See, there is something very reassuring when you watch “feel good” movies like School Of Rock. It’s got several things going for it, other than just the fact that it’s a comedy. In fact come to think of it, it’s not that much of a comedy. I’ve definitely seen funnier movies. Like Sister Act (1 & 2) – a couple of my all time favorite movies (Sister Act 2
is probably one of the extremely few sequels that I absolutely love). I mean, isn’t it just so nice to have a subversive image of the protagonist? Seriously, even today I wouldn’t go to a theatre expecting to see anything less than a superhuman for a hero. Someone who, even in the cases is a common man, is endowed with something that is extraordinary. either it is his good looks, or charm, or dancing, singing, organizational capabilities, money, honesty, integrity, brains, ambition, sexual orientation, something, anything at all, that kinda sets him apart, in a ‘good’ (and I use the term loosely) way. So when one sees a hero that is sloppy, fat, far from ‘gorgeous’ and extremely crazy, who doesn’t just admit to being mediocre, but is actually mediocre, on the screen, one feels distinctly good about oneself. The feel good-ness starts right then, right there. Although having said that, I wouldn’t say the character of Dewey Finn totally escapes the clutches of ‘that something special’. He is a man of vision. And ear. He sees, hear, lives (rock) music, and will not understand any system that doesn’t have (rock) music as an integral, if not the most important, part of it. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a “loser” (his own words, not mine). So there he is, this boy/man – broke, sloppy, thrown out of ‘his’ band, lying, doing something he has never done before, getting snubbed by 10-year-olds, learning, teaching, growing, giving others confidence, keeping the faith, giving a great performance, discovering the teacher within, and last but not the least, making it.
Of course the movie is trying to tell you that every single one of us is special and extra-ordinary – you know the usual clichéd things. But it’s not that. I can ignore that, just like I can ignore illogical things happening in our very own Hindi movies. What I actually like is how effortlessly the movie turns being crazy into a good thing. There are of course the foils – his roommate Ned Schneebly and roommate’s girlfriend Patty. Ned is a pushover, question is: who is pushing him? He is forever stuck between his girlfriend and friend. He’s the representative of us all, who have given up on what we really like doing, turned our passion into a mere ‘hobby’, because the rest of the world thinks that a couple of years of failure is enough to brand our grand plans, pipe dreams. So it all boils down to power doesn’t it? I like how Dewey calls the oppressive system “the man”, kinda puts this smug smile on my face. But lets not digress. So then, the roommate is Mr. Everyman, if you will; the girlfriend is Mr. Man and Dewey…is Mr. Misfit. Which is why it becomes such a statement, and more than just a funny moment, when he shuts the door on his girlfriend to go to watch the competition. And….*drum rolls please* the Misfit wins!
Aah! I tell you, a “feel good” movie on so many different levels. One of my favorite moments: towards the end of the movie there is this conversation between Rosalie (the principal) and some rocker that goes something along the lines of:
Guitarist: Hey, (are) you in a band?
Principal: No! No! No! I … am the … principal… of the school
Guitarist: Yeah? That’s cool… that’s cool…
Principal: Yes, yes it is. It’s very… it’s very cool.
(both talking together now)
Guitarist: Yeah it is cool… I like that… yeah you’re hot… you’re so hot
Principal: Yes, it is… it is very cool… do you? yes…
Principal: what? I’m sorry. Are you warm?
Guitarist: huh? What?
Rating: 3.8 on 5