Sunday, August 22, 2010

Withnail & I

Probably the most profound line ever written in regard to Withnail & I describes it as being "as deep as you want it to be or as shallow as you need it to be.” I don’t know who wrote that, but I cannot discuss the film without mentioning it. Set in the final months of 1969, Withnail traces the antics of two out of work actors living in a filth-laden flat in Camden Town, London. To “escape all this hideousness,” they spend their time in booze and drug-addled hazes. With wits at an end, they head to the countryside to unwind for a weekend, never minding that they’re utterly ill equipped to deal with rural living. Along with the presence of Withnail’s Uncle Monty, and the possibility of a violent poacher, those are the film’s major plot points. In lieu of real plot, Withnail offers up two stellar leads in the forms of Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, and the most infinitely quotable dialogue this side of The Big Lebowski And it’s got a following the size of the Dude’s to match – although most of them are British.

Marwood: “Even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, and for once I'm inclined to believe Withnail is right. We are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell.”

I’ve been a fanatic for this movie for over 15 years now. It’s in my Top Five, and I consider it my civic filmic duty to turn as many people on to it as possible, especially since it’s just barely a cult item here in the States. I’ve been pretty successful in my endeavors over the years, although I can’t give you hard figures as to whom, when and where. Even if it was just one person in my life, I’d feel good about it, because this is a film meant to be shared with people who need to see it. I don’t know if you’re one of those people, but I’ll do my best to convince you that you are.

Withnail: “You can stuff it up your arse for nothing, and fuck off while you’re doing it!"

Withnail & I is a situation, and anyone who’s ever been in an insufferable friendship can relate to it...

Read the rest of this Blu-ray review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.