Dazed and Confused

Dazed and Confused ★★★★

Dazed and Confused begins very similarly where I am now; hot off of the heels of high school and ready to move on to a new chapter of living. For the kids in this film, their school year is over and the fun times have only just begun. With the last light of school fading away, a new day of possibilities awaits. Freedom isn’t around the corner anymore, but here and now, present in full. 

I graduate high school today. In a few hours, I’ll accept a diploma that represents a significant portion of my life. Formative times, they say. And afterwards, I’ll move on. Sure, I’ll still have Summer as a buffer. But for the most part, once I put on that cap and gown a new phase will be ushered in.  

In the same blink-of-an-eye kind of way, the kids in Dazed and Confused move from one phase of life to another. It’s demoralizing to think about, really. One minute, you’re living through the “best” years of your life and the next, you’re reminiscing on them; on a cool, damp football field long past midnight. If it sounds grim and dower, it’s because it is. It would’ve been easy for Linklater to end his film there; on the grass, late at night, with a jumble of unanswered questions scattered amongst the stars. The film continues on, though. The night fades and the sun rises. A new commitment is made and the kids take to the road with the promise of Aeroswift tickets sketched across the awaiting horizon. 

The kids ended up alright, alright, alright—and so will I.

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