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Pump Up The Volume (1990): So be It

One of the pleasures of watching movies is to discover some gems which you may not heard of or even seen the poster.You start to watch the movie without any expectations and soon you are happy to invest time and broadband to watch a movie.

 

What they teach us in School

Now I went to easily one of the most well know schools in Bombay. Of course one of the main attractions of the school was every year it produced students on merit list, where state government used to give bouquet to these students and the coaching classes would plaster your name and photo all over local trains.Now this was ultimate Dream of Middle Class. The craze for this was so much I remember one of my school friends who started studying for 10th from  8th standard itself.

How does school ensure that it gets 100 %  pass results with all students getting first class? Well the School used to ensure that all meritiorius students or students who they thought will make into merit list were segregated into A division. Now these students were the only privileged students who could get 100 marks for Sanskrit as this subject was considered to be good for scoring. Rest of the students were in division B and division C, where the teachers job was to ensure that none of us would get less than 60%, and God forbid if we failed in any subject we were told we will be shifted to D division, which was considered the worst case scenario. For students in D division the purpose was to get a second class and pass the SSC exam. Now when I think of it, I do not know how students in D division coped with constant mocking by teachers and their fellow classmates by other divisions and the fact that our School authorities in a way encouraged this is what I still can’t come to terms with.

Recently a few friends of mine had started confession page of my B school. Soon the administration of our college came to know about this and as any respectable authority in it’s position, instead of solving the problems mentioned in page,tried to bully their own students based on their assumptions of whom they thought were the page admin .What’s more important is that a ragging committee which slept or did not seem to exist when ragging happened in college during induction of junior students was made to snoop around and find who is the admin. Even more shameful was the leaking of selective news which was leaked deliberately so that the concerned student would snitch.

Christian Slater as HHH

Which brings me to the film-Pump Up the Volume. Mark Hunter (Christian Slater) is an high school student who has shifted from Big Apple to Arizona. He is intelligent but is shy or not exactly an extrovert, he describes himself as “ I’m sick of being ashamed. I don’t mind being dejected and rejected, but I’m not going to be ashamed about it. At least pain is real. I mean, you look around and you see nothing is real, but at least the pain is real”. He has another side to him, he runs a Pirate Radio station, where he is Happy Harry Hardon,. The show starts at 10 pm every day, the duration of show is not fixed,sometimes it is for minutes while sometimes it  runs for hours. Here he presents himself as a chronic masturbator who enjoys touching his private parts. He soon gets a fan following where he talks about peer pressure, school, The Establishment etc.  Frequently he receives letter where people talk about their problems and he starts to highlight the fallacy of School’s working policy and it’s disregard towards privacy of student’s life and their emotions. In the meanwhile he falls in love with the Goth Girl Nora DeNiro played by Samantha Mathis.Watch out for the scene between Samantha and Slater in his backyard; what a crackling chemistry.Check out the Video below to see their chemistry and soundtrack of the movie.The Video is NSFW.

 

However Sensible parents maybe, the generation gap or difference in thoughts between them and their children will be there always. Why it is that whenever a problem arises the urge of those in authority tend to have a knee jerk reaction is to blame someone or ban some one, instead of  doing some introspection among themselves. Are parents always right? I do not think so. When at age of 15 when children should discover love themselves ,dreams and discover life why do they have to be buried in books which says to mug up 3 questions which are most likely to come on paper and we end up doing the same?up. One of the greatest lies I have ever come across that is that if you score well, you will get into the college of your choice and then it will be easy life. I have seen students who believed this and by the time they complete their junior college they realize that they have choose wrong stream. They would not give another rigorous test to get what they want. Ina country like India these tests are nothing more than Jackpots. You always have one of your school friend who decides he cannot handle the pressure and decides to take his/her own life. You always find such news snippets in all Indian newspapers from first week of June to end of July, his fellow students are not allowed to empathize with the dead guy, instead  the guy who ended his life is made out as a villain who was ungrateful to his parents and decides to say good bye to life.

We’re all worried, we’re all in pain. That just comes with having eyes and having ears. But just remember one thing – it can’t get any worse, it can only get better. High school is the bottom, being a teenager sucks, but that’s the point, surviving it is the whole point. Quitting is not going to make you stronger, living will. So just hang on and hang in there.

Every Generation needs to find their own voice, let it be pure ,uncorrupted from our thoughts of what we want them to be.Let them fall, meander, get hurt but find their voice in this noise of our society, Everybody does not have to score  marks, some people may be good at academics, some at sports, some at none but they will find what’s good for them soon. What’s more important is that our teens find pleasure and fulfillment in what they do. Let them break rules as the School Prinicpal from Mark hunter’s School would say, but as Harry will opine that they are just rewriting the rules.

Apart from Slater’s acting,which is brilliantly matched by Samantha in the movie, another reason which makes this movie endearing to us,is the soundtrack which is refreshing and different from most Hollywood teen movies.It has been almost 23 years since the movie released yet the issue addressed in the movie still remains. Pirate radio station may be passe, we now have the internet for our Mark Hunter’s.




Original: http://www.madaboutmoviez.com/2013/04/review-pump-voulme/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=review-pump-voulme
By: Cinemausher
Posted: April 26, 2013, 2:20 pm

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