Film Review: Heathers (1989)

avatar

(source: tmdb.org)

Great things can’t be achieved without ambition and ambition was not in short supply in case of video store manager Daniel Waters. His first script was originally intended for Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest film makers of all time. Waters didn’t succeed to bring grand cinema master into the project but Heathers, 1989 black comedy directed by Michael Lehmann, ultimately received cult status and despite not living up to its full potential.

The plot is set high school in Sherwood, Ohio, which is dominated by clique of most beautiful, wealthy and popular girls. Three of them are named Heather – Heather Chandler (played by Kim Walker), Heather McNamara (played by Lisanne Falk) and Heather Duke (played by Shannen Doherty). The protagonist is Veronica Sawyer (played by Wynona Ryder), fourth member of the clique which begins to turn against her friends when they force her to take part in unusually cruel prank. At the same time she gets attracted to Jason “J.D.” Dean (played by Christian Slater), new student who stands out with his dark clothing and rebellious attitudes. Two of them start relationship and when J.D. casually mentions that her life would be better with one or all Heathers being taken out, she doesn’t think much of it. When J.D. fatally poisons Heather Chandler, she is willing to believe that it was an accident; she continues to go along even after J.D. orchestrates deaths of two jocks who were spreading nasty tales about Veronica. Those murders were successfully staged to look like suicides and J.D., apparently intoxicated with his success, wants to continue with campaign, forcing Veronica to recognise him as murderous psychopath.

It is rather easy to see why Waters believed that Kubrick would be perfect director for Heathers. The film is misanthropic, showing the characters that are almost all stupid, vain, malevolent or willingly ignorant of their fellow man’s troubles; this kind of misanthropy is quite like the one shown in Kubrick’s classic work. And, just like in Kubrick’s works, it is well-mixed with dark humour. Waters was, according to his words, attempting to provide something of an antidote to often syrupy and over-nostalgic teen films that dominated 1980s Hollywood and show the teen world as dysfunctional as the world of adults. Director Michael Lehmann, of course, couldn’t fill Kubrick’s shoes, but he does more than decent job and at times stages couple of very good scenes, especially those showing funerals, whether real or imagined. Heathers benefits a lot from formidable cast. Wynona Ryder simply shines in the role that was so different from her goth character in Bettlejuice. In this film she is beautiful but takes great and ultimately successful effort in creating sympathy for Veronica despite some of her actions being of questionable morality. Christian Slater is also very good in the role of young rebel turning into psychopath, although this performance almost had him typecast in similar roles for next few years. Slater is especially effective when he channels deliberately channels Jack Nicholson. Kim Walker, young actress whose career was tragically ended because of illness, is also good in the role of high school’s queen bee and the demise of Heather Chandler represents one of the most impressive scenes in 1980s Hollywood cinema. Unfortunately, killing of jocks isn’t handled that well and in the second half Lehmann has problems with pacing and slight tonal shift from dark comedy into some sort of misguided social commentary. The actual ending might leave some viewers slightly confused (although it wasn’t exactly authors’ fault, because studio vetoed original, much darker and more ironic ending from Waters’ script). Despite that, Heathers is an entertaining film that could be recommended to audience that is much broader from nostalgic GenXers.

RATING: 6/10 (++)

Blog in Croatian https://draxblog.com
Blog in English https://draxreview.wordpress.com/
Leofinance blog https://leofinance.io/@drax.leo
Cent profile https://beta.cent.co/@drax
Minds profile https://www.minds.com/drax_rp_nc
Uptrennd profile https://www.uptrennd.com/user/MTYzNA

Unstoppable Domains: https://unstoppabledomains.com/?ref=3fc23fc42c1b417
Hiveonboard: https://hiveonboard.com?ref=drax
Bitcoin Lightning HIVE donations: https://v4v.app/v1/lnurlp/qrcode/drax
Rising Star game: https://www.risingstargame.com?referrer=drax
1Inch: https://1inch.exchange/#/r/0x83823d8CCB74F828148258BB4457642124b1328e

BTC donations: 1EWxiMiP6iiG9rger3NuUSd6HByaxQWafG
ETH donations: 0xB305F144323b99e6f8b1d66f5D7DE78B498C32A7

Simple Posted with Ecency footer



0
0
0.000
4 comments
avatar

How great, you made me want to see this movie, thanks for the content, successes.

0
0
0.000
avatar

I would love to see Christian Slater as a psycho!!
Thanks for the review
!1UP

0
0
0.000