Following a loose, minimalistic plot structured around some of The Who’s greatest hits (as well as other rock ‘n’ roll classics), Quadrophenia forgoes a traditional narrative in favor of capturing a mood, an attitude, a moment in time. Director Franc Roddam’s camera drifts freely through bars, drug stores, and rain-slick roads, immersing the viewer in the counterculture of the scooter-riding, pill-popping mods–in the good times, the bad times, and everything in between. But an escalating conflict with a rival gang (the leather-clad rockers) and a growing dissatisfaction with his workaday existence force young Jimmy–the wannabe nonconformist at the heart of the film–to reconsider his self-destructive lifestyle… and find the strength to transcend himself.
This music-fueled joyride is also notable for featuring a memorable appearance by Sting in the role of Ace Face, the coolest bellboy in all of Brighton.
[Originally written July 31, 2012.]