Stand By Me

A year ago, me and my close friend named Amogh, were requested by the principal of our school to represent our school in a science fair. A science fair is as interesting for 14 year-olds as watching a submarine race standing on a beach. Both of us, being huge fans of Boston Legal, went through the rules and regulations of the competition as thoroughly as we should have gone over our school textbooks. And we struck gold. There was a provision by which we could get three more people in our project. And (spoiler alert!) we obviously did. With our whole gang in the project, we started it on a holiday. The day began with the project and eventually faded into conversations about crushes, Ip Man, and ended with a game of darts. Somewhere along, we had done the project as well. The very next day, we broke it.

Eventually, long story short, we spent half our school semester bunking classes to make it again. What amazes me is that on the last day, we were all laughing hysterically recounting our memories but departed to our classes with tears in our eyes. We had connected and I had felt, this is a bond that will never break in my lifetime. A year after, I am ignoring one of them, and two of them have become, just faces in the hall. But, the remaining two are my best friends. These are the memories that race through my mind when Gordie Lachance utters ‘Friends come in and out of your life like busboys in a restaurant‘.

Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me is just like my story. It is definitely more thrilling, more adventurous and has more likeable characters, but the core is similar. It is about a group of four boys named Gordie, Vern, Teddy and Chris who set out to find the body of a kid. But the plot, isn’t about it at all. It is the experience of teenage and friendship that is at the forefront of the story.

Stephen King is like the Martin Scorsese of writing. Whatever Scorsese and King create are works of art, but it is art that penetrates the mind of both the critic and the plebeian. Nor Bela Tarr or Micheal Bay are great. One is loved by critics and one is loved by the audience, but both never get the love of the both. But, King does. And better, all his books are viable screenplays. Reiner’s Stand by Me is another addition to the collection of great movies inspired by King’s works like The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Carrie and what not.

First of all, what a performance by Will Wheaton. I have never been a Star Trek fan and I pretty sure I will never be, but I have known Wheaton from his cameos on The Big Bang Theory and loved them. But never would I have guessed, such range ! Wheaton is perfect here and so are River Phoenix and Jerry O’Connell and Corey Feldman. I can vouch for the fact that this is the greatest portrayal of teenage friendship amongst boys in film history.

People think that boys smoke, drink, play cards, flirt because they are trying to be cool. This movie demolishes that false propaganda. It shows these for what they really mean to boys :- They are just trying to somehow get through this period. It is a period where various responsibilities fall on their shoulders. ‘Study, you are gonna be the future bread earner‘, ‘Get a hot chick or you are gonna feel low and die lonely‘ are the thoughts that meander through every teenage boy’s mind and these are catalysts to get through them. Not that I am justifying it, but still..

Another thing that amazed me about this movie is that in the inception of the movie, they portray these four as the typical bad-gang, smoking, playing cards and all that but as the movie progresses, their hardness is peeled of gradually, and we see them for what they really are, emotionally turmoiled human beings who, now having seen how vast the world can be, are scared of it. They are scared that not every one becomes a football player, not everyone gets into college, not every one becomes successful. They feel as if they are failures in their life, even before they have even lived it. It is an uplifting story, because towards the end, they have eradicated that fears. They learn to stand up for themselves. More importantly, they become crystal clear that someone will stand by them.

Stand By Me is a definitive portrayal of teen angst, and male friendship and more than that I think, it wants to convey that, sometimes, even though it may make no sense (like setting out to find a dead body), we have to get lost to find ourselves. In the end, the older Gordie says ‘I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone ?’ In my story, the age would be 14. But, boy do I realize, ain’t that a grand story I have to tell.

Rating :- 9.5 / 10

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