Hot Summer Nights
Hot Summer Nights is honestly just weird, and I still haven’t decided if I liked it or not. I don’t even know what I took away from this film. There isn’t really a character arch or a journey, it just happens and ends. So, for the purpose of this review I’m going to start at the end of the film. The whole film feels like they are setting up some big reveal or twist, but it basically just fades out. Like the message to me was don’t do drugs, don’t sell drugs, and don’t get involved with shady people. The characters learn this but they don’t really grow from it. Maybe this is because the film is apparently based partially on real events, however I just find that the story doesn’t really go anywhere. It is also not clear how much of the story is drawn from real events and how much isn’t. You really are left to interpret the ending and what happens to Daniel and McKayla, as it’s not really explained.
The movie doesn’t have any “good guys” necessarily. The audience is rooting for these teen drug dealers who lie to the people they love and deal with bad people they shouldn’t have any business being with. Even at the end Daniel escapes his problems by leaving town and Hunter is killed, neither of them ever facing their issues head on. Usually in these kinds of stories, the characters that do the wrong things learn a lesson or turn their life around, but they just don’t. This got me thinking if that makes this a good movie that broke the formula or a film that missed the mark when trying to be unique.
The only thing I really liked about this movie was the performances by the actors. Especially Timothée Chalamet who is great in this film in the role of Daniel. This character is extremely awkward and desperately wants to be a part of something and is essentially willing to do anything to fit in somewhere. Daniel finds this comfort in selling drugs because he finally has a friend and feels like he has found something he is good at.
To conclude, I think this film is different than any other film I’ve seen. I don’t think it’s a great film, but it’s worth a watch because it makes you think. I also believe that having such an open ending allows the audience to interpret it how they like, which is actually quite interesting. I think the performances by the actors carry this film and bring a lot of emotion that makes this film compelling. Therefore, I would check this film out during your time in quarantine. If you are a fan of Timothée Chalamet’s work this might be a good film to look at. I think he is very talented and especially great in this role. Even though it’s a weird movie, I still found it somewhat enjoyable and yet depressing at the same time. To watch, you can find it on Netflix.