I mentioned the way in which music works within this film, while it almost entirely exists within a space of the non-diegetic, there is one instance where Jimmy and a rival youth are enjoying a bath at a local bathhouse. The two in separate rooms begin singing respective rock ballads of the time, constantly raising their voice and rhthym to overpower the other, despite the contestation of the other persons at the establishment. While the singing starts off as a childish game of singing, it eventually takes on a violent degree as the two climb over the dividers and begin a fist fight. It is the confrontational element that speaks to what is occurring within Quadrophenia and its use of music. Either by juxtaposition or pure adrenaline, the music in the film serves as a means to extend the idea of youth as frustrated and confused, manifested most evidently by The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" which is used in three sections of the film, all with different outcomes contingent on the point in Jimmy's evolution of the character. In the first shots of the film, a line of it is used in a sort of medley with the other songs of the film, establishing the figure in relation to the youth. The second sequence the song is used in a more ironic context, as Jimmy and his pals are cruising about London, attaching a sort of unknowing quest for the homosocial bond, while also accepting that such pursuing of desire meets with violent results in this young culture bent on revolt and some bizarre form of conformist anarchy. Finally, when Jimmy has all but lost his entire social status and by extension his self-identity, the song plays a far more evocative and decidedly synchronous relation to the film, while images of Jimmy staring through a glass window with a reflection of a pier occur with the swelling of the intro music to the film, his driving on the cliffs juxtapose the ultimate lines of love and desire refreshment and healing through the cool rain. Here the music is almost a requirement and demands that the viewer understand youth culture in a layered and intersecting dialogue at once part of many things, but always personal to the individual in the moment.
Key Scene: We are. We are. We are the mods.
The Criterion bluray for the film is crisp and vibrant and the audio of The Who songs makes it all the more wonderful.