Groove (2000) – are you feeling it?
A day in the life of … a bunch of ravers getting ready for and partying at a rave in an abandoned warehouse in San Francisco. Some of them go through life-changing moments.
Portrayal of DJs, Clubbers and Ravers
Fairly accurate. Some ravers dress “normal” while others dress in bright-coloured costumes, wild hair and glo-sticks. Drug taking is shown as something to do, rather than being illegal or illicit. Though at one point, one character worried about looking “too high” in front of a cop who was walking with the organiser of the rave. And at another point, the rave organiser was shown throwing someone out for being off their faces.
The DJs look authentic because they are – only one of them, an amateur DJ was a character and the others were real DJs from the San Francisco area, plus one Mr. John Digweed.
Everyone’s behaviour was believable from the DJs to the ravers tripping out and talking incessantly. All except for the story about the organiser who organises these raves with well-known DJs, provides free fruit and water, and risk arrest, all while charging only $2 per person. He explains that he does it for the “nod” from someone who really needed to let loose and whose life changed on the night so significantly that they would thank him.
That may be true, but unless he’s a rich kid with nothing better to do with his money, there’s no way he could afford it on a regular basis. And it was implied in the movie that he does.
Portrayal of Location and Drug Use
The abandoned warehouse was really an abandoned warehouse. So it looked real for the most part from the concrete pillars to the worn-out wooden rooms upstairs. The toilets had that dusty and industrial look, though appeared curiously underused. At one point, two characters can even sit down on the floor to mellow out. I can tell you that that does not happen in reality – with water drinking comes a lot of peeing. Speaking of which …
The bad side-effects of ecstasy and GHB were mostly skimmed over. The reactions from a first-time ecstasy user in the movie were realistic – feeling hot, drinking lots of water, happy looking and talking a lot. However, other things like jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding, and overheating and drinking too much water were not mentioned. Users beware.
I would have liked to see GHB portrayed more negatively than it did in this movie. A character who overdosed on it was merely sleepy, and was made to feel better by drinking milk and eating a banana. If only all drug treatment was that simple! GHB sold in vials of liquid are notoriously dangerous because the concentration is not known, and therefore affects people of different sizes differently. Someone of smaller stature can easily overdose, and overdoses can result in death.
I didn’t quite get into the American techno but John Digweed’s progressive house was excellent. I don’t usually club to some of the music here, but when played out loud it didn’t matter. The beats were rocking and made me felt hyper.
With the visuals and the 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, you’d think that you were at the rave yourself. I loved it.
It’s light on story and characterisation but as a fairly accurate portrayal of going to a rave, it was more than adequate. The life-changing epiphanies of some of the characters felt cliched though they behaved realistically.
With the sound turned up loud, it was a trip and I didn’t need to take drugs for it. 😉