Friday, July 16, 2010

Clerks. (1994): The Definitive Kevin Smith's Comedy Movie

Similarly to Mel Brooks, Kevin Smith has its own signature style when it comes to movie making. Although being rather different than Brooks' approach, Smith's one punchs you in the face with the same intensity and genuineness. Almost all of his movies are easily identifiable either by the kind of jokes they offer, by having Jay and Silent Bob couple in them or by something else. Each of Kevin Smith's films is entertaining to a certain degree but the movie which could be considered his greatest achievement and presenting his natural feel of comedy in the best possible manner is Clerks.

Clerks. is about two New Jersey's convenience clerks, Dante Hicks and Randal Graves, and the way they spend a day of their lives. Dante is a convenience store clerk who reluctantly has to work on his day off. He faces a variety of problems both personal and at his workplace. His ex-girlfriend is getting married but Dante is still in love with her. His present girlfriend constantly persuades him to study in a college and she has just recently acquainted him with juicy details of her past. Dante's boss pushes him to work on his day off. There are various technical problems in the store. Dante is about to miss a hockey game and a dead friend's wake during that day. His customers are annoying. Randal is a friend of his, a clerk working next door to Dante's in a video store. He finds his clients to be even more annoying than Dante's but he does not care a lot about his job. He regularly irritates both his and Dante's customers and he loves talking about movies. With this outline as a background, the day gradually turns into a nightmare as many unexpected events happen.

Although all of the described stuff might seem like a bunch of unpleasant doings, everything in the movie is presented with enormous dose of humor so at least the film's audience is well entertained on account of Clerks' characters. From the tagline of the movie "Just Because They Serve You... Doesn't Mean They Like You." to the appearance of Clerks' final credits, everything is hilariously funny. Most of the jokes are witty and chances are many lines will stick into your mind for quite some time.

You will find many of Kevin Smith's trademarks in Clerks. The movie is primarily based on talking. There is a weird, yet magnificent dialogue. A series of not impossible but very unlikely incidents happen. There is a Star Wars trilogy discussion (a classic one). There is a lot of explicit sex-related language. The "famous" drug dealers Jay and Silent Bob appear in Clerks (as in many of Smith's subsequent films). Similarly to other of Kevin Smith's movies, Clerks makes you feel like making a motion picture is not such a difficult job.

Having in mind the limited budget Clerks has been created with, there are naturally some issues that might or might not bother you. The movie is black and white but most probably you will find this bothering only in the first several minutes. The cast does not sport any famous actors or actresses. In fact, Clerks is a debut film for most (if not entire) of the cast but the great dialogue compensates for it if there is anything to be compensated. There are no great special visual or sound effects but they are not needed anyway.

Clerks is the movie that has brought Kevin Smith a considerable cult following. It has also given a good start to the careers of many people involved in its making. If you've watched and you've liked some of the other Kevin Smith's film(s) but you've missed Clerks, you must see it for Smith's genuine style is all over the movie. It is still the best film coming from this director and most probably it will stay his best effort ever. It would be really hard for Smith to better it. Because the first time it happens, it comes out most naturally.

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