Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tommy Revisited

Recently saw the Tommy movie this evening, and I am reminded why I didn't like it:

  • Ken Russell represents everything that is bad about the 70s.
  • Tommy worked better in the abstract: the scenes where Tommy is tortured, drugged, and molested are horrifying.
  • The album was set post WW1, which gave it some distance from contemporary society, but still attached it to an era of disruptive change.
  • Ann Margaret, the mother, is about Roger Daltry's age: the beach scene is creepy.
  • Speaking of Ann Margaret, the Who performed Tommy at Woodstock with Hendrix and Janis, and Ann Margaret performed with Elvis in Viva Las Vegas: there's an insurmountable culture gap that leaves the movie looking for an audience.
  • One improvement over the album was having the mother's boyfriend kill the father.


Steve said...

That's the problem with Russel. He doesn't mind if he offends you or thrills you as long as his films get a reaction.
I Have to agree with you that Tommy missed the mark. Looking back the film wasn't about Tommy, but how Russel didn't like the lower class. I felt they had cheapen the country up.
To give Russel his due, I did like the his movie The Devils and enjoyed The Lair of the White Worm.

Steve said...

Oops: Second para last sentence should be: He felt...