Friday, May 05, 2006

Stand By Me

In Stand By Me, the story of four friends, Gordie (Will Wheaton), Chris (River Pheonix), Teddy (Corey Feldman) and Vern (Jerry O'Connell) is told through a series of flashbacks narrated by the adult Gordie (Richard Dreyfuss). One summer, the boys embark on an overnight adventure after overhearing Vern's older brother talking about a dead body on some far off railway tracks in the backwoods of Oregon. The film documents the ups and downs and life lessons that come to pass in this journey through the woods. We find out that all of the boys have personal issues at home- Gordie is mourning the death of his older brother who was clearly the favorite of his parents, Chris has an abusive alcoholic father and is tagged the "badboy" by everyone in the neighborhood, Teddy's father is in a mental institution, and Vern is thought of as a wimp and is made fun of for that throughout the film. The boys encounter numerous adventures: right off the bat, they find themselves sneaking through a junkyard only to be caught by the owner and his crazy dog and they have an upsetting and traumatic experience with a number of leeches. When they finally find the corpse of the missing boy, they also find themselves face to face with a group of Castle Rock hoodlums who challenge them because they want to be the ones credited for finding the body. This is the culmination of the coming of age aspect of the film as Gordie stands up for Chris and they triumph together.

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