Coming-of-age in any decade is certain to be filled with frustrations, troubles, and stresses. No matter where you go through adolescents, there are some things that are universally shares by young men and women as they traverse the rocky slopes to adulthood. London Town shows us how sometimes being forced to grow up and take responsibility even when one is not ready can be a curse, but also somewhat of a blessing in disguise.
For young Shay (Daniel Huttlestone), his teen years have brought him and his sister an absent, free-wheeling mother and set-in-his-ways father. In many ways, he and his sister are raising themselves in the tumultuous climate of the Britain in the 1970s. At 15, Shay has yet to discover an outlet for the angst he feels inside; to find a way to express his teenage views and opinions. That is until his mother send him a cassette with songs from The Clash, which opens his eyes to a world of music he never knew.
Suddenly swept up into the anti-establishment punk culture, Shay soon finds himself at odds with his parents, but also at odds with himself as he tries to rebel while still taking on the responsibilities left behind by both his parents. His newfound love of punk helps him become a stronger, more self-assured person, while he works to save his family and life from falling apart around him.
I really enjoyed London Town. I think we all have a song, a band, or a genre of music that set us off on a new path in life. Lyrics that fit perfectly into a moment in our existence that helped us through a difficult time or helped us take a path we were afraid to go down. To me, that is what this film is all about: using music as a form of expression in order to become the person you always knew you were but were never sure how to express.
London Town also includes a fantastic performance by Jonathan Rhys Meyers as The Clash’s lead singer, Joe Strummer, who strikes up a friendship with Shay. Rhys Meyers is excellent in the role, and the interview with him included on the DVD is a fascinating look at how he dedicated himself to the role to make it an homage to a punk icon.
I highly, highly recommend London Town!
London Town is available now on DVD.
What’s your favorite punk band? Leave a comment and let us know!