Today almost every other person comments on the kind of things that children are subjected to. They have their own opinion on what children should or shouldn’t watch — so I guess it’s always going to be a debatable topic. With the dawn of the cyber era, along with numerous gifts to society also comes the bane of questionable content that is freely available. We’ll probably never reach a consensus on what the older generation wants us to watch and what we want to watch. In an attempt to bridge this dangerous gap, I decided to go back in time and present something that’ll bring out nostalgia and a new generation of admirers.
“We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all,” says Andrew Clark. He goes to Shermer High School and is part of the wrestling team. Things go well within the normal groove of the stereotypical American high school scenario until — Saturday, March 24 — a Saturday that may change his world. He, along with four others, goes to school to serve detention. Much to their dismay nobody there gets along with the others. It’s not like they’re enemies but they just don’t ‘belong’ together. There’s Brian Johnson, the Brain, who is part of the Physics, Maths and Latin Club, there’s John Bender, the Criminal, who smokes and hurls obscenities at all and sundry. There’s Claire, the Princess, who tops every popularity list and is part of the social nucleus of the school. Finally, there’s Allison, the Basket Case, who takes time to open up and reveals she’s a compulsive liar. I introduce to you, The Breakfast Club, directed by John Hughes.
All of them are put together in a classroom bound by their respective misbehaviour and a hatred for Mr Vernon, the teacher in charge. To top off the fact that they have to spend the entire day with a group of people they don’t know, they’ve got to write an essay about who they think they are. Soon the awkward silence develops into conflicts caused by their distinct personalities. John picks on everyone; particularly Claire who he believes has it too easy. He is at loggerheads with Andrew who can’t stand his nonsense. Brian pipes into the conversation occasionally, probably just to be part of the picture and Allison remains fairly elusive apart from a few attention grabbing grunts and eccentricities. Despite these differences, they stick together against Mr Vernon who wants to take his frustrations out on them, especially John, who openly insults him. After a series of events, they trust each other more and they reveal more of themselves. As they do so, the many perceptions and misunderstandings that clouded their personalities get clear away. They look at each other in a new light and with more empathy. As they take each other for what they truly are and really feel, an inevitable question arises. Will they be the same
The film puts us in the middle of many such questions, about ourselves, our peers, society and more. It doesn’t aim to answer these questions for us, nor does it promise to do so for any of the characters. Like The Breakfast Club, we’re put in a situation where we can’t avoid the questions that we’d otherwise ignore.
Would we judge someone without even knowing them? Would we stand for what we believe in, even if we were standing alone? Would we eventually turn into everything we now oppose? There’s no easy answer to any of these, but who said life was simple?