“I used to think about it this way: Like a continent, Schenley High School is divided into nations. Jock Nation. Kingdom of Stoners. The People’s Republic of Theatre Dorks. In the typical high school life, you belong to one nation, which can never guarantee you total security.”
Humans live, survive, laugh, cry in their self-constructed social environment. That is how it is in spheres of public life in general and in high schools and colleges in particular. You might belong to a group of perfect individuals or you might be a lost boy in a gang of misfits. Over the years, many teen dramas and comedies have explored various cliques in such teen societies. Here, we count down a few such memorable groups of fictional freaks and geeks.
- The Geeks (Paper Towns)
Paper Towns might seem like a teen romance especially after knowing that it is based on a John Green book. But in its truest essence, it is a movie on friendship. Q (the protagonist), Ben, and Marcus stick together, be it while singing the Pokemon theme song or while going on a road trip to find Q’s crush. They aren’t the most popular students in school, but the ones who need to search hard to find their prom dates and the ones whose names one hardly remembers. But you won’t feel sorry for them as they are hardly low regarding their status in the high school cliques, liking that “wallflower” status. They are the type who will stay happy playing a video game at home and talking about a random fandom.
- The Lost “Velle” Souls (Udaan)
In Udaan, we see a realistic portrayal of Rohan and his testosterone pumping teen friends sneaking out at night watching a B-grade film in a shanty looking theatre, and then getting caught by a teacher, which leads to their suspension. They display a sense of angst and confusion which is normal for their age. The key is to not get lost along this way. Rohan eventually discovers his purpose when he indulges in his gift of writing poetry.
- Changing Friends (21 and 22 Jump Street)
Both these classic comedies star Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as undercover cops trying to infiltrate a drug ring in a high school, and in a college in the sequel. That means they pose as school and college students and end up in hilarious bromance moments. However, apart from their bonding, you also see how their relationship changes when they have different interests and different cliques to hang out with. Ironically in the first movie, Tatum who is clearly a jock, gets busy giving science presentations while Jonah Hill, the fat boy who usually gets picked on, roams around with hipster freaks and is a star in the theatre society. That shows how with time, people’s nature towards each other changes. Teen cliques are very transient. However, if you have a real bond with a friend, then you’re bound to get back together despite all the differences, just like the boys of Jump Street.
- Attention Seekers (Mean Girls)
Mean Girls is a gem in the pantheon of teen movies and it highlights all sections of the teen high school society in a very vivid, hilarious, and real manner. The most accurate portrayal in the movie is that of the fake cliques, attention seekers, the so called “Mean Girls.” Cady, the lead, played by Lindsay Lohan, initially finds it hard to fit in with the “cool folks” and for the meantime, rolls with a few “dorks.” However, towards the second half she herself turns into an egoistic mean girl ignoring her old friends. Even though the end is optimistic, Mean Girls is a ready reckoner reminding us to be our true selves rather than a fake soul. No wonder the movie was based on a self-help book!
- The Mixed Bag (The Breakfast Club)
A muscular jock, a classic bad boy with leather gloves on his hands, a geek, a teenage princess, an emo and edgy girl. All of them have been seen posing together on the poster of The Breakfast Club. Made by John Hughes, the 80s cult favourite still continues to be relevant today. It has the most unique clique of students from different backgrounds united by a detention class. How they meet one day in detention and start bonding towards the end seems so natural and pure and also tells us how sometimes the most unexpected situations can lead to the best relationships. Having a perfect balance of different shades of opinion like The Breakfast Club is a plain bliss in the world of teen cliques.
Feature Image Credits: CNN
Shaurya Singh Thapa