October 26, 2020

1975-03-20 – The Los Angeles Times

1975 03 20 The_Los_Angeles_Times_Thu__Mar_20__1975_ 4

Tammy. 1 Film: -..Ruck Critic’s. View. -

Continued from First Page

the film (on P0] ydur) will no doubt, add substantially to
that figure ’

Much of the original work's appeal was that it could be
enjoyed on various levels—as simply a collectibn of infec-
tions, evocative songs by one of rock's premier grOtIps or
as a more thoughtful “concept.“ Even if one chase the lat.
ter uption, there were alternative possibilitiesA-reiarssent-

ing different levels of accessibility’-avaiiable
‘ "Tommy' could. on its simplest level have" been seen at
varying times as a straightfqrward look at the pressmes
and frustrations placed by farhily arid fritnds on young
people a statement on the rise and fall of idols or. as its
- chief architect Peter Townshend intended a philosophical
statement about the spiritual evolution of the individual
to a state of supreme grace and unity with nature.
The weakness in "Tommy" was its vague often incom-
' piete plot. To overcome this, Russell has placed for more
emphasis on Tommy‘s parentwaoth the guilt feelings of

" more outlandish than visibnary) that the characters are,’

his mother (Ann Mar gret) over the murder of Tommy's
father that cam Tommy to lose. his sight hearing and
speech. and the mani pulatiye tendencies of his stepfather
(Oliver Reedi-than was {61de m .the Origihal work, Most
of the additional music reflects this increased emphasis
Otherwise. Russell {01101115 the original opera fairly closely.
The changes are in tone rather than event.

Even though Russell parallels the journey of the Whos-
"l‘ommy." he sacrifices the intimacy and authenticity of
the original work by siedgehammering each point in
scenes that have such outlandish personal vision (usually

all too often. comic book caricatures
There are moments in ”Tommy" (particularly Tina Tum-





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