A midnight movie staple at one time that melded teen angst with mod culture in adapting the Who's seminal album 'Quadrophenia'. Phil Daniels was perfectly cast as Jimmy; a young a-hole that we could all identify with to a certain degree. A little light story wise but the film does have its charms and memorable scenes especially the riot in Brighton. '..we are the mods, we are the mods, we are the mods...'
A perfect film this is not, but one can enjoy based simply on if they enjoy two hours of The Who. There is of course more to Quadrophenia than that, but the soundtrack is the clear highlight. The film reels with frenetic energy but feels uneven at times, as if it doesn't even really know where to go next. Regardless, there is still plenty of enjoyment to be had.
Music at that age is as serious as a heart attack. The decision between the mods and rockers would have been hard. We had the decision between rock n' roll and disco. That wasn't hard. When disco died in High School, there was a celebration. When it was reborn, just in time for College it was the end of the world. It was your parents's music. Now, I don't mind the disco from that era.
I was hoping it would live up to my memory, but this film does not quite age as well as hoped. The teen angst and questions about life and love are still clear, but as a film it does not seem to resonate quite as well as 30 years ago. The crude cuts and low production values do not help much. But you do get to see Sting in a bellhop costume.
Often dubbed as the British "Mean Streets", yet it's less Scorsese and more Hal Ashby (the Harold & Maude parallels are impossible to ignore). Quadrophenia gives us moments of brilliance and others fail to even entertain. Uneven is the key word, but the film is powered by a phenomenal soundtrack (not only by The Who) that compensates some lack of depth. Oh, and Sting...