For those of you that have been loyal readers over the years, you’re aware that I like to talk about firsts.
“Flatliners” was the first movie in which I invited upperclassmen friends over to watch at my house. I was a soccer player my entire life. I was fortunate enough to make the varsity soccer team as a freshman. I became friends with a lot of people older than me because of that. I had many birthday parties to this point in which I invited a lot of my friends over, but they were always my age or younger. These were older guys that I really wanted to impress with my movie taste.
I was someone that had already seen the film and enjoyed it. My “older” friends had not. I brought them over to meet my family, drink Mountain Dew, and watch it on VHS.
I know: “Flatliners?”
You might ask that, but at the time it was kind of the perfect movie. Interesting, suspenseful, not too scary but scary enough, and there was a ton of old and young talent in that film:
Julia of course (I think she was in every movie in the 90s after “Pretty Woman“), Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William “Billy” Baldwin, and Oliver Platt. Everyone knew Julia at the time, Kiefer was “Donald’s son,” Billy was “Alec‘s little brother” (still is, quite frankly), Kevin Bacon was…well Kevin Bacon (old, well established talent), and Oliver Platt was, “the 90s token, witty, chubby guy.”
The premise: A number of med students come up with this idea of forcing themselves into a flatline state (really, just killing each other), in which they are under for a short amount of time before being revived again.
The thing that I thought was cool about this was, in theory, you could conduct this type of experiment. They were in a setting in which all of the necessary medical equipment was available and many people have died and been revived in such a manner.
The movement in the story comes when the members that were flatlined start to see the karma of their past looking for a paycheck in the form of the people that they had wronged.
Again, for those that have yet to see this movie, I don’t want to be the one to spoil the details. Just know that there are moments of hilarity amidst an environment that is quite dark and disturbing.
I remember being very thankful for this movie. It helped me show people that I knew what I was talking about when I would recommend a movie. My friends loved it. There were questions afterward that couldn’t be explained (I remember the director using cyclists in a number of different shots)…there was something about the sound of a group of cyclists riding in the dark of night that added to the eerie…
My friend asked me, “What’s with the cyclists?”
I remember being quick on my feet and saying, “I think it is a metaphor for his soul gradually getting away from him.”
My friend nodded his head as he looked at me like I was Buddha.
I really think the director was trying to make his own atmosphere and the cyclists happened to be pretty cool (looking and sounding)…
I’m just glad I was able to impress.