After essentially inventing the rock opera format, The Who followed the cult favorite TOMMY and numerous aborted rock-opera projects with the album QUADROPHENIA. This film version, directed by Franc Roddam, illuminated the feelings of disillusionment a......more
After essentially inventing the rock opera format, The Who followed the cult favorite TOMMY and numerous aborted rock-opera projects with the album QUADROPHENIA. This film version, directed by Franc Roddam, illuminated the feelings of disillusionment and confusion evident in songs such as "Love Reign O'er Me," "Dr. Jimmy," "The Real Me," and "Bellboy."
The film follows the bitter battle between the Mods and the Rockers, two rival biker gangs. The story is seen through the eyes of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), an angry young man whose hatred of authority and mediocrity is matched only by his passion for rhythm and blues music. When the Mods and Rockers both arrive in Brighton on holiday a riot breaks out, landing Jimmy in prison with Ace (Sting in his acting debut), the idolized leader of the Mods. Jimmy returns to London where his parents kick him out and he loses his job. He then discovers Ace is working as a bootlicking bellboy, leaving Jimmy confused and enraged. He hijacks a scooter and rides to the cliff tops that act as a highly symbolic backdrop for the film's bleak conclusion.
This is one of the best films ever made. A great translation of the rock opera Quadrophenia by The Who. It doesn't go to the extremes like Ken Russell's Tommy. It is an excellent study of individuality and tribalism and the isolation within both. How does one remain a individual while being part of a tribe? Do we try to stand out by being part of a group? How much of our identity do we lose to the group? Excellent soundtrack with the music of The Who and 50's & 60's rock. Like the film Two Lane Blacktop, DVD's and VHS copies of this film commanded high prices on auction and other sites so I was glad to see that the film was given the Criterion Collection treatment.
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