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wrestlingguy87

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53 out of 88 people found the following review useful:
A film that makes you think..., 2 December 2007
8/10

I've been a fan of Van Sant's films for a while now. I guess I could boil this interest down to the college influence. Art, in any form (but especially cinema), seems to resonate with my generation (1980's on). This film is the third in what I see as a three part series (the first two being Elephant and Last Days). All three surprisingly depict the attitude of the contemporary youth in a way that no other films have been able to do. I say surprisingly because it strikes me as odd that Van Sant would be able to so accurately capture the thoughts, feelings and attitudes of such a misunderstood generation. So often, parents of these children say such things as, "we did that when we were your age," or, "I can relate to what you are going through," but what these parents often fail to recognize is that although the things we encounter may be similar the times as Bob Dylan would say, "are a changin'." To capture the particular mindset of the youth of today is a feat in itself, but to do so and provide entertainment as well deserves at least a brief look.

The film Paranoid Park itself seems to capture this way of thinking better than the previous two films. What starts as a simple rant about the modern youth becomes so much more. At first, you might find yourself thinking that the movie is somber,or perhaps unrealistic as the circumstances of the action are strange, but as you continue watching it the message that is trying to be conveyed becomes clear. This could have been you. This could have been me. It could have been you child, or the kid down the street. The common themes of teen flicks of drugs, sex, and rock and roll are pushed aside to highlight the internal strife of the protagonist. The "emo" music and distinctive fashion of this generational subculture seem all too real, and in the end you are left feeling as the main character does: silent and alone. Is this a movie about hope? I'm not sure. What I am sure about is that it deserves a chance. Paranoid Park could best be described as a much needed break from mainstream cinema, but more important, a film that might just make you think.