Quadrophenia (1979) is the first of two films in which Sting works with director Franc Roddam (The Bride also). Based on The Who’s 1973 album of the same name, and exuding the same youthful defiance as the band’s My Generation days, Quadrophenia is set in mid-60s England and chronicles the violent rivalry between the "Mods" and the "Rockers" (a pair of antagonistic gangs of young working-class Brits) as seen through the eyes of a disaffected Mod named Jimmy (Phil Daniels). Set against a backdrop of Who anthems, the film follows Jimmy’s struggle to find the status, identity, and glamour for which he yearns, and which he seems to find for a few fleeting moments at an adrenalizing Mod/Rocker weekend clash in the English resort town of Brighton.
Jimmy is especially seduced by a charismatic Mod leader known as Ace, played by Sting in his early-Police days. A largely non-speaking part, Ace is all attitude and posturing, his alluring presence drawn from the sneering faux-punk arrogance of the day. Although his screen time is limited, he nevertheless plays a pivotal role in Jimmy’s growing self-knowledge. In a climactic scene in which Jimmy learns that Ace’s sneer is merely veneer, he comes to the film’s helpless conclusion: that it is his working-class status, and not his working-class rivals, that truly impedes his empowerment.
World Northal (UK)
Directed by: Franc Roddam
Produced by: Roy Baird
Written by: Dave Humphries
Based on the album Quadrophenia by Peter Townshend (The Who)
|Jimmy's mother||Kate Williams|
|Jimmy's father||Michael Elphick|
|Production Design||Simon Holland|