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Quadrophenia Reviews

Page 2 of 14
Brett C.
July 1, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Quadrophenia is a story of a young lad named Jimmy. He belongs in a group called Mods, who are dressed in an urban classy style, uses a scooter for transport and adores the sounds of new era Rock. The Mods are rivals with a group similar to them called Rockers, who dress up similarly to the greasers in the 1950s; greasy hair, black leather jackets, loves the tunes of classic Rock n Roll and rides motorbikes. It is essentially giving us a picture of a boy's life in Britain during the two rival cultures was at their peak.

The first thing I noticed when watching this film was how similar the characters feel to Francis Ford Coppola's film The Outsiders. It takes the same two groups from the American film and places them on a different environment, or should I say it the other way around as this film was released earlier. The film may seem biased at first, only giving the audience glimpse of a Mod's life rather than both, but I don't think it actually matters, as have the character be in either one, it would still be the same story. Franc Roddam, the director, and the writers have essentially given us a story about youth. It shows us the commitment a young man or woman would go to in order to be accepted and be regarded as different from the rest of society. The irony the film delivers is that most of them are actually not that unique, everyone in their group listens to the same type of music and dresses the same way, and just because they present themselves like this, they think they are ahead and that everyone else is behind. I do understand the importance of being a unique individual but it is only truly positive when the intentions are genuine; they force themselves to follow these trends in order to be accepted. Why can't they ever be content with themselves and create a path of their own, rather than relying on others to define yourself. The sadder part about watching this film is how true to reality this film actually is, any youth who has grown up in the urban side of a first world country could relate to the themes and messages that this film is attempting to convey. I myself has succumbed to the pressures of youth and blindly followed the "trends" that were cherished during my days in high school as I personally felt those problems were important and if I don't succeed in meeting those needs then my life would feel unfulfilled; my life isn't following the exact same footsteps as Jimmy did in this film but it is definitely on the same footpath.

The film's plot was the main reason I couldn't entirely appreciate this film. It moves along places that didn't feel at all different from the other films that touch on the same issues. How many times have we seen young people in films be violent, do drugs, and find a partner to fornicate with?, if one's going to touch on those areas then ensure that what you are showing us is something that is different from the rest. The only event in the film that truly stood out for me was the confrontation in Brighton and the film's final moments, which was homage of a film that I don't want to say as it would possibly spoil it for whoever reads it.

I am not the biggest fan of The Who, but I do listen to a couple of their music (especially the album Who's Next), therefore I never reached to a point of high excitement when hearing their tracks come on. Even saying this, I was satisfied with their usage in the film, capturing that edge that parallels with the personalities of youth. The final few minutes of the film was wonderfully assembled, music-wise, having tracks play almost continuously until the end of the credits, giving us that dramatic quality that was definitely missing from the rest of the film.

The acting in this film was decent, though I didn't really expect much anyways as the cast didn't feature actors that I have seen in other films anyways. I did appreciate the raw quality in the actors in this film; it helped me understand the personalities and details of adolescence during that period. The film was mostly carried by Phil Daniels and I was content with what he has delivered; he didn't show anything brilliant or astounding to his performance but it was enough to hold my interest, which is essential in a film of this nature.

I was impressed with Quadrophenia, though not as much as I would have hoped. It delivers empathetic issues and a story that would most likely satisfy those who have not seen many films similar to this.
June 4, 2014
A brilliant rock opera film that focusses on the battle between mods and rockers in 1960s England. Franc Roddam has created a gritty and realistic British classic that follows themes of youth and rebellion alongside an amazing soundtrack from The Who. For its time, 'Quadrophenia' was a graphic and controversial films full of explicit sex, drug use, violence and extreme profanity, nonetheless these aspects contributed in making the film what it is today, a musically powerful and realistic classic.
Marcus W

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2010
A not bad tale of youthful disenchantment.
December 30, 2013
An engaging human story as well as a fascinating look at the Mods vs. Rockers subculture rivalry.
December 20, 2013
You'd think it'd be impossible to make a great movie based off a rock album, but you'd be wrong, especially if this film actually uses music from the rock opera that inspired it. The film itself is quintessentially British, right down to the plot, the characters, and the setting. The acting is impressive, and the drama is powerfully delivered through its unique characters, and the general mood and atmosphere of the film itself. Through the plot, the film also does a damn good job at capturing what it was like in the era of "mods and rockers", while also taking you through the life of an angst-ridden 60's teenager, and carrying its theme of disillusionment through to the end. The film-makers obviously have excellent taste in music, because the soundtrack is actually great, featuring music from The Who and other artists, and the song used in the ending - "Love Reign O'er Me" - works so well on so many levels. Overall, it's a great movie that you really need to see in order to appreciate.
December 8, 2013
Great soundtrack undermined by uninteresting characters and unoriginal storytelling. Great turns by Sting and Ray Winstone, though.
December 2, 2013
Stumbling upon this eponymous tie-in of THE WHO's 1973 rock opera album QUADROPHENIA comes as simple as a happenstance out of a grab bag, haven't heard of the album and being an outsider to this period of mods fashion, it is a primitive yet purest experience to appreciate a film on its own terms.

It is another REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955, 8/10) youth ill at ease, a telling zeitgeist encapsulation recounts a young mod's contradiction against the world in 1960s, his family, his job, his friends, his idol, and his love interest, all fail to gratify him. When the only thing he is left with is a revamped vespa, his destructive bravado indicates whether it is a resounding emblem of all perish together or a belated disillusion to bode farewell to his vapid and futile past? Fortunately the film chooses the latter (unlike the album's more radical stance), so it is a more generically pleasing alternative, but since our protagonist is not such a sympathetic character, a whiff of insouciance is irrevocable to eschew even in the culminating sequences alongside a magnificent precipice.

The mods vs. rockers commotions play a key role in venting the discontent among sociopaths, anarchists and boredom-driven young generation, which is universally pertinent to elsewhere in the world, we may blame youth for their narrow-minded prejudices, but the adult world depicted here is no more appealing neither. Phil Daniels and his pals (Wingett, Davis and Shail) exude excellent street cred of the fashion, although none of them galvanizes me into any further inspection, save Leslie Ash's promiscuous lass, she is the only one seems to be cool about what's happening around and understand the ephemeral phase of idiocy. Sting has a supporting role as mechanical as one can imagine despite of his gorgeousness, and a budding Ray Winstone in his seldom seen role as the injured party of a brawl.

The songs from the namesake album segues fluently throughout the film, nostalgia works much better in audio than visual this time I must say, it is a movie attracts its own cult followers and its socio-cultural astuteness may be worthy of a conscientious rediscovery if put inside a time capsule and wait to be exhumed a few more generations later.
October 30, 2013
British drama set amongst the cultural social conflict between the mods and the rockers which follows a young man's life of parties and working class frustrations. Quadrophenia is one of the most remarkable films about teenage angst. It offers no true relief, yet it is a fresh representation of the struggles of adolescence. The leading performance by Phil Daniels is memorable, and the film's appeal of course is heightened by the men most responsible for the film's creation, The Who and songwriter and legendary Who guitarist Pete Townshend who wrote the songs and created the storyline. After all, The Who are regarded as the ultimate mod band, and this band certainly reignited the mod fashion craze at the time. Still quite poignant and relevant today.
October 2, 2013
Pretty good but what's up with that Harold and Maude ripoff ending?
Sam D.
September 5, 2013
MUCH better than the Who's first film, Tommy, Quadrophenia tells its story without the need to advertise The Who.
August 31, 2013
brilliant a one in a life time film
August 23, 2013
This one had Sting which is pretty bad ass. It's about a bunch of 'Mods' which are pretty much like hipster/punks from the 70s. They get in a big fight which is pretty epic.
August 6, 2013
Interesting perspective of the popular teenage life during the media explosion of the early 60s in London. Were cool kids really down with the who? Did the suburban kids really ride motorcycles like that? Is it always crowded on that little island?
June 22, 2013
Criterion Collection Blu-Ray
Lloyd Harrison
March 23, 2013
Quadrophenia is a film I grew up with and have a lot of love for. The collaboration of great characters, performances, scripting and music is perfectly balanced. Phil Daniels steals the show as the leading character Jimmy Cooper. The audience sees through the eyes of Phil Daniels and his performance is nothing short of fantastic. The supporting cast is brilliant with great performances from Mark Wingett, Philip Davis, Garry Cooper, Ray Winstone, Leslie Ash and a very cool understated performance from Sting. The script is brilliant and the comic timing never gets old. The scooters at great and the rivalry between the mods and rockers makes for great viewing. The real star of this film however is the soundtrack. With great music from Marvin Gaye, James Brown and in particular The Who. Quadrophenia is British filmmaking at its most sentimental and nostalgic and I hope it stands the test of time for culturally curious generations to come.
Cameron W. Johnson
Cameron W. Johnson

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2013
|------------------------------------------------------------|--------------|!"Yeah, you can't lamely quote the lyrics to an instrumental, so I just lamely put down a little sample of the tabs from the titular song off of this film's source material album of the same somewhat awkward sounding name. Oh no, I'm very well aware that the title to this film and the album upon which it's based are refering to quadraphonic sound, but come on, now you can't deny that this title is an "L" in the place of the "N" away from helping you in seeing why Pete Townshend was faced with accusation that he had a thing for kids. Well, in all fairness, the child pornography that he looking through for the purpose of "research that would help him in better understanding the enemy in his fight against child pornography" didn't help, but hey, I still like him, and besides, my dad though Townshend was gay sooner than a pedophile, so I guess no one else really cares either. Hey, if you ask me, I think that Townshend really was doing research, as he does indeed know the struggle of children, as reflect in the album "Quadrophenia", as well as this adaptation, or at least that's what was said by critics who were too dirt-old by the '70s, alone, to understand what kids were talking about. Shoot, I'm not much more credible, because I can't even begin to get the kids I hate and am not a child of the '60s or '70s, no matter how much I think I am in my own little adorably insane way. Hey, I'm crazy like Jimmy Cooper, so I guess I'm close enough to relating to this rock opera's protagonist, at least more than I am to relating to Tommy from The Who's (Wait, wouldn't the proper way to say it be, "The Whose"?) other big rock opera, what my not being deaf, blind, dumb (I have some friends who would say otherwise), or even as good-looking or as good a vocalist as Roger Daltrey "was" (Sorry, man, but no matter how much you try, in recent years, that vocal rasp and stiff chin are really starting to stick out, and not just literally), which I suppose is fitting, because as much as I had fun with "Tommy", this here is the better Who film, though most certainly not to where my "love reigns o'er it" (Put down your hippity-hoppy junk, kids, and listen to some real music to get it), thanks to quite a few shortcomings.

A film like this could have easily dragged its feet something fierce, and lord knows that I feared that this product was going to, so of course I am reasonably relieved to report that the final product isn't as slow as I feared, which isn't to say that this film's managing to evade relatively considerable slow spells lasts for very long, as the film, while rarely, if ever all-out boring, often dries up in atmosphere just enough to spark a degree of disengagement behind meanderings that can admittedly even be found on paper, without dry directorial execution. At about two hours, this film is hardly sprawling, and boasts a broad story concept whose execution could prove to be quite comfortable with a two-hour runtime, but just ends up thinning certain things out, and making up for lost time with excess filler that rather blandly pads things out, until the film is left dragging its feet even when you disregard the cold spots in atmosphere. If nothing else, all of the padding within this film's story structure sparks repetition, which is not so considerable that the film falls flat as near-monotonous, but is pretty much hard to deny, for the final product's often dragging along in circles gives you more than enough time to meditate upon just how thin this story concept is, at least in certain areas. Sure, there is more than a hint of meat on this film's bones, and enough of it for the final product to almost accel as rewarding on the whole, but what really undercuts this film's full potential is its crafting from a promising broad story concept a final story structure that offers only so much in the way of genuine plotting, which, upon finally getting around to arriving, is perhaps too familiar for its own good. The film doesn't necessarily feel all-out generic, probably because there's only so much plot to the final product, while truly generic films of this type are every bit as rich with conventions as they are of events, but there is enough conventionalism behind this film's storytelling to spark predictability. Even if you haven't listened to and somehow managed to fully piece together the story of this film's really good source material rock opera album of the same name, you'd be hard pressed to ignore that this film is heading toward predictable waters (By the ways, this story's non-ending doesn't work as well as it did on the album), and doing so rather aimlessly, meandering along either slowly or with loose and repetitious storytelling, if not both, and after a while, as you can imagine, your investment thins out too much to grasp onto the final product as the rewarding opus that it could have been, and would have been if it was more focused. Still, even with all of its shortcomings, this film ultimately carries on as fairly enjoyable, with enough engagement value to almost reward, and decidedly to keep you going, or at least deliver on rewarding musical aspects.

Now, the late Keith Moon and John Entwistle may have been great and all (Why'd you have to do that cocaine, John? You were almost 58 years old!), but The Who wasn't an all out phenomenal band, and yet, I would still consider myself something of a fan, as they were still very good, with more than a few fine diddies under their belt, particularly when it came to the rock opera concept album upon which this film is based, which isn't necessarily great, but told a reasonably intriguing story entertainingly, and helps in doing just that in this film adaptation, whose soundtrack, - which is rich with both Who classics and other delightful '60s pop tunes - to a certain degree, livens up both entertainment value and substance. Needless to say, this film isn't quite as defined by its musicality as "Tommy", but substance is colored up by lively tunes, as well as by striking visuals, because as dated as then-future early Danny Boyle cinematographer Brian Tufano's photographic efforts are in this film, it's not hard to miss the handsome moments in lensing, of which, there are many. Tufano's plays with coloring and lighting may not be crisply well-defined, but they have their share of lovely moments to compliment clever camera plays, and to break up a consistent degree of grit that is, in fact, intentional and itself effective as a compliment to the effectiveness of this film's story, whose value, to be honest, doesn't exactly need to be backed up by a rather distince visual style to be seen. This film's subject matter, even with its unique touches, is all but nothing new at all, yet it is still rather worthy, carrying potential for thematic and dramatic weight that is hardly as fulfilled as it should have been within this executions' meandering storytelling, but made just palpable enough by the moments within Dave Humphries's, Franc Roddam's, Martin Stellman's and Pete Townshend's script, and Roddam's direction, that are genuinely effective. The moments in which the film particularly compels are limited, but they can be found by the patient, who will find the burden of waiting softened considerably a consistent degree of intrigue, which does anything from almost drag the final product out of underwhelmingness, to gracing a potentially unlikable protagonist with genuine compellingness that, in all fairness, wouldn't be what it is without the strength of the person who is directly behind our protagonist. Sure, there are plenty of decent performances throughout this film, but this is a young Phil Daniels' show, and he carries it, delivering on a kind of genuine charisma that sells you on the angst and ambition within the Jimmy Cooper, until, of course, reality come crashing down upon Cooper's head, and gives Daniels the opportunity to deliver on layers and emotional range that may not be as abundant as it probably would have been if Daniels had more material to work with, but really ice the cake when it comes to defining Townshend's symbolic character as a flawed young human. I wish I could say that the film delivers as much as Daniels, who, even then, isn't given enough material to be all that terribly outstanding, but what is done right in this film is hard to deny, powering a flawed and aimless opus just enough for it to sustain your attention more often than not.

Bottom line, a promising project is all too often undercut by the slow spells, repetitious padding and plot thinness that spark a kind of aimlessness in storytelling, and emphasize conventionalism within this subject matter, whose predictability helps in rendering the final product somewhat underwhelming, though not so much so that you're not still entertained by a strong soundtrack, aesthetically engaged by a generally striking visual style, and engaged enough by strong spells within leading man Phil Daniels' genuine performance, and within the execution of an often mishandled, but generally intriguing story concept that leaves "Quadrophenia" to stand as enjoyable and sometimes compelling "Who-pla", regardless of its many flaws.

2.75/5 - Decent
February 5, 2013
Franc Roddam's Quadrophenia (being based on The Who's album of the same name) is a coming of age tale akin to something like Saturday Night Fever. That may seem a little strange to say, but both films have a lot in common. They're both very musically-driven films, they're both about a young teenager and his friends and they're both about growing up. The thing about this one though is that it's a more generalized look at a timeframe on purpose, whereas Saturday Night Fever was a reflection of the era it was made in without really meaning to. Quadrophenia is essentially about the Mods VS Rockers era in Britain, but we follow young Jimmy from place to place as he struggles with growing up and having his thoughts and emotions torn in several different directions. The film ends in a sour way but with hope for Jimmy that he'll be ok in the long run. There's also an early appearance by Sting just prior to his success with The Police. This is a wonderful and hard-rocking film with a lot of substance to it, as well as a great coming of age tale.
January 23, 2013
Great film. Always remember the mods and rockers down at Brighton... For those who said it didn't happen...

1964: Mods and Rockers jailed after seaside riots
Scores of youths have been given prison sentences following a Whitsun weekend of violent clashes between gangs of Mods and Rockers at a number of resorts on the south coast of England.
January 15, 2013
Superb acting and quite enjoyable...and The Who's soundtrack is amazing. Not at all what I imagined when listening to the 1973 album, but a really well put together film experience
February 23, 2009
Recommened lately by both my parents and was surprised at how much i liked. Its pretty fast and kinda vague on some details, but its quintessential British film-making and i kinda have to appreciate it. Plus both soundtrack and Sting are awesome
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