27th April 2021
Clerks is a 1994 buddy comedy film that was written, directed, and co-produced by Kevin Smith. Considering that the budget was kept to $27,575 by certain cost-cutting techniques such as using stores where Kevin Smith worked in real life and shooting in a cheaper black and white film, a gross of $3 million in theatres is very impressive. Rightfully, it has become a cult classic and a notable landmark in Indie films, mainly due to the fact that Kevin Smith maxed out five credit cards to fund this film, showing and inspiring determination and love for cinema.
It follows Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, two clerks (hence the name) throughout a single day after Dante is called into work on a Saturday. The most notable concept of this film is that it hooks you with X rated and dark humour while appealing to your emotions with Dante’s complicated romantic relationships and his deep philosophical discussion with Randal about the philosophy of being a clerk and whether he should improve his life. Despite the inherent randomness of the film, which is cut up into chapters each starting with a different title, these two strands interweave at key moments in seamless ways.
While the characters, themes and plot of the film are very solid, I can understand why some people would not enjoy the film considering its niche and dark humour. The directness and explicitness of the humour in the film will make some people laugh out loud and others shake their heads in embarrassment. I would recommend watching this film with a crowd of people who you know have this type of humour.
In conclusion, this is a very humorous and interesting film that is considered a staple in cinematic history, as indicated by the fact that in 2019 it was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. However, I recommend choosing very carefully who you watch this with.
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