Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1hr 55m
Screening as part of this year’s ST ALBANS FILM FESTIVAL and celebrating its 40th anniversary.
The iconic film of The Who’s great album looks no calmer or more well-heeled on reaching forty, retaining its raw, savage energy and realism even as a hallowed cult icon.
Trapped in a dismal 60s London suburb, bored by his deadening office job and alienated by his parents, teenager Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels, also of EastEnders fame) finds escape in the drug-fuelled, music-blaring and explosively violent antics of the Mods, attracting both the attention of Steph (Leslie Ash) and the hostility of the rival Rockers.
Both tensions come to a head in Brighton on a weekend getaway, where Jimmy’s romantic ambitions collide with an all-out, take-no-prisoners gang war, spearheaded by the magnetic icon Ace Face (Sting). After this energetic climax, Jimmy’s hedonistic fantasies collapse and only a wasteland of grim disillusion remains.
Director Franc Roddam vividly and honestly evokes the bleak reality of 60s suburban Britain and the exhilarating lengths young men went to escape from it. Electrified by The Who’s evocative music, the film still stands on its own as a portrait of a young man’s chokingly hopeless situation, and the furious lengths he goes to transcend it.
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