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Bandslam Review


Bandslam is a great teen film that is also suited for adults. It's quite a drama about discovering yourself and your potentials. This film has the awful misfortune of having a deceiving name, but don't let the name fool you, this is a great movie, with a great story, and great performances.

My rating 4 Stars

My first impression of Bandslam was, “This is just like School of Rock, but without Jack Black or the adorable and talented children!” My second impression was that of disbelief of how unoriginal the movie was. However, my third impression was how much I was enjoying the movie followed by my fourth impression of how heartwarming and how unique and creative the story turned out to be after all. Bandslam does start out in a very familiar high school setting, but it takes a different road, a high road with a great story and character development. While on its way to the climax it takes you on some unexpected, but scenic turns that lead to an amazing finale.

Like most teen pictures I wasn’t expecting much from this one. However, like I always do, I went in with an open mind and gave the movie the benefit of the doubt. But I still had the idea in the back of my mind that this movie is about high school and God I hated high school! However, more than high school I have always hated movies about it probably because my experience while attending was so awful. However, my intellectual reason for not liking such films are generally because most of the time these movies are avenues to show off hot chicks and bulging hunks making out to the latest pop song, or showing the cliché jock v. geek as they shove another nerd into a locker or smear numbing cream on some loser’s genitals. And let’s not forget the theme of most of these teen movies; get the hot cheerleader into bed. It’s all so boring and I am so glad that I don’t have to watch those kinds of movies now that I am an adult. When I was younger you were considered a real loser if you didn’t watch them. Being an adult has some perks some times.

Bandslam is a little bit different than your average teen movie. The theme wasn’t getting the girl into bed. It was about finding yourself, about discovering who you are. It was about dealing with your fears, your goals, and life. If it’s not overtly clear, I absolutely loved this film. Yes, I was a little disappointed in the beginning for its familiar, almost plagiarizing first act, but I would much rather have a so-so first act and a great second and third than the reverse.

Bandslam is a about a removed from society teen boy who was constantly picked on by practically everyone in his school. However, the movie wasn’t your ordinary nerd/jock relationship. He was not picked on for being a geek. No, the problem was more complicated than that. His father had done something terrible and Will decided to make things right and took responsibility for his father’s actions. A noble thing to do, one that would be looked upon with great favor by adults, but unfortunately it did nothing other than afford him a great deal of humiliation at the hands of young people who didn’t appreciate such actions.

As a result of Will’s action, he alienated himself from everyone and that was fine for him, for a while, but eventually the situation became worse and worse. He wanted to switch schools so badly. Every day when he got home his mother would ask him, “What can I say to you to make you feel better?” “I quit my job and we’re moving away,” he would say in hopes that she would say that back to him. Until one day she surprised him with that very same line. Will got his wish, they moved away to a new school where no one knew him. He got his fresh start and everything was great. Except that when he got to his new school, the old Will was still there. Nothing had really changed and that was very disappointing to him. I don’t know how many times I went through this myself. I could really relate to this poor boy. This is possibly why I loved this movie so much.

Will did the best he could to fit in, but he was petrified when it came to talking to people. His experiences in the previous school had been so traumatizing that they left him almost comatose around others and unable to socialize properly. Lucky for him, he was at the right place at the right time. When Will displayed his knowledge of music to the school band, they automatically made him their band manager.  Will and the leader of the band, Charlotte Barnes, took the band to new heights and they felt that for the first time they had a chance at something special. Charlotte, who used to be a cheerleader who had turned over a new leaf or at least she had tried to, became really good friends with Will. They both cared very much about each other and the band and did everything possible to get them into the famous Battle of the Bands show called Bandslam.

The manager position and Charlotte’s friendship were sources of education for Will. He had changed, for the first time in his life he had acquired self confidence. His mother saw the changes in him; however she was worried that he was headed towards a bad place. She was not a big fan of Charlotte and thought that she was a bad influence and for good reason. Charlotte had a reputation, it didn’t matter that she was trying to change, your rep precedes you. However, Will saw Charlotte for what she was trying to become and she saw so much potential in him. It really was a beautiful relationship that is rarely seen on camera. It had nothing to do with sex or sappy romance, it was a true friendship and the chemistry between the two was outstanding. I really bought that the two were really friends and that neither of them were sexually attracted to each other. It was a totally platonic relationship and they never deviated from that.

Bandslam is one of the best teen movies I have seen in a long time. It is right up there with Adventureland. This is a great film for both adults and young adults. I attribute that to such a great story and characters in the movie. The acting is superb, the comedy is funny and appropriate, this is overall a great movie and I recommend it to just about anyone who has ever set foot in a high school.

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