Anyone from a small town knows that high school football is a kind of a big deal. In some places, it is the only deal. Peter Berg’s Friday Night Lights is a compelling look at what it means to grow up in a town with such an unhealthy obsession.
This is the story of a widespread problem that has seen many communities have set aside their moral fiber in the name of Friday night football glory. The game is turned into a religion and the players are gods way before they graduate high school. This is recipe for disaster in this vivid interpretation of taking a game way too seriously.
While the infamous speech given by actor Billy Bob Thornton preaches the themes of integrity and perfection, the path to the state championship is riddled with empty promises and lost dreams. When the star player is seriously injured during the first game of the season, all hope is lost, and the town is not shy about making sure they get their championship season, with or without their star player, which puts immense pressure on the Permian Panthers.
The weight of the town falls hard on these student-athletes who have to juggle growing up with the tradition of winning football games no matter what the stakes are. When the lights go out on this flick, you’ll have seen what it really takes to survive a place where the game is so big it eclipses everything else that matters into darkness.