Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused is unconcerned with trying to shoehorn in a conventional plot. It’s a very simple movie in that way - adolescents enjoying their last day of school, with the old crowd ushering in the new one. What Linklater is so good at here is allowing the movie to present itself without trying to ram anything artificial down our throats - and yet he’s still able to present some meta-commentary and observations about what’s going on in the odd culture of youth.

Anthony Rapp and Adam Goldberg had my favorite moments; the artsy crowd with their back-and-forth musings on the interesting social behaviors surrounding them, buoyed on by a down to earth Marissa Ribisi as Cynthia. And of course, very fun to see before-you-knew-them performances from Ben Affleck and, more iconically, Matthew McConaughey.

We juggle between so many characters, and yet, the ensemble works. Everyone is given at least a little something that helps them stand out, leading to a true feeling of collective consciousness swirling in this social area. And the soundtrack, oh man - talk about instilling a feeling, as they threw in probably every popular rock n roll hit from the 70’s they could, and it works seamlessly.

An intoxicating vibe. I’ve been averse to stoner/hangout flicks, but this one has captured me.

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