Contributed By Daniel Chew
Mention the name John Lennon and one immediately thinks of the Beatles and the influence they wielded during their heyday in the ‘60s. Nowhere Boy is a somewhat overdue British musical biopic focusing on the early days of the band’s founding member, Lennon.
|PHOTO COURTESY OF CATHAY KERIS FILM|
Opening with a scene of 15-year-old Lennon going gaga over his newly setup radio in his bedroom which had been laboriously procured by his Uncle George, newcomer director Sam Taylor-Wood effectively sets the stage for his relationship with the two most important people in his life: his aunt Mimi and his mother Julia. It also captures the first point of contact between him and future Beatle Paul McCartney, which was to give rise to one of the most prolific musical partnerships of the twentieth century.
The tighter the rein Lennon’s Aunt Mimi keeps on his rebellious irreverence toward authority, the stronger the rebel spirit in him becomes, turning him into a troublemaker everywhere he goes. Yet, this was to be the same temperament that spurred him to take up the leadership role in his first band, The Quarrymen. It is during this stage in his life that Lennon expresses his grief over his mother’s death later on and his father’s unknown whereabouts. The movie focuses on the intimate moments in Lennon’s life which have never been portrayed on film before, and the alternative perspective it gives in the portrayal of his relationship with his mother Julia is mildly provocative, and will either elicit empathy or utter disdain from the audiences.
On the other hand, Beatle fans who expect a more revelatory watch will be disappointed as Nowhere Boy is more of a coming-of-age drama than an intense musical biopic in the vein of Ray, Control or even Walk The Line. Subject aside, what Nowhere Boy has going for it are the performances of its lead actors, namely rising star Aaron Johnson (Kickass) as the titular character, Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) as Lennon’s Aunt Mimi and Anne-Marie Duff (Notes On A Scandal) as his mother Julia; all of them succeed in injecting much spirit into the harsh realities of life in post-war Britain. The more light-hearted moments come in the form of Lennon’s adolescent craziness that we all can identify with—in one way or another, at least.
If you have never cared much for the Beatles, give this a pass but if you have always pondered over who John Lennon was before he became John Lennon, this will be a decent watch.
Nowhere Boy Ticket Giveaways
City News Weekly is giving away five pairs of in-season tickets to Nowhere Boy. For your chance to win a pair, simply email the following to firstname.lastname@example.org with the header “Nowhere Boy Ticket Giveaway.” Tickets to be given on a first-come-first-serve basis. Include your name, mobile number, address, I/C number and answer the question: What are the names of all the members in the Beatles?
Winners will be notified through e-mail.