SLC Punk!


When the topic of punk is touched upon, many imagine comedic and outlandish people with crazy hair and questionable piercings, running around screaming about how the government is faulty and that “punk rock” is the answer to all of the world’s problems. There is much more to this lifestyle, though, and it is often overlooked for its serious merit when it comes to finding one’s footing in adulthood. The film SLC Punk!, written and directed by James Merendino, is a wonderful demonstration of this idea.

This film primarily follows the young and troubled, blue-haired punk named Stevo, and his equally rebellious best friend, Bob, as they combat the extreme oppression in the conservative and religious Salt Lake City, Utah. The movie is narrated by the main character, Stevo, retrospectively, and he introduces viewers to a plethora of colorful characters throughout the film. Stevo navigates through many relationships, including those with his friends, family, and society, as he attempts to fight against the American system and spread his punk ideologies to those around him. In order to avoid any spoilers, deeper layers of the plot will be left unspoken.

Though the movie begins as a lighthearted and comedic look into the world of punk in the 1980s, it is soon revealed the true message of the film, as Stevo is shown the harsh reality of the real world of adulting. He, along with the viewers, begins to understand that his punk facade was a desperate attempt at holding on to every piece of his youth that he could grip before it slipped away, causing him to partake in the machine that is American society. It is a heartbreaking film, as we watch an individual lose their since of naive individuality, as they are exposed to world realities. Yet, it is a valuable lesson and experience to examine.