Dreams, drive, passion, love, and friendship are the keys that power Max Joseph’s unique sensory film experience We Are Your Friends, which is a masterpiece for the millennial generation.
Cole Carter (Zac Efron) is a 23 year old DJ who is struggling to make a name for himself in Hollywood, balancing his musical ambitions with the reality of day to day life. But when he meets James (Wes Bentley), an established and successful DJ, he finds a mentor, and forms a connection with James’ beautiful girlfriend Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski). But when his relationship with Sophie blossoms, Cole faces some difficult decisions in regards to his future.
5. 128 Beats Per Minute
We Are Your Friends is a love letter to electronica and synthesized music, and director Max Joseph has certainly crafted an exceptional mixture of unique sounds and compelling artists for the films’s soundtrack including Bassnectar, Seinabo Sey, Aluna George, Bro Safari, and Years and Years. But the soundtrack for We Are Your Friends is not just an addition to the film, it empowers it, and the drive and desire of its main character Cole Carter. Joseph is brilliant in his use of film’s soundtrack to highlight Cole’s mood and feelings, as well as his creative mind as he begins to work with his mentor James (Wes Bentley), as he works to create his ‘one track’ which he sees as his ticket to everything. Through the use of ambient sounds, and the talent of Pyramid, a compelling, fresh and breathtaking track is created.
4. A Complete Experience of Sound and Sight
Director Max Joseph proves to be a master of the underdog genre, with the film masterfully following the fortunes of four friends who want to escape the flat, empty spaces of the San Fernando Valley, and find success in the glitz and glamour that beckons them in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. This incredibly compelling story, which Joseph crafted alongside screenwriter Meaghan Oppenheimer, presents a real intimacy between the characters, making it easy to buy into their lives, and their greater dreams. The story is brought to life with breathtaking visual set locations, and is captured in vivid color and light by cinematographer Brett Pawlek, while editor Terel Gibson builds a compelling tempo of shots that is completely engrossing.
3. The Grace of Emily Ratajkowski
Every artist needs a muse, and Cole finds his in the beautiful, glamourous and independent Sophie played by Emily Ratajkowski. But Sophie is not just a pretty face, with Ratajkowski creating a woman who is a complete free spirit, and like Cole is stuck in a crossroads with her own life. Ratajkowski is a radiant screen presence providing a jolt of energy, and her dance moves are absolutely infectious.
2. Young Hustlers Club
An emotionally powerful film requires a strong and passionate cast, and Joseph struck gold with four young performers who completely give themselves to their characters. Zac Efron headlines the film as driven DJ Cole Carter, a young man who lives to spin records, and who spends every moment he can trying to craft one track that will be his ticket to success. Efron is incredibly open as Cole, not hiding any of his feelings or emotions, and completely becoming the character. The audience comes to see the film’s story through Cole’s eyes, and the magnetism of Efron’s screen presence pulls you in to the point that you truly feel his character’s sense of purpose. Efron’s three co-stars are equally impressive and committed to their performances with Jonny Weston as the hotheaded Mason, Shiloh Fernandez as wannabe actor/entrepreneurial drug dealer Ollie, and Alex Shaffer as the thought-provoking Squirrel. But We Are Your Friends is ultimately Cole’s movie, and Efron gives the performance of his career as a young man on the cusp of greatness.
1. The Millennial Experience
We Are Your Friends is without a doubt the flagship movie for the millennial generation. Touching on contemporary issues and events like the Great Recession, as well as lack of jobs and opportunity, the film is ultimately a triumphant story of four friends who are not going to let that stop them from doing something great with their lives.
We Are Your Friends is a cinematic symphony of what it means to be young, and to have a dream that is bigger than yourself.
Image source: Studio Canal.