Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beware the Gonzo: Follow Up

After writing a review I'll typically roll around the web to see what others though alot of people evidently hate this film. I think I'll rebut why.

The Protagonist Is Unlikable
I think that's kind of intentional. The same traits that make him good on the paper are the same traits that make him write the check his ass can't cash later on. It's two sides of the same coin and is ultimately what causes the third act.

He's a kid doing what a lot of kids aspiring to a future do. Trying to fake it until he makes it. Sometimes he comes off as an ass as he fails miserably and sometimes he comes off as pretty damn impressive.

To this kid truth is above all, because in his mind that's what journalism is. And that's what gets him in trouble. Despite it being obvious to the audience that he's crossing a line spilling his friends secrets and going against their wishes it doesn't occur to him that he's crossing that line until his best friend is tied to a tree and says he would rather more or less be high school lynched than accept his help. They all saw the third act coming and tried to avoid it. He didn't, and even if he did the whole truth is all thing kept him from caring. In that second the truth was more important than his friends or their well being. Well that and he's a pissed off teenager.

To be fair this would be a little better if the film ended on a more sour note. While the tone is bitter sweet it's clear that the protagonist hasn't really suffered for all the stuff he put everyone else through in the third act. It should have been more like the ending to Chasing Amy.

The protagonist realizes he was an idiot and regrets what he did for the rest of his life. He had a shot at something really beautiful but fucked it up and hurt somebody he cared about by being a dumbass. And even though the two may still feel something for each other too much has happened to just be like "cool let's eat face".

The Movie Hates Online Journalism
No the protagonist hates online journalism, and he hates online journalism because he's trying to play the role of a print journalist. Again he's talking that smack because he thinks he's supposed to in order to be a serious journalist. I thought the movie lampshaded it very well with the conversation going, more or less.

Love Interest: "Without a website you'll be a joke."
Protagonist:  "Screw online and those hacks. Now if you want to blog be my guest, but me and my readers want to feel the paper. "
Love Interest: "You can't even afford print."
Protagonist:"I'll make it work. Hey barkeep would you pay me $50 for advertising."
Cafe Owner: "Make it $40 and you got a deal."
Protagonist: "See"
Love Interest:  "Even the NY Times has a website."
Protagonist: "Well I don't know jack about web design."
Love Interest: "Fine I'll do it."
Protagonist: "I have strict formatting requirements. You would have to spend a lot of time over at my place. ... Yes. Fine. Yeah. Blog away."

Kid's Would Never Work That Hard If They Didn't Have To

I'm just going to say kids will surprise you. If it's something their interested in, or they're already friends and what to hang out doing something, or it's something they think they're good at, or if they're competitive bastards. They'll surprise you.

I always thought the reason why some kids don't read and write more is because we always expect them to do it on our terms. If you let a kid just gravitate to what they like and make it work for them they'll surprise you, and that goes for more than just words. People think all kids do is watch tv and play video games.  Sure those are popular forms of entertainment, and sort of cultural talking points. But a lot of kids have secret passions that wither and die because nobody is around to appreciate them.  Nobody is around to tell that chanteuse to get down, or show robot kid how to break out the screwdrivers and soldering iron.
Kids and even adults aren't going to just start pouring their hearts out telling folks what they're into off hours.

The I guess I'm just saying kids aren't exposed to enough different things that might peak their interest and prove to be their trademark skill.

The Character's Are Stereotypical 
Well yes and no. The jocks are stereotyped as all hell and to be fair I didn't notice because the movie does a really good job at portraying the nerds, and guess what I was in high school. Furthermore the first two acts aren't really about them.

The Body Image
Prepare for a rant. If you want to talk to kids about health concerns that's one thing. But I've read reviews that harp on all the different body types in this film. During puberty nobody is comfortable in their own skin.

And that's one of the fundamental messages of the "nerd rebellion." That you know all the crap you go through. Being ignored, or made fun of, or getting your ass kicked. You aren't alone. Take comfort in that fact. Is it right. Hell no. But understanding that you aren't the only one can make high school suck less.  The lesson you learn as you get older is that you have to be comfortable with you, otherwise you're going to drive yourself nuts continually asking the question, "What's wrong with me." And doing anything and everything to make everyone else happy can lead to some very bad results.

That lesson took me 15 years to figure out.

And teen body image is no different. Like I said nobody liked how they looked at 14. I was one of those, and I've seen a lot of those.

It pisses me off, especially writers who should know better. Again if you're one of those folks honestly worried about an overweight kid's well being I'm not talking to you. But for the rest of you fuckers, lay the hell off! With all the various inadequacy issues puberty brings kids don't need that one laid on them anymore than it already is.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, this is Bryan Goluboff. I wrote and directed BEWARE THE GONZO. Just wanted to thank you for writing with such care, passion and understanding about my my film. You really took in what I was trying to do. Feels very gratifying!


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