Perfectly documenting the wild lifestyle of the 1970s, capturing the magiacal vibe os the decade and featuring memorable dialogue and an ensemble cast of future actors, Dazed and Confused is a brilliant coming-of-age story that serves as a wonderful love letter to the decade that the director, Richard Linklater, had experienced, leaving the audience immersed into the journey.
While it doesn’t have a proper plot, Dazed and Confused delves deeper into the lifestyle that teenagers from the 1970s experienced, whether it was smoking pot, drinking, driving along or hanging out with other stoners. It also makes us emerged into that lifestyle, wondering if we could celebrate life in the craziest way possible. Linklater does a great job in providing the details of the 70s lifestyle as well as making these situations feel real.
What I also love about the film is the asthetics. Despite being released in the early 1990s, you can tell it looks like a movie made in the 70s. The set design, clothing and visual style perfectly captures the 70s setting the film provides, the cinematography is fluid and stunning to look at and it’s paced very well to make the movie more engaging. I also love the music choice that goes along with the setting, such as Led Zepplin’s “Rock and Roll” and Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”.
The cast consists of actors that would go on to become of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Ben Affleck, Milla Jocovich, Cole Hauser & Parker Posey, but it’s Jason London and Matthew McConaughey who stand out the most. However, the only problems I have with the film is that it doesn’t have a proper plot and it drags down a bit during the third act.
Overall, it’s easy to see why Dazed and Confused is considered to be of the best coming-of-age films of all time. Its examination of high school life in the 70s and Linklater’s magnificent direction makes this film ever more memorable and its impact on cinema cannot be denied. You gotta keep on living, man.