★★★★★ – “Funny, smart, grounded.”
Clerks is written & directed by Kevin Smith and stars Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith and Lisa Spoonhauer.
Presenting one day in the lives of two store clerks.
In 1993, Kevin Smith maxed out his credit cards and decided to shoot a movie at his place of work, a convenience store. Getting almost no sleep between working and filming, Smith shot his movie in 21 days (or rather, nights) straight.
Clerks was the result.
There simply aren’t movies being created quite like this anymore – funny, smart, grounded – And even if there are similar works, they’re nowhere near as high in the ranks as this cult hit. Smith’s writing is so naturally clever and gritty that it’s undeniably a classic, worthy of all it’s praise and critical acclaim.
Throughout the movie there is a sense of realness, all of the characters are genuine and believable. Having worked with customers myself, I can absolutely tell that Smith was writing from experience. The silly questions, blindness and stupidity of people that can occur when working in such environments consistently shines over numerous occasions during the perfectly bookended screenplay.
Due to the incredibly modest budget, the movie was shot on black-and-white film, and edited together roughly. But this only adds to the realism and gives the movie its personality. A few of the characters were also played by Smith’s family members, which is barely noticeable unless you were told beforehand. Others will go on to return in future instalments in the View Askewniverse including Clerks II (and Clerks III in 2018).
All of the actors do a brilliant job and really bring the story to life, regardless of how simple it is. Highlighting O’Halloran and Anderson in their wonderful portrayals of Dante and Randal, which are my favourite characters by far. Smith features in a smaller role as Silent Bob, who also returns in future Askewniverse projects, as he subtly steps back and allows everyone else to take the stage.
The music used in between various scene breaks is thankfully fitting and seamlessly matches the characteristics of our main leads. It’s also interesting to read that Clerks is one of the few movies in which the cost of obtaining the rights for the music was higher than the overall production costs.
Verdict; Clerks is a must-watch comedy cult-classic, which focuses on the very mundane lives of those working in convenience stores, in the most perfect way possible. This is one of Kevin Smith’s finest pieces of work.
Clerks – ★★★★★ (9/10)