Friday, May 6, 2011

Revolution Summer: Movie Review

Revolutionaries who aren't going to change a thing.

"Revolution Summer" is about young revolutionaries; a group of young, smart, aimless twenty-somethings who are going to change the world with their aspirations, plans and brilliant ideas. But the film and its young heroes-of-sorts, get seriously sidetracked by parties, drugs and the mistaken belief that they are more evolved than the rest of us. Sound familiar? Yes, you have met them, during college, or after college (or even before because they ended up being too cool for school).
  2007 (with 2011 DVD release)

Directed by: Miles Montalbano

Screenplay by: Miles Montalbano

Starring: Mackenzie Firgens and Samuel Child

I'm not sure what these characters were planning, or how they thought they were going to improve the world. Perhaps that was the point. But I'm also not sure if the film was mocking these characters or if they were in accordance with them. Although that was the entire point of the movie, that does seem to be besides the point because the bigger problem is that I don't care about them. I don't like these types of people in real life or in the movies. There's way too much teen angst for these characters who are past their teen years.

It's not fair of me to compare "Revolution Summer" to "Revolutionary Road" because these filmmakers aren't aiming for that kind of masterpiece. But the young, revolutionary Wheelers who lived on Revolutionary Road were going to change their world by moving to Paris. There's something tangible about that kind of subtle transformation. This film is missing that kind of simple revolution that we can understand, cling to, or even hope for.

However, It would be fair of me to compare "Revolution Summer" to other low-budget indie films about twenty-somethings trying to find themselves. The well written "The Waterhole" has their heroes drinking in a bar and thinking about changing their own world—small-steps is key. Or in case of the bigger indie "Howl", which has real revolutionaries who changed a culture with their words.

"Revolution Summer", unfortunately, isn't going to change anything, and they didn't find characters who could. Using the tried-but-failing idea to use the sounds of New York City as the soundtrack is not a good idea. Trust me, it's just noise. And sometimes smart, young people have more to say than just noise.