Blockers


Yet another movie that I elected to see on a flight.

I take quite a while to choose a movie to see, especially when there are hundreds available. This time around, I wanted to see a funny comedy kind of movie, and “Blockers” fit the bill.

I do not know or understand how Indian parents in the U.S. deal with the phenomenon of “prom night” when seniors graduate from their school, and go partying all night, often drinking alcohol, smoking drugs, and having sex with their pre-chosen mates. There is nothing like a “prom night” in India or Singapore, I have never heard of one.

“Blockers” is all about three parents who know each other from their daughters’ kindergarten to their senior high school graduation, and who wish to stop their respective daughters from having sex on their prom night. It is funny, it is comical, it is witty – whatever you want to call, but it is also a learning experience for both parents and daughters as they discover key aspects of life in the process.

The parents obviously get stressed out totally trying to figure out what their daughters are up to, and once they discover their plans, swing into action and that leads them into a wild goose ride all over town, with funny consequences. The movie is full of life – the American way of life – and revealing to a non-American how life could get thrilling in America!

I am not sure we need prom nights in our part of the world, wherein the entire objective seems to be focused on losing one’s virginity as a prelude to starting off adulthood, or college careers. It is no secret that most schools have widespread alcohol and drug use in the U.S. (and in most other countries). But “prom night” is designed to be a social coming of age occasion for boys and girls, with high-speed networking, drinking and drug use in a ball room setting with lots of dancing to invigorating music. While I am not going to judge morals here, the need for the focus on sex can be debated, and in that sense, I empathize with the plight of the three parents who come through as very close to their daughters, caring for them every minute, to the extent that they start annoying them.

Indian parents can sync with such feelings for sure (and most Asian parents do). It is an emotional grasp of feelings which are hard to describe – love, affection, the fear of letting go, the lack of recognition that the kids are no longer kids – they have almost become adults and can make their own decisions, et al. It is very challenging when that happens to us, and I enjoyed every moment of the movie when the parents have to deal with their own plight. The feeling of insecurity dawns on the parents – that they are no longer in control of the lives of their own daughters, and that upsets them seriously.

In the U.S., apparently it is not unusual to have sex at the age of 17 or 18 between consenting teens – happens all the time, and gets intensified as one gets into college. It is probably used as a “get to know” the guy or the girl before engaging in a lifelong relationship. I understand it is getting to be prevalent at least by early twenties in India, where the parents do not condone such behaviour. Again, I have no personal views on such “acts” of convenience while preparing for life. It is not an issue of moral judgement, it is a personal choice which every teen on the verge of adulthood needs to reckon with – at least in the U.S. social life context.

The eventual adjustments that the daughters in “Blockers” movie demonstrate touch your heart. They all come back to their respective parents, reconcile with them, and then leave for their respective universities of choice. Parents will remain worried, for sure. That is the nature of parents, nothing much can be done to reduce their anxiety when the kids go far away from them. However, they find solace in the fact that their daughters can make intelligent decisions for themselves, and work through the vagaries of life, and navigate their future, while staying connected amongst themselves and with their parents.

I liked the way the movie concluded. It was intimate, it was personal, it was touching. Parents are parents, and their position cannot be compromised. They will care for their kids, come what may. Mother remains a beacon of comfort and solace for her kids. Father remains a beacon of strength, though one of the strong fathers in the movie breaks down often!

“Blockers” is a good movie that one will enjoy just for the funny language and rapid action scenes which constantly keep shifting from one scene to the next. It is entertaining. It is revealing – about the trust between daughters and parents. It is more revealing about parents than anyone else.

Enjoy “Blockers”.

Cheers,

Vijay Srinivasan

14th July 2018

 

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