Top positive review
This ain't Grease!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 April 2022
Saturday Night Fever is an interesting film. I think it's reputation undermines the quality of the film. People remember the poster of John Travolta in his now cliché dance pose, the hit Bee Gees single Stayin' Alive and the fantastic soundtrack that it came from. But how many people who know these things have actually seen the film? How many are mature enough to even understand it?
When I was growing up, I always heard about this movie from the same people that loved the musical Grease. A classic in its own right. But the movie they spoke about and the one I eventually saw were quite a contrast. These folks saw a reasonably family friendly movie about dancing and disco music. What I saw was a movie about Tony Manero coming out of his shell, growing up, how shallow life can be and human insecurity. As it turns out, many people I know have never seen the full movie. But instead grew up watching a family friendly edit that was released to milk the success of Grease. Typical.
Saturday Night Fever is a fantastic movie. It was originally released in 1977 and is well known as one of John Travolta's early successes. He plays the character Tony Manero (Travolta), an insecure young man hiding behind his good looks and reputation with his friends. He works hard during the week to have enough money for fancy outfits and to spend weekends at his favourite dance club. After meeting Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney), Tony starts to question his life and if there is more for him out there. The film was directed by John Badham and produced by Robert Stigwood.
The movie is well made. It shows a great contrast between the gritty surreal world of Tony's daily life and the super bright energetic night life. Everyone remembers when they were eighteen years old and felt like they were invincible. Those were great times. But life quickly catches up to us all and that is what this movie is about. Saturday Night Fever captures that vibe wonderfully. It does a great job of slowly taking it away piece by piece as real life catches up to the lead character. The pacing is right on. It doesn't feel slow, not for me at least. I was quite invested in the characters. It's was also helped along by the previously mentioned soundtrack. The disco rhythms from the Bee Gees, Kool & The Gang, The Trammps etc really took it up a notch.
The quality of the bluray itself was quite good. I thought the image was quite sharp. You could see many details in the characters outfits, the make up was well done and the disco scenes looked superb and colourful. The surround mix was also really well done. The scenes that didn't have music were very atmospheric and the one that did, they were incredible. I would love to hear this soundtrack properly in surround.
I could waffle on about this movie for a while but I'll stop here. I strongly recommend this movie but I will say, this is NOT for the faint of heart. There's a lot of things in this movie that is now considered highly offensive and would be removed from every platform if the wrong people see it. It isn't a family friendly movie. It is very dark, has a lot of mature themes, strong language, politically incorrect jokes and more. This is an adult film for mature people. If you want to watch something like Grease, you better look else where because this is definitely not for you.