Thursday, August 20, 2015


There must have been a few naysayers when it was first announced that the Who's rick opera Tommy was going to be made into a film. "How could anyone turn an album into a movie?" one might be asking, especially if it's an album as wild as Tommy. Simple: get someone who's more than capable of depicting such insanity.

And who better for the job than Ken Russell? After all, this is someone where "low-key" and "self-control" don't exist among his personal vocabulary. (Just watch any of his films, and you'll see how true that is.) Quite frankly, no one but Russell could have made Tommy into a film.

Speaking of which, there is a lot going on in Tommy that could make the viewer believe that the production of it couldn't have been anything less than a nightmare. Knowing some of the people behind the film, it's a miracle that production didn't go over-budget (or past schedule) or result in someone vowing never to work with a certain person ever again. (This is what happens with most infamous film productions.)

And though the main focus of Tommy is easily the soundtrack (come on, it's the Who), the set design is equally stunning. There's just so much going from both a visual and auditory standpoint. (Not to mention the many cues that just scream "this was made in the 1970s".)

Tommy is just one hell of an electric film. (Like we needed more proof that 1975 was a really good year for movies.) The soundtrack and set design pretty much prove that you need to see this on a big screen with a top notch sound system. (Fairly certain "Eyesight to the Blind" is the closest thing to an actual religious experience.)

My Rating: *****

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