Danny Collins Film Poster

When I first saw the posters plastered over the buses of the West Midlands advertising a worn leather faced Al Pacino in DANNY COLLINS, my first thought was:

“Is this going to be another JACK AND JILL“?

I was apprehensive about this new movie. BATMAN movies are known as DC Comic films, THE AVENGERS franchise are known as Marvel films, and the next installment of the STAR WARS saga will be Disney films. But most films starring someone of the pedigree of a genuine actor like Al Pacino are regarded as Al Pacino films. Alongside him in the cast were Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, Annette Bening and Bobby Cannavale. I was too tempted and as it turned out, the answer to my question is an emphatic no! DANNY COLLINS is loosely based on UK folk singer Steve Tilson. If England had a film industry we could have made this film with an all British cast and crew and set it in the UK.

Liverpool, Leicestershire and other regions of the UK could have been illuminated to the World. But America’s DANNY COLLINS at least has the music of John Lennon:

A working class hero is something to be“.

A sentiment so lost today.

The film is about an old talented singer songwriter who becomes commercialised very early on in his career and performs other peoples’ songs for mass consumption. But a moment of awakening in the elderly musician leads him to seek redemption for four decades of wavering soul and lost love. He beckons to New Jersey in the hope of meeting and being a part of his lost son’s life having abandoned him and his mother to continue a transient self abusive, addictive and perhaps unstoppable lifestyle of showbiz. 20 minutes into the film, I was convinced I knew the ending, but to the film’s credit, I was wrong. In fact new director Dan Fogelman’s handling of the all star cast and their interplay are well acted out with good dialogue and timing. The plot is inspired by a letter written by John Lennon to the singer stating:

“Being rich doesn’t change your experience in the way you think”.

Lennon’s lyrics such as: “Living is easy with eyes closed“, still resonate today when you consider the failure of the mass media during the illegal invasion of Iraq. DANNY COLLINS is therefore a metaphor for real life. You can either be true to yourselves and follow your passion or do what most people do in the West, and chase the money! Decent movie.

Vinod Mahindru



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