Show Synopsis

Tommy (Roger Daltrey) is a "deaf, dumb and blind kid" who retreats into himself after the death of his father. His mother, Nora (Ann-Margret), and stepfather Frank (Oliver Reed) take him to see a specialist (Jack Nicholson) but Tommy is apparently a hopeless case. That is, until Tommy discovers that "he sure plays a mean pinball." Tommy gains fame when he defeats the Pinball Wizard (Elton John) for the world championship. As a result, Tommy becomes such a celebrity that he even founds his own religious cult. But his fans ...


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Mar 2, 2010

Tommy - Can I See You?

TITLE: Tommy by The Who
GENRE: Opera
CAST: Ann Margret, Oliver Reed, Roger Daltry (and the rest of The WHO), Eric Clapton, Elton John, Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson(special mention: Produced and Directed by Ken Russell of 'Altered States' fame and that visage is evident in this film)
PLOT: As operas go, there only needs to be a background to connect the musical images presented. Plots generally are weak in opera. But NOT HERE. Lovers, WWII, child born fatherless emphasizing the cruelties of war and how they extend beyond the combatants. In fact, This whole effort is anti-war. The son sees a family dispute that ends in murder and it sends him into psycologically induced sensory deprivation. Though all his senses function, he will not acknowledge them. All manner of treatments (Miraculous and medical leading edge) are tried to recover the individual to no avail. He stumbles onto his ability to play pinball better than anyone else and becomes so famous as a result, a religion grows out of it (This follows the anti-war theme as it also is a tad anti-organized religion) Tommy's mother finally loses it and accidentally throws him from a window. He lands in a pool and the shock of drowning (no one teaches the deaf, dumb and blind to swim) re-awakens his senses. He IS FREE and begins to run (Forrest gump copied this part I think) As all plots go (to an ending) so does this one. In the weakest part of this effort, it just stops. No more story, no more music, just end, down curtain. So, the beauty is in the rest of the whole, with each piece having its own ability to stand alone (Examples of this: Elton John doing 'Pinball Wizard'; Tna Turner doing "Acid Queen'; Daltry doing "I Am Free") And in that standing alone ability, marks it as great opera.
RETURNON INVESTMENT: 9.5 of 10 (Opera, smopera, I want an ending); This should be considered one of the best in everyone's stable, but it doesn't! Why? My take: those who don't like opera reject it; those who like opera reject it because it is from electric guitar age; those who want The Who are disappointed because Margret and Reed are in more prominent roles, so they don't like it; those who don't like technological experimentation (which Russell always employs) don't like it; Before you know it, everyone has something against it(me=ending); So, instead of everyone agreeing on the 95% they like, we've collectively decided to concentrate on our 5% dislikes and not place this production where it belongs, among the greatest stories ever told! Character check, costumes check, sets check, art vision check, suspense check (everyone hangs on whether he sees again or not), music CHECK, There are at least four scenes where the extras number in the hundreds and it all flows smoothly.
DVD BONUS: It has an optional choice of listening to it in Quintiphonic
sound which is just before quadriphonic sound which is just before surround sound on the sound recording history charts. In Fact, I went to sleep last night letting the movie run just so I could drift off hearing "I Am Free".
Added note: Ann Margret was nominated for best Actress at the 48th Oscars but lost to Louise Fletcher for her role in "One Flew.... Nest" She did however garner the Golden Globe for Best Actress that year.

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