If…

- Advertisement -


Growing up my favorite time of the week was Sunday nights, which was Disney night. At the ripe old age of 22, though, I ditched Mickey and his crummy club, looking for something more ‘mature’. That is when I discovered A Clockwork Orange, a masterpiece in surrealism and ultra-violent sexual deviancy. I instantly became a huge fan of Malcolm McDowell’s devilish grin and acting prowess so I sought out his other films. Unsurprisingly, in “if…” he plays the same confrontational little bastard that would foreshadow his status as one of Britain‘s most coveted actors.

Upon its release, if… was slapped with an X certificate by the British Board of Film Censors, which did not do wonders for its success. The rating is no surprise though, since the movie deals with the radical uprising of youths in a public school. The controversial nature of the movie, which promotes revolt against autocracy, was inspired by similar events taking place in Paris. In 1968, French students and workers orchestrated a massive strike which led to a citywide clash against police. It had an enormous impact on society and created a liberal morality that had not yet been achieved in Britain.

In if… McDowell plays Mick Travis, an abrasive yet poetic idealist who is fed up with the stifling conformism of his boarding school (in Britain, a public school is actually a private school because it is owned by “the public” and not the government. Go figure). Through a series of vignettes Mick and his crusaders (Wally and Johnny) exemplify youth rebellion of the era by doing their best Guy Fawkes impersonations and plot to destroy the stagnant and out-dated belief system of their school. Mick says it best when dreaming of his future accomplishment: “There is no such thing as a wrong war. Violence and revolution are the only pure acts. War is the last possible creative act.”

The movie really emphasizes several key themes; the importance of the individual over the institution, the right to freedom and the uprising against tradition in a country that is currently undergoing massive social reform. if… encapsulates the British class system and its ignorance of the revolution that is taking place outside its doors. Director Lindsay Anderson was so fond of McDowell’s performance in this role that he used him two more times in the so-called “Mick Travis trilogy” comprised of if…, O Lucky Man! and Britannia Hospital. Anderson had also been inspired by the French classic Zéro de conduite by Jean Vigo, a surrealist depiction of a similar youth uprising. His filming technique throughout the production was a much improvised one and he was able to blend fantasy and fact in a unique way, most notably by using several black and white scenes interspersed with the colored ones towards the end of the movie. The shift in color and tint really grabs your attention and serves to prevent the visual style from being too repetitive. It becomes extremely relevant at the climactic end, when the grainy film shows Mick and his gang taking matters into their own hands and going berserk on the school’s administration, its bullying prefects and even the students’ parents. Quentin Tarantino would have been proud!

if… you are looking for a clear and definitive moral to emerge from this movie, try looking at the bigger picture itself. The important question lies in the role of activism; should its advocates be labeled as freedom fighters or terrorists? Does the ultimate blame lie on society or on the government? “One man can change the world with a bullet in the right place…” Mick’s controversial mantra remains relevant to this day and so does if…, an absolutely fantastic tribute to the rebellious sixties, the unfairness of oppression and the power of activism.

Myles Dolphin





10 Different Types of Financial Aid
Top 10 Richest American Idols
V-Moda Crossfade Wireless
The 5 Most Expensive Wireless Headphones: Ultimate Auditory Clarity
Business man watching business go bankrupt
25 Iconic Companies that Filed for Bankruptcy
Ice Cube at Straight Outta L.A. at Tribeca Film Festival in 2010
10 Best Ice Cube Movies When You Want to Watch Ice Cube
Luke Evans at the Los Angeles premiere of Beauty And The Beast held at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
10 Best Luke Evans Movies (He did that?)
Football movie being filmed
The 25 Greatest Football Movies of All Time
12 Different Types of Cellos
12 Different Types of Pecans
28 Different Types of Pineapple
20 Different Types of Limes
Table with a variety of nuts in bowls
20 Most Popular Types of Nuts (with Nutrition Fact Charts)
10 Different Types of Tow Trucks
Electric mountain bike on the trails
18 Things to Know Before Buying an Electric Bike
Side and rear view of black 2017 Audi A7
23 Things to Know Before Buying an Audi A7
Motorhome on highway going through Bryce Canyon in the USA
13 Types of RV’s (Recreational Vehicles) for All Kinds of Vacation Fun
13 Different Types of Dumbbells
15 Awesome Alternatives to Skateboards (Plus Interesting Facts)
Baseball player hitting ball
10 Types of Baseball Bats that Rip the Leather Off the Ball
16 Types of Barbells for All Types of Lifts and Workouts
9 Different Types of Website Hosting
5 Different Types of Pulleys (Plus Examples in Daily Life)
Apple Wallet icon on iPhone
15 Things to Know Before Setting Up Apple Pay
Inside a beautiful spa business
6 Capabilities the Best Spa Scheduling and Business Software Should Have
Natural herbal vitamins.
10 of the Best Online Vitamin Stores
>