Cult Classics: BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985)
I lost my “Back to the Future” virginity last night!!!
No longer will I face reactions of disbelief from admitting its a movie that in my 22 years of existence I have never seen. However I do wonder why it has taken me this long to view this classic piece of awesomeness.
Rob Zemeckis “Back to the Future” is a blend of genres from science fiction, adventure, comedy, and romance that can be enjoyed by all ages! It is evident why the film carries so much adoration and popularity as ultimately it tells the classic story of the underdog with the message “stand up for yourself and don’t let others walk all over you”, this is a very positive outlook especially for young people dealing with the traumas of high school and searching for an outlet. Protagonist Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) embodies these notions as well as representing a strong role model and the kind of friend everybody would love to have. There is a feeling of satisfaction present in the moments where Marty stands up to the school bully as well as the teenage version of his father George (Crispin Glover) following suit. . The science fiction aspects of the film are also interesting delving into and expanding the audiences imaginations; admittedly it would be so cool to go back in time, see how people lived and the cultural changes, although the impossibility of this scenario is in place in “Back to the Future” as Marty realises if he has changed anything about the past it could have severe consequences, such as him never existing! This fantasy element acts as an escapism for the viewer in a thought provoking but also in an entertaining manner. Critics interestingly depicted “Back to the Future” as a modernised “Its a Wonderful Life” (1946) which through emphasising on the film’s message the reasoning for this comparison is clear.
The inventor character of Doc Brown has to be the film’s most larger than life entity adding a sense of quirkiness to the piece, Christopher Lloyd’s performance stands out as arguably one of the most memorable in cult film history. He is funny, likeable, entertaining and a strong figure in hero Marty’s life, mentoring him in his choices through making him and the audience understand that everything needs to happen for a reason. Despite his humorous and outlandish presence he remains a wise and vital attribute to Marty’s journey.
The versatile soundtrack captures the time periods of the 1950’s and 1980’s wonderfully from Huey Lewis and the News hits such as “The Power of Love” and “Back in Time” to 50’s ballad “Earth Angel”. For viewers unfamiliar with those times the music is in place to emphasise the era’s while orchestrating the time periods the film is conveying. Musically the stand out scene has to be Marty’s rendition of “Johnny Be Good” at the school dance as its just so damn cool and entertaining, especially the moment where he stuns the crowd with his electrifying guitar solo.
“Back to the Future” is understandably popular and still holds impact in 2012 as a timeless classic due to its versatile mix of genre’s, likeable, entertaining characters, edge of the seat science fiction, awesome soundtrack and most of all its sense of nostalgia, even for those who are new fans! Ultimately its the underlying message that stands out with Marty’s journey as a metaphor: never be afraid to stand up for yourself but also handle the consequences of your actions. “Back to the Future” definitely holds the feel-good factor and no doubt will be watched by generations to come!
Hayley Alice Roberts