deserves much higher grade..
Burnham’s candid version of the current generations that chisels out art through commercialism, is the tap that not only they, but we all need. Holding no bars, this venture is definitely not for everyone. And not because of the gut-wrenching and bold decisions that it takes while exploring the characters, but the peeling of the nature in front of the audience which is cringeworthy to encounter. And it’s that nakedness that Burnham isn’t and shouldn’t be shy about. Conveying the aspired message through a teenage psychology and no other perspective above it, it is a sweet home run on terms of getting that message written on banners that is loud and clear for all generations.
The characters are three dimensional and genuinely real to a point, where you feel embarrassed on observing their day to day life since it feels like we are unnecessarily poking our nose in, on someone’s life; YES, it is that real. It is often presumed, that too much accuracy and practical approach may extract out the cinematic experience, but if kept alive on screen in each frame with such ninja-like awareness, the euphoric energy never fades away. And this dose of exhilaration is in plethora and yet still it doesn’t grow flat.
The primary key to it, would be to foliate each emotion through its own tone, so that if there are ups and downs, it should sound reasonable and not mere compromise. Fisher is natural. She holds back emotions and expresses that with such buoyant nature, that it keeps giving you back what you expect it from, no matter what they say, she is “cool”. The narration is neither elaborative nor adaptive, it is gripping and undoubtedly correct, now “correct” sort of script isn’t something that is easily available, but we have a gold mine over here.
And Burnham is well aware of it, he never takes his potential of the concept for granted, his execution is much more powerful than the script. His off screen presence can be felt by his sensational work with the help of an amazing cinematography. Not only the conversations written are pragmatic, but they are performed too with such accuracy that it can leave your head spinning. Overlapping of arguments, petty ideologies, different priorities among kids and the frame of reference that is bizarrely genius in here, are these tiny notions that amps up this 90 minute act.
Burnham narrows down higher concepts to such simple terms, that you can feel the stakes with equal emotions that the character might be going through with, like when Fisher is about to open the door and join the pool party. This humane analysis of glorifying each tiny moments is what makes this non-crispy tale into a highly pitched cinematic experience. It is a much, much mature idea that Burnham has taken in hand, and his grip is firm and fair to the storytelling. Eighth Grade deserves much higher grade than it claims to be in, strike off the walls, this is not an indie film.