Tuesday 24 September 2013

Review: Saturday Night Fever

World of Blackout Film Review

Saturday Night Fever Poster

Saturday Night Fever
Cert: 18 / 109 mins / Dir. John Badham

WARNING: This review contains sweary words.
You have been warned.

Well, I'll be honest, I expected more. Oh, I knew SNF wasn't going to be a shiny-toothed dance-fest, and that we were going to see some Gritty Noo Yoik™ in between the scenes of flashing lights and stomping feet, but what I didn't expect was just under two hours of stilted, mumbled, inconsequential dialogue, delivered appallingly by actors playing characters that I couldn't bring myself to like in any way, shape or form.

Worse than all this, it's boring. Fucking. Boring.

Travolta and Gorney have got the moves alright, but their characters are so deeply flawed that their dancefloor scenes have all the atmosphere of a meeting with an estate agent. The longer the film goes on, the less joy there is in Tony's dancing, as the realisation sets in that not only has he surrounded himself with arseholes, but he fits into this equation perfectly himself. The only character of any interest is Tony's brother, Frank Jr, who's left the priesthood to the disappointment of his religious Italian family. He arrives, tells Tony he's great at dancing, then fucks off in a cardigan. Then nothing happens for a bit. Then there's a rigged dancing competition, an attempted rape, an actual rape, an accidental suicide, and Tony having a bit of a cry into a freezeframe while the credits do their best to sell you the soundtrack.

I don't even think that the problem lies in the film ageing badly; I can imagine it being just as exploitative and emotionally bankrupt in 1977, too. Because it's difficult for me to hold any sympathy for a character who tells a woman she's a cunt while she's crying after he's watched her being raped by his friend.

By the time something finally does happen to the characters, you really wish it hadn't (although not out of any sympathy for them). It's not that the Saturday Night Fever is uncomfortably stark in forcing the audience to confront issues, just that it's tedious and inherently unlikeable.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
Well, the trailer's as dull as the film, so…

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
For me, no.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
Don't bother. Really.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Yes. I will.

Will I watch it again?
Will I bollocks.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
How do you make the Bee Gees boring? Seriously? What the actual fuck?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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