Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Withnail & I

It's been a few years since the last time I watched Withnail & I, which is one of Wife's favourite movies. So when she suggested we watch it over Christmas, what could I say, in the spirit of democracy, other than yes?

For those of you who don't know it, the film tells the tale of two struggling actors living in London in 1969. They are out of work, out of luck, and, more importantly, out of booze. To get away from it all, they go "on holiday by mistake" to Withnail's uncle's house in the country.

I will preface my review of the movie with the frank -- and frankly unpopular -- admission that I don't really care for it all that much. Never have. Long before I ever saw it, I was privy to all manner of quotes that sounded just a little too contrived, perfectly calculated to strike a chord with British college kids.

That said, there are some genuinely funny moments, even if the film runs about 20 minutes too long in the countryside section. Both the leads give strong turns, with Paul McGann as "I" easily outperforming Richard E Grant as Withnail, who is just a bit too hammy for my liking. Great support comes in the shape of Ralph Brown as Camberwell Carrot-rolling dope dealer Danny.

The scores:
Acting: 15
Story: 12
Direction: 12
Enjoyment: 13
Cerebral pleasure: 13
Total: 65