Jersey Boys (2014)

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Jersey Boys: Directed by Clint Eastwood. With Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Steve Schirripa, Christopher Walken. The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

“Thereu0026#39;s a reason why the 1960s is widely known as the u0026quot;Golden Erau0026quot; of music, specifically, the birth of what is now called Rock n Roll. Comprising of four British teenagers from Liverpool, The Beatles produced their first album (Please Please Me) in 1963 and went on to be regarded as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. But just a year earlier, in 1962, four boys from New Jersey made heads turn and girls swoon with a unique u0026#39;soundu0026#39; to their music. Jersey Boys is the phenomenal true story of a u0026#39;soundu0026#39; that took four boys from New Jerseyu0026#39;s mob controlled suburbs and made them into the icons they are today – legends whose music is still celebrated more than five decades on!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eProduced and directed by another living legend – Clint Eastwood – Jersey Boys is a Tony Award winning Broadway and West End musical adaptation of the same name. Scripted by Woody Allenu0026#39;s Oscar winning collaborate Marshall Brickman (Anne Hall and Manhattan), the story benefits from a deeply dramatized account of the stage production, thus making it a biopic rather than just a musical. This is why the audience has to wait a good hour before Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young) makes our feet tap to the filmu0026#39;s first real track: Sherry. But before we get to hear Youngu0026#39;s remarkable rendition of Valliu0026#39;s incredible falsetto pitch, Brickmanu0026#39;s story takes us through New Jerseyu0026#39;s underworld circa. Valli is a good Italian-American kid but his friend Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) is just the opposite. They are both connected to local mobster Gyp DeCarlo (Christopher Walken). Taking Valli under his wing, Tommy puts together a small time band but only manages mediocre returns while also moonlighting as juvenile delinquents. This changes with the arrival of Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), a golden goose of a singer- song writer whose epiphany changes the bandu0026#39;s name from The Four Lovers to The Four Seasons. Then, with the addition of bass guitarist and singer Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), Sherry, their first song as a band, becomes a hit and the group is instantly catapulted into nationwide fame.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBy the time we get to the bandu0026#39;s all-time number one hit single, Canu0026#39;t Take My Eyes Off You, thereu0026#39;s trouble brewing. Domestic heartbreak and tragedy, ego trips and quarrels, financial crises and mob intervention turns cracks into fissures. Reminding us that this is in fact a stage show adaptation, Eastwood creates individual perceptions by allowing each member of the band to narrate his story directly to the camera. While this might seem like a theatre-cinema blending technique (ala Moulin Rouge!), it adds wholesome dimensions as a biography made for the discerning cinema audience. Adding on to that dimension is the juxtaposition of organized crime with the evolution of Doo-wop into rock and pop. In fact, there is a brief reference to Frank Sinatra, who as legendary as himself, was known to have ties with Chicagou0026#39;s notorious mobster Al Capone. To this effect, the story also includes real life actor Joe Pesci (Joey Russo) as a talent scout who recommends Bob to the band. Synonymous with mobster roles in previous films, Walken himself might seem like a cliché, but instead is entrusted with the filmu0026#39;s humour and he delivers. Characterization from the rest leaves more to be desired. Young as front man Valli and Piazza as Tommy are more theatrical than expected in a film. Itu0026#39;s a different matter when we get to see them perform as musicians – simply astonishing!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThat there is no reference to era specific bands like The Beach Boys or the Bee Gees can be another letdown. Instead, Brickmanu0026#39;s script remains parallel to the stage production with emphasis on an underdog rags-to-riches plot arc. Even so, as Eastwoodu0026#39;s first musical adaptation, Jersey Boys has more hits than misses (excuse the pun). Like the Academy Award winning Walk The Line, a lot of focus has gone into the back story by dramatizing the true cost of fame and fortune. Above all, it is a brilliant narration on how pain and loss can conceive everlasting music. And judging from the need to make this film, itu0026#39;s no surprise that the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will always remain evergreen.”


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