John Travolta gives a sensual and intelligent performance as the troubled Tony Manero Brooklyn paint store clerk by day and undisputed king of the dance floor by night. Every Saturday, Tony puts on his wide collared shirt, flared trousers and platform shoes and heads out to the only place where he's seen as a god rather than some young punk. But in the darkness, away from from the strobe lights and glitter ball, is a tragic story of disillusionment, violence and heartbreak. Without a doubt, Travolta's performance made him a Hollywood legend, but Saturday Night Fever is more than just a movie that defined the music and fashion of a generation. It's a powerful and provocative urban tragedy that carries as much significance today as it did in 1977.
Saturday Night Fever is also a snapshot of a period in recent American history. The movie took place in 1977. The country was a mess after the Vitenam war ended and before Reagan stormed Washington and once again instilled a sense of pride in Americans. There was no longer a war to protest, but the average American didn't have much faith in our country. I think Saturday Night Fever does an excellent job of capturing what was probably a common attitude among young adults during the late 70's. Live for the moment because the future is pretty bleak. John Travolta dedicates himself to his dancing and character, fitting the role with a graceful ease. The film goes into depth at studying characters too, it shows how desperate everyone is to fit in and be able to make an impressive image. The fantastic shots on character's feet show the "strut" in their walk, representing their desire to maintain their reputation of being "cool". All the characters want to be something, while a lot of them will never add up to anything due to their working-class backgrounds. There are a fair amount of American social-comments scattered throughout the film and retaining a surprising amount of intelligent value.
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