundtrack…Linklater makes great use of
period music; We get the gamut of 70s pop/rock including Aerosmith, Ted
Nugent, ZZ Top, War, Dylan and even Black oak Arkansas (remember
them?)….Jim dandy to the rescue! This movie really took me back.

Dazed and Confused is also a bit of a curio because of all the young
actors (who were all unknown at the time) who went on to star in other
movies. You will see Matthew McConaughey (his best performance ever),
Ben Affleck, Parker Posey (she's a riot), Adam Goldberg, Joey Lauren
Adams and Milla Jovavich (ok,i'm reaching now), among others. My only
complaint involving the cast is that Wiley Wiggins' (as Mitch Kramer)
mannerisms are a bit irritating, but other than that everyone does a
tremendous job.

This movie has become like a fascinating time capsule about that
post-revolutionary decade of the 70s, a decade filled great great
music, movies and television (seriously, what the heck has happened to
entertainment in this country?)… so its worth viewing for historical
and social aspects as well as its entertainment value.

Oh…one other name to drop; a review I read once said "look fast for
Renee Zellweger"…I think I picked her out once but am not sure.

But anyway, I hope you enjoy one of my personal favorites…a really
cool, funny and realistic look at what teenage life was like in so many
towns in America in the mid-70s.

It may be set in Texas, but it could just as easily be Ohio.


Man !!! I saw so much college/university movies about fraternity of
guys doing parties and drinking beer being trash down the toilet when
they where excellent on IMDb that i can't put my 2 cents here. All
these movies i mentioned before, i liked them, all the American pies,
all the Van Wilder, College, Accepted, Fired Up, and much more movies
than sometimes dosen't even get the half(5/10) on IMDb… Dazed and
Confuzed is from 1993 after all, its not like it was actually a 70s
movie, so you can't consider it too much of a classic, and even then.
Im sorry but sure i laugh a couple time, sure when i see dudes smoking
weed and don't give a crap about rules… that remember me of
something, but outside that, it feel like another random teenage movie
and even there… Sure they smoke weed for most of the movie but after
that…. The whole pledge thing is beyond stupid. Sure i accept
fraternity movies about pledging, and in the case of American pie beta
house it got funny. I also got "Going Greek" and its still funny. But
in this movie, thats the point of just wanting to spank the pledge with
some kind of cricket baton… i don't see it. If its just about hitting
them whiteout having them crying or something, just give them a beating
and ends of the line… but even there you need a reason… I mean the
whole initiation pledging process is just so dumb that any normal
person would find it stupid. After that the whole story seem all a
waste to get Mitch(the only character i noticed his name) together with
a girl and thats it… Call me classic… but we need something to fill
the middle, like a bad dude doing "bad stuff" so the girl in question
get mad and don't see him anymore, and then he conquer her heart
again… i dunno. It just felt like over an hour an a half of 70s boys
and girls smoking weed just for fun and that was the movie. I didn't
totally dislike the movie, it had fun parts, but overall i felt we
never get hooked to the main characters(there too many) except Mitch
and the plot seem to got straight to the video club down the street….
which mean not far… For a movie i head so much good and score kind of
hight on IMDb… I'm very disappointed


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater applies the free floating,
wandering narrative style that he had previously used to great effect
in 1991's Slacker to a high school (and related night life) 1970s
setting. Although the earlier scenes, which mostly involve incoming
high school freshman mercilessly degraded-both physically and mentally-
by older students in plain view of adults, are both comparatively
ineffective and exceedingly unlikely, the film still manages to capture
the characters' juvenile feelings of uncertainty about the future mixed
with youth's naïve optimism and reckless hedonism. The strength of
Dazed and Confused is that it focuses on creating complex, fully
realized characters instead of the usual pop culture clichés of stock
characters like jocks and nerds. Unfortunately, Linklater creates what
can only be an unintentional juxtaposition within his own material
since the early day scenes are too focused on the unrealistic
initiation rites to gel well with the carefully observed character
interactions of the night scenes.

Dazed and Confused is known for its use of classic rock songs that
first became popular during the '70s but these songs aren't just
present to give the film period authenticity; in a rather blunt way
they pull the viewer into the action of the film. Their (mostly)
juvenile lyrics also suggest the simplistic attitudes even the most
intelligent youths are sometimes drawn to. Still, the music suffers
from nearly always being non-diegetic and a bit overused.

The technical execution is above average; the editing is really the
stand out aspect as the film flows well and there's a certain logic in
the way unrelated scenes follow one another. Here again the strength is
in the later parts of the film as the fight scene is surprisingly
visceral and the very last scene with its sweeping crane shot and view
of a wide open road of possibility is the perfect ending of a film
about people going through one of life's major transitions. The acting
is also universally excellent; I saw a few familiar faces who built
careers on the foundation of their performances here and a few others
(especially Jason London as Pink) who I'm surprised didn't manage to
become household names after this.


Richard Linklater has made some pretty interesting and entertaining
films. And I think this is one of his best, if not his very best.

The film doesn't try to over do anything, and that is one of its
greatest strengths. Linklater manages to keep this teen film, with
characters revolving around the end of a school year, very down to
earth and authentic feeling.

I've heard some clowns say that there really isn't much story to this
film. I disagree, it really does capture the angst and confusion of
teenage youth. It also posses a subtle message, or at least a deep look
at the issue regarding rebellion and conformity. A choice that
basically every teenager is continuously faced with in many different
ways as they grow into adulthood. The answer that the film seems to
come up with is also very grounded. Somewhere in the middle seems to be
the healthy choice that the film expresses. And how true is that? If we
all conformed in every way. Few things would ever progress in any sort
of major way. However if we all just rebelled against every little
thing that society brings upon us, then we really aren't even going to
be a well respected part of society for very long. We have to pick our
spots, and for each individual person, we have different things that
suit us regarding each choice.

The review I first saw when I came to this page was titled, "One Of The
Best Teen Movies Ever Made". I can't say I disagree with that at all.

The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all the same. Truth
be told, if we totally conform to everything, we basically die as
individuals. And the world loses the uniqueness that we have to offer.
Living how someone else wants us to live, or how the majority wants us
to live, isn't really living our own life at all. We would basically be
living a life that others have placed upon us. Emotionally and
mentally, that can't be healthy. We all need at least a few avenues
where we can be free, and creative in some way. Let's face it, history
has been filled with this struggle between conformity and rebellion. It
is one of the universal struggles of all people. And this is the
essential spirit of life inside every person that Wooderson refers to
when he says, "No matter what happens, you gotta keep on livin'.". This
film in my view really is a sort of homage, and celebration to those of
us who have not given up our freedom to choose, and our freedom to be
individuals. How sweet it is!

The film is filled with many different kinds of characters. And most of
them are likable, and easy to relate to in some way. Just as most real
people are. We may not like everyone, but if we are honest. Most people
who do have individuality are at least likable in some way, and at the
same time. We all share some common ground. The characters are just
another part of this film that makes it so authentic feeling.

Have I mentioned that this film has some moments that are funny as
hell? There is a lot that can be said about this film. It is hardly a
run of the mill film with a meaningless story. Keep on rockin' in the
free world punks!

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