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Stoned (3/10)

by Tony Medley

Brian Jones (Leo Gregory), a founding member of the rock group The Rolling Stones was kicked out of the group and found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool in 1969 at the age of 27. This is a film about him. My question going in was, “Who cares?”

Why would anybody care about a dead 27 year-old. After seeing this film, I still have the same question. The film tells nothing about how the Stones were formed, how they achieved prominence, or what Jones had to do with it. Jones, himself, is pictured as an inconsiderate, drug-addled boor. If he had any talent, it is not displayed here. We see very little of any of the other Stones. I couldn’t ever figure out which one was supposed to be Mick Jagger (Luke De Woolfson). Keith Richards (Ben Whishaw) is more prominent, but not much.

Mostly what we see are breasts. Lots and lots of beautiful breasts. Apparently every women who appeared had to agree to participate in topless shots because the only one who doesn’t bear her breasts is Janet (Amelia Warner), a state registered nurse, who was there on Jones’ last day to spend time with Stones strongman, Tom Keylock (David Morrissey). She doesn’t have time to take off her clothes.

The film concentrates on Jones’ depraved lifestyle and his relationship with Frank Thorogood (Paddy Considine), a contractor working on Jones’ palatial home, Cotchford Farm, his East Sussex country retreat formerly owned by AA Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh. The point of the movie is, “how did Jones die; accident or murder?” We ponder this for 102 minutes. The movie has a point of view and leads you through to also arrive at the same conclusion. If you can’t figure out how he died during this time, you haven’t been going to enough movies.

The women are certainly beautiful and mostly naked. His main bird was Anita Pallenberg (Monet Mazur). She puts up with the oafish Jones for far longer than one would imagine possible. Her successor, after she left him for Richards, Anna Wohlin (Tuva Novotny) is even more beautiful, although she was only a player with Jones for the last three weeks of his life.

The movie jumps back and forth between his house at the time of his death and events in his life up to that time. It is pretty confusing, but maybe that’s appropriate because the guy was so doped up his life must have been constantly confusing. Also, I don’t know what the personal history is. Out of all the music in the film, there is not one song performed by The Rolling Stones, which implies to me that the film did not receive their support.

Gregory does an exceptional job of recreating the Jones persona. In fact, all the acting is very good, especially all the women who bared their breasts in the best artistic interest. Considine captures the personality of what Thorogood might have been like, Morrissy is cold and calculating as the Stones’ strongman. Still around, Keylock was recruited as a consultant on the film.

March 15, 2006



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