Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Teacher: Streaming on Netflix now

I Really Liked It
A Teacher was a surprisingly good movie – not sure I was really in the mood for it though.

            The story of a teacher having a sexual relationship with one of her high school students who she gradually becomes more and more obsessed with made me think it was gonna be like a high school boy’s fantasy. What I got was a movie following the teacher – a rather sad and pathetic person who can only find any sort of connection with one of her students – and it was more disturbing than what I had expected for two reasons. One, obviously, was because I was expecting a lot of sex scenes and nudity (there wasn’t), and two, because it was a well done and serious bit of drama with even a bit of psychological dysfunction thrown in.

            There isn’t any way to understand someone like a teacher who would sleep with their student, nor is there any way to understand someone who says: “If the student’s of legal age, what’s the problem?” Even without understanding the law, it’s a matter of the fact that the teacher is in a position of power that distorts the whole relationship in a way that makes the student’s age completely invalid. It becomes entirely about the teacher and the fact that the relationship was started with the teacher in a position of power over the student. I think it’s safe to say that for the majority of people and relationships in the world, it’s not good for one to start off with the two involved on uneven levels of power

            It’s an area that I know pretty much nothing about but can totally see and understand why the law is there.

            A teacher is there to teach their students the difference between right and wrong, be it through science, history or math or whatever. When the teacher has an intimate relationship with a student who doesn’t entirely know and understand the world, relationships, or even the changes going on with their own body, that teacher is now showing them that ignoring everything they had been taught for years about right and wrong was okay. Ignore those boys and girls your own age, who you have many things in common with and who you friends are interested in and talk about, ignore all of that and go with the feelings you have for your teacher that may be feelings of liking them and trusting them and take those feelings and turn them into a sexual relationship, I mean of course if you like and trust someone it means you get naked with them and swap bodily fluids!   

            If the teacher loves a student and the student loves the teacher, can’t the teacher just quit their job and then keep seeing the student, who is of legal age? I have no idea, but it seems like that’s okay. I don’t condone it but if the teacher were to do that they’d apparently have to deal with just the parents and not the cops, right? So the teacher quits and goes to work for Quick Trip or some shit and then they can date, but is it still as interesting for them both were that to happen? Is a male student gonna brag about sleeping with the older woman who checks your groceries at the grocery store (okay, yeah, probably, but all men are pigs – especially teenage boys, so that don’t really count)? Is the girl student gonna brag about sleeping with the guy who works in an office all day? Or drives a delivery truck (who knows, all women are psychotic)?

            Beats the shit out of me, but if you want to be with someone, and it’s against the law!? Then it’s wrong, pretty clean cut to me. Relationships can be tough as shit, and the last thing you wanna worry about is getting arrested while also worrying about why the person you’re supposedly in love with is in a bad mood.

            To be clear, I don’t think an older guy or gal should sleep with a kid still in school, I don’t care the details, or the ages. The kid, no matter how much more mature they seem, is not ready for stuff like that. It might make for a good fantasy, where there are no ramifications, but the reality is much more brutal, and that’s where this movie gets things right. The student at first is very happy to be sleeping with the teacher, while the teacher is aware that what they are doing is wrong and works to keep from being caught. Towards the end, though, as the teacher throws caution into the wind and begins to act as though she does not care who knows, the student changes and becomes the one who is wary of it all. The movie shows the progression in a way that seems believable.

            The student is fine with sleeping with the teacher, and even when they come close to being caught and the teacher gets upset that the student isn’t taking things serious I nearly said aloud: “Of course he’s not! He’s not gonna lose his job!” Then, by the end, when the teacher becomes obsessed the student is freaked out – and sure, even a full grown guy would be, but can you imagine what it would be like being a kid and having an adult woman stalking you, not listening to you when you ask her to leave, ignoring you when you tell her you don’t want to see her anymore? And without realizing it, I was watching this movie from the student’s point of view even though it’s presented entirely from the teacher’s.

            I liked how the movie never shows us how the two got together, nor does it show or hint at anything that may have happened to make the teacher become interested in one of her students – I mean, who’s to say that any one defining moment in her life made her like that? Probably for some there was something, but for others – like anything else in the world – there wasn’t anything, it’s just the way she was.

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