04 August 2012

Film: Naked (1993)

Thoughts: Mike Leigh was mad as hell at the post-Thatcher state of Britain, and it shows through like an angry wound in his 1993, dare I say, masterpiece. I wasn't enjoying myself while I trudged through the 131min runtime, and left feeling bitter and mad like I did after Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant. Why would I want to watch a bunch of waste of space nobodies waste their time and then go on about their day, fucking things over and over? But unlike Bad Lieutenant, my brain has slowly come to accept and appreciate how good this film was.

David Thewlis. Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter franchise. If you're a fan of that particular character, watching Thewlis go absolutely off his tree in Naked will more than likely change your perception of the man entirely. What more to be said that hasn't about his performance? It truly was deserving of an Oscar. Johnny (Thewlis) is mass of rage; a walking contradiction by choice, extremely well-read but perfectly happy to let it go to waste. In his mind, this world we live in does not deserve his time or attention, so he is content (?) to wander the desolate back alleys of London, shacking up with whomever will allow him, and then throwing their hospitality right back in their faces with his words and actions. It is only a matter of time before the world throws up on him just as much as he throws up on it, but when you really think about it, who's to blame? Those same dregs that he chooses to associate with are the ones who turn and destroy his physical self, so the lowest of the low mind not whether it is the richest snob or the dirtiest scoundrel that they turn their restless hate towards.

Crime And Punishment kept coming to mind throughout my viewing. Our Johnny struck me very much as a modern-day Raskolnikov: wandering blithely through life, knowledgeable with an opinion on everything but completely useless at effecting positive (to societies standard) change on both themselves or the world that surrounds them. Perfectly happy to bitch and whine, but walk into the fires nonetheless. The comparisons become even more apt with the advent of the character Jeremy (Greg Cruttwell) who to me reflects the well-off Svidrigaïlov- a depraved rapist with various violent fetishes. Jeremy even proclaims to one of his "conquests" early in the flick "I'm going to kill myself if I reach forty years old. Who wants to be old?"

Ultimately the film will astound you, Thewlis' performance and the amazing script will draw you in, and all the various side-characters are both interesting and repulsive. This is a world you don't want to be in, but a world that exists nonetheless.


The below trailer is a fan-made trailer, and the consensus is that it is much better than the official one. And after viewing both, I agree wholeheartedly.

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