Set in London in the mid-1960s, Quadrophenia explores the urban world of the "Mods" subculture. Known for their stylish apparel and use of customized motor scooters, the Mods were a significant cultural force in London in the 1960s. This is a film adaptation of the rock opera Quadrophenia written and performed by the British rock band The Who.
The protagonist of Quadrophenia is a young man named Jimmy. Largely displeased with his home and work situations, Jimmy loves hanging out with his fellow Mods at night. They ride customized motor scooters that are decked out with lots of extra mirrors and headlights, take an abundance of pills and listen to lots of music. They are instantly recognizable by their choice of attire. They usually wear button-down shirts, ties and jackets with formal overcoats on top.
Another social subculture of disenfranchised youth in London known as the "Rockers" are not fond of the Mods, and there are often skirmishes between the groups. The Rockers are more rough and tumble in nature than the Mods. Instead of riding Vespa and Lambretta motor scooters, the Rockers ride full-size motorcycles such as Triumphs and BSAs. The Rockers' attire often consists of leather jackets and blue jeans.
In Quadrophenia the leader of the Mods gang is none other than the rock star Sting. In one of his earliest film appearances, Sting plays a character named Ace Face, a style-setting chap who rides a Vespa that is decked out with more than a dozen headlights and a large assortment of mirrors.
Quadrophenia is a somewhat rough and gritty film that contains harsh language and realistic settings. The movie features a top-rate soundtrack of songs by The Who, and it moves at a fast pace. Quadrophenia is definitely a realistic slice of British teenage life in the 1960s.