This outrageous dark comedy will leave you stunned!
Director: Michael Lehmann
Cast: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannon Doherty, Kim Walker, Lisanne Falk
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Heathers is a genre defining movie. It is the ultimate high school and teen satire. Its subject matter is shocking yet brilliant, and also very relevant. The film manages to be darkly comical almost effortlessly. It is bound to make you laugh a lot, for which you’ll feel guilty most of the time. But one things for sure, this seemingly crazy movie has a lot of substance and it conveys its themes in a manner that will definitely leave an impact on you.
Heathers starts off with a cheesy dance number, introducing us to some girls which are a part of a clique called the ‘Heathers’. Amongst these ladies is Veronica Sawyer (played by Winona Ryder), a newbie to the group, who isn’t the biggest fan of their actions, but still plays along. The ‘Heathers’ are the socially dominant group in their high school. We are gradually introduced to the various ‘types’ of students at the school in a satirical fashion. We also get to witness many high school social acts such as back biting and the race to be popular. The film manages to give a feel of the 1980’s really well.
We are eventually introduced to Jason Dean (played by Christian Slater) who stuns the whole school by pulling out a gun at two bullies. Luckily for them, it turned out to be unloaded. This act of Jason spurs the attention of many students, especially Veroncia Sawyer. These two eventually start a unique and intimate friendship. It is their social frustrations that bring them together. Veronica feels trapped in her clique, the ‘Heathers’. Jason, on the other hand, is fed up with the ‘fake’ people and bullies around him.
Then, our two main characters embark on a wild adventure that involves killing (yes killing!) the ‘cool’ kids at their school. It should be obvious by now that the movie has a substantial amount of shock value. But the surprising thing is you’ll most likely find yourself supporting Veronica and Jason! This is shocking but true. You might discover that this is a dark fantasy you’ve had all along. This is the sign of a truly great film. It helps you discover a side of yourself that you never thought existed.
I feel that the primary motive of Heathers is to show case teenage peer pressure. This is an issue that cannot be neglected. Teenage is a dangerous, confusing and formative time when you don’t know what you’re exactly doing and there’s rarely anyone that truly understands you. Growing social frustrations can lead teenagers to resort to doing bad things.
One of the main reasons why Heathers works is the performance of Christian Slater and Winona Ryder. Both of them are very genuine in portraying their characters, probably because they were both teenagers at the time of filming. Both of their characters are so different yet so similar in various ways. The chemistry and dynamics between the two is very electric.
Heathers is also quite thrilling throughout. You never know what to expect. Anything can happen in this crazy ride. The film really goes to the extreme to make striking points about teenage and social pressures. In the process, it casts a mirror on our society and show cases how selfish and hypocritical we humans really are. The way that it manages to interweave so many important themes in such a unique fashion is truly remarkable.
FINAL RATING: 5/5