Tommy (1975)

Date of first viewing: Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Location: Home
Format: DVD

TommyApril Fool's Day. Am I a fool to have enjoyed this movie? I've been reading many of the viewer critiques on IMDB, and it seems that most die-hard fans of The Who find the movie to be a big disappointment. Well, I like The Who when I hear their stuff on the radio, but I've never owned an album, and I mostly had a ball watching this outrageous psychedelic trip of a movie. The first few scenes are overly melodramatic, and the young boy Tommy leaves me cold. But once Roger Daltry takes over, the thing flies. The Church of Marilyn Monroe is fantastic. Tina Turner as the Acid Queen ignites the screen. Elton John's Pinball Wizard is campy fun, and Jack Nicholson as A. Quackson, Mental Health Specialist, is a scream. The visuals are insane: Ann-Margret as Tommy's mother rolling around in baked beans and chocolate, the Acid Queen's hypodermic-needle-robot-thing (what else to call it?) that encases Tommy, the weirdly touching story of Sally Simpson, I could go on and on. Something that differentiates this movie from a rock opera like Jesus Christ Superstar, which predates this movie by 2 years, is that the film plays like a string of independent rock videos. Each song is separate, distinct, and melodic. There aren't many "connecting" bits of "talk singing" between songs as there are in most operas, and being a member of the MTV generation, I appreciate that. No one can call me a snob!


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