Youth. The time in all of our lives we all look back on. We party, laugh, love, and all around live. Many of our memories come from our youth, mainly our teen years. It’s an unforgettable part of life that we feel all nostalgic over and something we all wish we can get back to.
Our youth is chocked full of firsts. First kiss, first date, first time driving, and our first job. When one looks back on their first job, it is usually happy in some sort of way, a comparison to some who work draining jobs now and hate what they do.
But, if you worked the same job since you were 16, now being 22, would you really look back on it fondly? Especially if you worked as a clerk at a convenience store, movie rental store, and had to deal with some of the biggest sources of scum on planet Earth? I thought not.
I am of course speaking of “Clerks,” and independent film released in 1994. Shot entirely in black and white (because color would cost too much), “Clerks,” at first glance, appears to be stoner flick with a dopey plot and ridiculous exaggerations of potheads. Looks can definitely be deceiving, especially in “Clerks” case.
22 -year-old Dante Hicks (O’Halloran) is out cold. The night was long and he has a killer hangover. It’s his day off, if only for about thirty seconds. His boss calls him and tells him he has to cover for him. He’s not even supposed to be working.
Dante rolls up to the convenience store, opens up, and sits at the counter. The day is slow, but incomes his pal Randall (Anderson).
Randall is the definition of a slacker. He works at the video rental store next door to the convenience store. Well, he ‘works’ and still gets paid. As stated above, Randall is the pinnacle of slackerdom.
In stark contrast to Dante, Randall hardly works as he spends most of his work day with Dante, watching adult films in his store and harassing customers. He’s got the best gig to allow him to be a jerk and effectively slack off.
However, Randall does have a unique quality,other than the quality to irk every human being on Earth, Randall has a deep conscious. Where many see black and white, Randall sees, and embraces, the gray in life.
He is pretty much the only person to make Luke Skywalker’s feat of destroying the Death Star twice a genocidal campaign, for reasons that list the attack resulting in the deaths of millions of innocents.
His unique quality makes “Clerks” itself a unique film. “Clerks” is a very interesting film, in that it deceives many reviewers and film goers alike. The film is filled to the brim with deep conversations that we can relate to and that make absolute sense.
It genuinely feels as if you are right there with Dante and Randall as they converse about various topics that may seem dumb on the surface, but if you listen and go deeper, the reality and truth conveyed in their words become apparent to you.
As Dante and Randall’s work day progresses, they are faced with numerous deep, and utterly hilarious, scenarios. Namely the egg “tester”, the hockey game, Dante’s relationship struggles, a funeral (that ends horribly) and the infamous old man issue, whose importance is delayed until the tail end of the film.
All together, the mix of ridiculous occurrences and moving conversations makes for a great film. Directed by Kevin Smith, who plays Silent Bob, a local pot smoker and dealer, every aspect of the film, from its budget to its unknown actors, who are Smith’s friends, adds up to a unique film experience that can never be redone or copied.
Go out and see “Clerks,” I mean, you have to. Set aside your plans, sit back, and dig deep into the actual meaning of this odd film. It just might change your entire perspective life just as it did for me.