Nowhere Boy

Aaron Johnson is handsome (and young!). We watched Sam Taylor-Wood’s Nowhere Boy, a film about the young John Lennon, played rather convincingly, I must say, by Aaron Johnson. However, he is certainly not as good as Kristin Scott Thomas, who plays Lennon’s aunt, Mimi Smith. She is so good she is better than the rest of the cast combined.
Apart from Kristin Scott Thomas, the film also benefits from a great soundtrack. One of the songs that I liked was Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’s “I Put a Spell on You”. I instantly fell in love with it but I also wanted to listen to a female cover. I found Nina Simone’s version rather good too.
Another song that captured my attention was John Lennon’s “Mother” (listen to it here), which made me cry when it’s being played at the end of the film. The song is autobiographical: Lennon is talking to his mother, Julia Lennon, who was killed on the street by a drunk driver when he was 17 (‘Mother, you had me but I never had you, / I wanted you but you didn’t want me’) and his father, Alf Lennon, who walked out of his life when he was just a kid (‘Farther, you left me but I never left you, / I needed you but you didn’t need me’). While in the first part of the song, the persona says ‘Goodbye’ to his father and mother, the second part of the song is a desperate and heart-wrenching plea to both parents: ‘Mama don’t go’ and ‘Daddy come home’ are repeated again and again. You can feel the sense of hysteric helplessness in Lennon’s singing and the simple lyrics (no doubt appropriating a sad child’s vocabulary) but there is no harsh resentment. A plea to a parent not to go (emotionally, physically, mortally, whatever), obviously, also reminds one of Dylan Thomas’s poem.

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