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London, 1965: Like many other youths, Jimmy hates the philistine life, especially his parents and his job in a company's mailing division. Only when he's together with his friends, a 'Mod' clique, cruising London on his motor-scooter and hearing music such as that of 'The Who' and 'The High Numbers', does he feel free and accepted. However, it's a flight into an illusionary world. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
This is a fabulous movie that goes far beyond the usual one-dimensional teenager- struggles-with-society's-conformity tale. In it, the main character, Jimmy, has got a good job but which seems pointless to him. He's a member of a posse of "Mods," a mid-sixties image- group that included quasi-Beatles-style clothes and haircuts, the use of Vespa scooters, and of course sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
Jimmy hates the conformity as symbolized by his TV-watching, emotionally-detached parents and dreads the prospect of becoming an ice-cold working stiff. Bus as time passes he begins to squirm in the conformity imposed by being a Mod, a conformity so ruthless it costs him a friendship.
Everything that seems to be a key to happiness, whether it's romance with Steph, a beautiful member of his posse, or taking part in a kind of "Mod Woodstock," or adoring the "King of the Mods" (played perfectly by Sting), or even just trying to escape it all aboard his trusty Vespa, becomes a dead end of conformity.
Throughout the movie, his frustration is building, and he can't figure out why. In the end, he finally realizes the source of his anguish, and, without giving anything away, addresses the heart of the matter.
Excellent performances in this movie (though the accents will be downright impenetrable for some viewers), great directing, strong writing, and of course it marvelously portrays the Mod lifestyle. All the groups shown in the movie can be taken as symbols for just about any community you could think of.
Best of all, the soundtrack is superb. Unfortunately, you can't really get the sense of it just watching the movie, so pick up the CD if you like The Who; it's one of their very best.
Overall, a must-see.
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