I started to post on an entirely different subject today, but I ran across some information, half way through last night, that forced me to trash the entire thing. So, I am going to wing it, but about a film that I’ve seen at least 10 times so I know it well. And the subject matter is most interesting, which is why it’s one of those movies that I see at least once a year, the subject; “freedom of speech”…Most people when they first see it just think of it as a teenage “angst” film. It is not. One of Christian Slaters first starring roles and the screen debut of Samantha Mathis makes for a very unique look at the power of WORDS. Driven by one of the best movie sound tracks to come out of the 1980’s, Slater plays a pirate radio DJ………his listening audience is only a couple of miles in it’s reach, so Slater doesn’t really think any one is listening to him on his short wave radio set. He is new in town and he begins venting on the air about what’s happening in his High School. There is a strange number of students on probation or being expelled, and yet the school boasts the highest SAT scores for kids in the entire state. The movie opens with one of the koolest songs ever and Slater talks about himself as “HAPPY HARRY HARD ON” and much sexual tension and frustration, and awkwardness that he feels at being in this corrupt school with no real hero’s to look up to. Well, needless to say, some of the kids in the school catch onto the show and sends it spiraling out of control. The soundtrack always adding to the ride as you go along. “Harry” begins receiving mail from his listeners, one of which turns out to be Samantha Mathis who is one of many trying to figure out who this rebel DJ really is. During the course of responding to one of his fan letters, he reads the words “I think I’m going to kill myself, what should I do?”……he does a fine job of talking to the kid on the phone while on the air. The next day they get the news that the kid has indeed shot himself in the head. All the while, this killer sound track keeps pushing the film forward. Harry is distraught because during his conversation with the kid (which was brilliant by the way) he never actually says “Don’t Do IT”…….well this stirs up the adult community and unites all the kids because they all heard him talking to the kid on the air and no one blames him, accept the adults of course!
The reason I love this movie so much is because the power of WORDS is so prevalent in this film. Kids begin using his words to graffiti the school and raise questions about the illegal goings on of the administration of the school. Words take over the entire film and come to a head when the FCC (Federal Communications Committee) gets involved and threatens to arrest the DJ for his involvement in the death of the suicide kid. Some of the scenes in this movie of slater talking on the air are beyond mesmerizing, the writers provide him with such brilliant dialogue that it becomes more than a movie, it becomes a movement, a worthy cause, the kind of cause that everyone can appreciates and most would fight to defend. So when the critics said that this movie was just another teen angst movie….they were doing their usual bang up job of being completely wrong….this movie still makes money to this day. It’s one of those films that gets better every time you see it. And THE SOUNDTRACK is magic…..the whole thing is an amazing experience, and well worth the 2 hour investment of your time. The movie literally ROCKS!!!
I am Dartanion2 and that’s the way I see it…………..cheers………….t xx