Sorry I haven’t posted anything in a while. I have some half-written reviews on the back burner and wrote a review recently for another publication that I’ll be able to post once it’s published.
I just really wanted to express my opinion on the upcoming independent British drama – one in a long line of similar films based on the life of the teenage John Lennon.
I try to watch the trailer for “Nowhere Boy” every once in a while to see if I get excited or interested. I don’t. They’ve made this movie so many times before, that particular part of John’s life has always been interpreted and written the same way for screen adaptation. He’ll never be portrayed as a despicable bastard, always a dreamer – which he was, but a woman-hating asshole dreamer. There’s a film about the break-up in the works, maybe it’ll be good. Probably not. Until they stop making near-fictional stories about the boys and show them for who they really were and not as they are perceived by through their ideal poppy “A Hard Days Night” charm, a film about their existence and meaning is still unfulfilled and almost irrelevant. I want a Beatles film that everyone will hate because its not what they expect.
However, there is an option that Hollywood or even independent film has yet to tackle.
I understand wanting to have a film about the Beatles that puts them in a positive light in terms of how we appreciate them as the greatest band of all time. In order to do this, everyone’s favorite Beatle (and mine) must not be the focus. John is a fascinating character, but screenwriters have never really been able to capture his rage and always try to romanticize his formative years. The best way to do this would be to write a film from the perspective of the “luckiest man in the world,” Mr. Ringo Starr. Even during their hardest times, Ringo seemed to be the least affected by turbulence of what was going on between John and Paul and George. There’s certainly enough information and interview footage and Starr is still alive and coherent enough to include his input. If we want to idealize the story, this is the only option. Paul’s ego is too big to fit on the screen, George became a little too bitter and we know that John’s tale is too complex.
In terms of filmmakers who could churn out something like this, there are only a few that I believe could do the job. I would immediately recommend Scorsese, because he could inject a little negativity whilst still keeping the story optimistic. However, I fear that after Marty’s abysmal “Shutter Island,” the once great director may be losing his footing. Spike Jonze could also be a good candidate but then we might not see the film for a long time. Cameron Crowe would have been a good choice about nine or ten years ago, but his efforts since his only good film (“Almost Famous”) have been dismal. As much as I love Wes Anderson, only a handful of people would enjoy the film. This needs to be a universally loved film – a timeless classic not just about The Beatles – but about rock ‘n’ roll.
Hollywood, get on it.