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Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, Vicious attempts a solo career while in the grip of heroin addiction. One morning, Nancy is found stabbed to death and Sid is arrested for her murder.Written by
Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice. utas.edu. au>
You really need to ask yourself if you love the Pistols and the general era of the late 70's. If you do, the film will fall flat for you.
The details are all wrong, the key incidents of the band and Sid's involvement with them are way off. The personalities of key people are wrong, some characters just made up, rather sloppily too.
So we can forgive it for being a wholly inaccurate of Sid Vicious' life. Fine, but so then what we are left with is a basic love story. It fails at this too, mostly because Nancy is written out pure spite and misogyny. She is therefore not only unlikable but wholly uninteresting.
You never believe the love story, because quite frankly Nancy isn't really written as a human being, just a series of tropes about junkies and that awful idea that women are shrews that stifle men's creativity.
The truth is Nancy was much more physically beautiful than this film wishes to admit. She was also quite charming, in fact, if you know junkie culture, you know that charm, deadly psychotic charm is a key way to survive and support your habit. None of that is shown here, so that ability for junkies to convince others they are clean, or kind or honest is obliterated.
Nancy was smarter than this film gives credit for (yes even though she was a junkie), with more charisma too and if they had written her that way it would make for a better film.
The real Sid fell in love with a real human being, a flawed one to be sure, but the kind of junkie a lot of us could fall for. In this film she's just a very nasty series of dull, obvious tropes.
Just about everyone intimately involved with the Sex Pistols has disowned this film.
I think there are moments of visual poetry in this film, I think Gary Oldman's performance is excellent, but the script is a Hollywood hackneyed attempt to reduce the Sex Pistols to every stereotype and narrow prejudice those who were never punks have always harbored about the punk movement.
It's sad because there is some real craft to this film, it had tremendous potential, but ultimately you can just never believe Sid would fall for this less-than-human harpy. Sad because there's a real reason Nancy swept Sid off his feet.
The truth, in this case, is not only stranger than fiction, it was also far more compelling.
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