Quadrophenia: Movie vs Rock Opera

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.


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