Thursday, May 28, 2015

Back to the Future (1985)


Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers:  Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale
Cast:       Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Le Thompson


A young man is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-travelling DoLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.

This is one of those films that almost everyone have seen and I hadn't yet. I have caught bits of it on TV but never watched it in its entirety. Raging Bull is also another one of these. It came one year after the release of 'The Terminator', which is really the first mainstream hit with time travel as its major theme. It was also used in 'Planet of the Apes' but Time Travel aspect of the film was more of a twist rather than it being the major theme of the film. So in the 80s, you had two successive time-travel hits in two different genres-action and comedy. Both are indeed considered as all time classics even though the first Terminator is rated inferior to its sequel by many, which I don't agree with.  

As for Back to the Future, it is a very good watch but I really didn't think it was all that great. That is not because it not aging gracefully, it has, but because the whole Steven Spielberg vibe of the film is something that don't sit well with me. The film was produced by him with Zemeckis as the director and the whole redneck 'American Dream conformity' family thing is just an irritation for me. That is only a minor point and it is a film that is part of many people's childhood memories and I can totally understand why many just love it. By the by, I am also not a big fan of Indiana Jones franchise and I do think these are  films that you will appreciate to the full extent only if you were part of that time period. 

The film has McFly travelling back in time and accidentally preventing the first meeting of his parents. To his horror, his mother has a crush on him, and his whole existence depend on making sure that his parents end up together. One could actually make a really dark film having similar story line but with the crush going the other way, creating a Freudian Oedipus complex nightmare. There is a film idea for you and the guys who did 'Predestination' might be interested I guess. 

I am not a big fan of Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Cast Away) but I did enjoy 'Flight', which was a proper R-Rated film with adult subject matter. Most of his early films are for children and that is precisely the demography that will love it. There are really small nuggets of historical anachronism in the films like skateboarding in 1955, Ronald Reagan as a political figure etc but none of them have the same impact as Hula Hoops in 'Hudsucker Proxy'. There are three films in the franchise with Zemeckis directing all of them. First one was the highest grossing film in 1985 and other two, which were back to back productions, didn't quite achieve the same level of success. 

Rating: 3.5/5