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A pre-fame Beatles head for the seedy clubs of Hamburg in search of success. The band meet up with a group of trendy German beatniks, one of whom (Astrid Kircherr) bass guitarist Stuart Sutcliffe falls in love with. Whilst best friend John Lennon can only watch, Sutcliffe has to choose between rock 'n roll and a new life in Germany... Written by
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This is an excellent depiction of the Beatles ' Hamburg days .But the movie real heroes are actually Sutcliffe,Lennon and Astrid.The movie was made some years after Goldman's infamous book and there are hints at an homosexual relation between John and Stu ("you're jealous of me!"Astrid would have said to John!) but the director does not insist and he finally depicts a true friendship.He pits Stu's down-to-earth world against Astrid's chic elitist intellectual one : they go to the pictures to see Melville's "Les enfants terribles" (actually a Cocteau story),and she seems to be very fond of the French culture:Cocteau,Sartre ,Edith Piaf ,Rimbaud,;and she was ahead of her time since fifteen years later,rock singer Patti Smith had the same idols.The scenarists also sketch a parallel between the Klaus Voorman/Astrid relationship and "les enfants terribles" Ian Hart is an excellent John Lennon,in turn cynical,violent,delicate,nasty,hateful;Gary Bakewell resembles Paul,but he is not given a single moment to shine ;as for Georges ,he is completely insignificant.The music is very exciting .Even when Stu (Dorff) sings his ditty in a gleeful croak ,it's rock and roll ! At the end of the movie,the dialog begins to ring false.Everybody acts as if the Beatles were to become huge ;at the time ,who could have predicted such a career?It's a rebuilding of history a posteriori.And if the final lines about Astrid,Stu and Klaus are useful,those about the Beatles are overkill:everybody knows that they were the biggest group of all time.
A must for Beatles' fans anyway.
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