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by Asma Gaba
Daydream Nation (2010) is a film that first made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010 starring Kat Dennings, Josh Lucas, and Reece Thompson.
The film follows Caroline Wexler who narrates a year of her life as if it were a story and calls it, “The Year Everything Happened.” Caroline is a seventeen year old girl who has just moved to a small industrial town with her father after her mother fell victim to cancer. Her new high school seems to be filled with burnouts, with almost every kid drugged out of their minds. Plagued with boredom and in an attempt to make her life more interesting, Caroline begins a secret affair with her English teacher, Mr. Anderson. However, things get complicated when Thurston, a boy haunted by his past and is always hidden behind a drugged haze, falls for her. Oh, and there’s a serial killer loose in the city, and the police have yet to catch him.
The way this movie was filmed was exciting and captured my interest immediately. I loved how I would be completely enraptured by Caroline and Mr. Anderson’s affair, only to remember the personal turmoil that Thurston goes through every day when it comes to his feelings for Caroline. And even then, I nearly forgot that there was an actual serial killer in their tiny town on multiple occasions. To be fair, the killer wasn’t the main focus of Daydream Nation, but the added thrill and suspense that paired up with the complicated romances of the film was intriguing and definitely a new take on contemporary movies.
Kat Dennings role of Caroline was beautiful, in my opinion. She portrayed Caroline’s angst and need for attention so perfectly. In fact, Caroline is relatable to the audience in so many ways. I mean, don’t we all wish to do something crazy, just to feel something? Crave adventure? Crave love?
Daydream Nation is the kind of movie that will stay with you forever; the three-dimensional plot and well developed characters will for sure have you pondering the film days after you’ve watched it.