I felt that the movie did a great job portraying Jimmy’s identify crisis. At the source of his angst is his constant questioning of who he is. The song “The Real Me” shows his struggle to see how others view him. Throughout the entire movie there was a constant feeling of uneasiness in Jimmy. He clearly is passionate about being a Mod, but discovers he is overly dedicated to the group. He never feels completely accepted at home or with his friends, even his parents question who he is. The scene when his Mom kicks him out of the house shows the unsettlement in his house: “Can you see the real me, Mama? Mama? Can you see the real me, Mama? Whoa, Mama” (The Real Me). Once he is on the street he just roams as though he is seeking his identity. The background music to the last scene is “I’ve Had Enough”:
“I’ve had enough of dancehalls,
I’ve had enough of pills,
I’ve had enough of street fights,
I’ve seen my share of kills,
I’m finished with the fashions,
And acting like I’m tough,
I’m bored with hate and passion,
I’ve had enough of crime and love.”
As this song plays he runs a motorbike off a cliff and it is left to the audience to guess if he jumped too. Questioning who he is has become too much and this is how he handles the stress. I have come to the conclusion that he jumps off the bike before it flies over the cliff. Although Jimmy struggles with mental illness and many other things, I believe he is just blowing off steam in this scene. I don’t think he was devoted to jumping off the cliff.
The movie Quadrophenia and the Rock Opera have several differences that strengthen the meaning behind what the who attempted to do when they wrote the music and lyrics to Quadrophenia. One vast difference was the character that Jimmy is quite close to who happens to be a rocker. In the early interactions between the two of them, it is clear that Jimmy is very comfortable around his rocker friend, but when other mods are around he acts as though he doesn’t recognize his friend. It illustrated that Jimmy has difficulty accepting the mod movement when the movement does not align with his lifestyle before he embraced the mod movement. In other words, he only fully takes on and embraces the mod movement with things that came about after he accepted the movement, like his job.
The ending to the movie was a fantastic representation of how Jimmy is conflicted internally as to how serious he should take the mod movement. All of his friends, and even his biggest mod idol ace face, appear to be sell outs to Jimmy as they cannot embrace the mod movement with every piece of their lives. He cannot understand how they are content with only being a mod when it is time to go to parties. The ending is also very ambiguous to whether or not Jimmy drives off the cliff with the bike, giving his whole self to the mod lifestyle, or if he bails at the last second and saves himself from the mod lifestyle. Over all, the movie was more enjoyable to me than the Rock Opera, but it was important to see the two different mediums, and how the who’s message about youth could be portrayed in two different, yet related, ways.
To me, the film differed widely from the rock-opera because the movie seemed to focus more on Jimmy’s love life and less on his internal struggle. The movie made his actions seem to be dependent on whether or not he was with Steph. It ignored for the most part his schizophrenia, making a casual reference to it, instead of it being the focus of the story. The movie seemed to make Jimmy’s desire to be a Mod a result of trying to impress Steph. Also, the movie introduced a Rocker friend which was absent in the album. This further proceeded to make his internal conflict less about his schizophrenia and more about social acceptance.
First of all I do not think that the movie and the book portray the same story. In the movie i feel Jimmie has more of an actual connection to his love interest, Steph, than he does in the album. Also the album seems to have more songs in it to send an overall message along with the story of Jimmie. So to compare the two completely i don’t think does either one justice, because i think they do a better job at highlighting certain topics better than the other. For instance, just from the media perspective when you listen to a song you can hear what Jimmie is thinking, what he is experiencing, and through the music possibly feel real empathy. However through seeing what Jimmie is able to see and witnessing the mod movement the movie does a better job of exposing the external impact to Jimmies life. If i had to chose a favorite i would definitely say the album, but in my mind the book is almost always better than the movie and it just allows more insight to Jimmie’s struggle.
I enjoyed the story line that the movie created for Quadrophenia. It wasn’t exactly what I imagined the plot line to be when listening to the music, but it worked. Personally, I think the album did a better job of portraying the mental aspects of Jimmy, the movie didn’t portray his mental issues until the very end. The creation of a love interest added a lot to the story, I think. She contributed to a lot of the mental change in Jimmy near the end. The movie did a great job showing the mods vs rockers fight. I LOVED the fight scene on the beach! It was easy to tell the clear differences between the two groups. The only confusion I had was that in the music, it seems that Jimmy dallies with being a rocker for brief periods of time but in the movie that never really happened.
He also was much more social in the movie than I imagined him to be from listening to the music. In the music, Jimmy is often singing about being different and disillusioned with the mod crowd, yet in the movie he continues to be actively a mod for a long time. I didn’t get the outcast vibe from Jimmy in the movie at all, though they did a great job portraying the rebelliousness and youthfulness of both Jimmy and the mods. I thought the Sting character (was his name Ice?) wasn’t a big enough character in the movie. “The Punk Meets the Godfather” wasn’t in the movie and I think that was a huge loss. I don’t think there was enough character development for Sting’s character; if I hadn’t been listening to the music, I wouldn’t have understood his significance in the movie at all.
Overall, I think it was a great representation of Quadrophenia even if it did fall short in a few aspects. I enjoyed watching it and I feel like I understand more about the music after having seen the movie.
I agree with Whitney that I didn’t really see much of Jimmy’s mental issues. When we did see those, it was when other people remarked on them. If I didn’t know that he was schizophrenic from listening to the album and reading the lyrics, it would have been very hard to know that he actually was and it was’t just speculated by only watching the film. I thought this was especially evident in the part when Steph says he’s crazy for fighting his best friend, which I thought was a pretty normal reaction for a guy finding out his best friend got with the girl he liked forever and was finally doing something about. I understand that it is really hard to display a mental illness in a movie because it’s internalized, but the album did that so effectively that I expected it from the movie as well; however, it did not deliver in that department.
I don’t really know what I was expecting when I first sat down to watch the film. I thought that it was good and it was nice to have some visuals to supplement the story, but I don’t really know that it gave me much more clarity on anything.
One scene that I really noticed was when Spider gets beaten up and how eager Jimmy is to beat the shit out of any rockers he can get his hands on. He has this hyper masculine reaction until he realizes that he was beating up on his friend that really didn’t deserve it, so he drives away. This scene reminds me a lot of the song Dr. Jimmy. In the song, there’s a needlessly violent attitude, and then he runs home, just like he runs away during the fight when he see’s how fucked up he has become.
I really wish that the movie had portrayed Jimmy’s mental illness a lot better than they did. I expected the character of Jimmy in the movie to have that same frantic energy I felt from Jimmy in the songs. He was way too normal for me and I think they missed out on an opportunity to show how hard he internally struggled to find his identity.
I realize this is a movie and it would have been difficult to include all of the album in its entirety, but I consider myself to be a bit of a purist and it bothered me that the songs were rearranged and that some of them weren’t included in the film at all.