London, 1964. Two rival youth cults emerge - the mods and the rockers - with explosive consequences. For Jimmy (Phil Daniels) and his sharp-suited, pill-popping, scooter-riding mates, being a mod is a way of life, it's their generation. Together they head off to Brighton for an orgy of drugs, thrills and violent confrontation against the rockers. Will Jimmy emerge a hero or will he be disillusioned by his way of life?
Probably won't work if you don't like the album, but...
- Quadrophenia review by Steve Mason
Cinematic version of The Who's classic concept album plays like a return to the kitchen sink values of the early sixties (which is when the action is set). Quadrophenia elects for an unglamorous presentation of working class locations, distant from most of the usual chic of the decade; though the teenage mods do long for the elegant materialism that is hoarded elsewhere, and the status that will always be out of reach. The story, lifted from the impressionistic lyrics of the rock opera is mostly reportage; the amphetamines, the mod sound, the beach fights and the knee tremblers. But the film fuses with the soundtrack brilliantly, offering a profound empathy for adolescent yearning. This stems from Phil Daniel's authentic performance, and from Pete Townshend's songwriting, particularly the ethereal, spiritual ache of I'm One and Love Reign O'er Me. One of the great films about the brief tragic metamorphosis that happens between being a teenager, and being a wage slave.