Senin, 09 Mei 2011

Bruce Robinson - Withnail & I [+Extras] (1987)

One of the finest comedies available to humanity!

Plot Synopsis
Screenwriter Bruce Robinson made his directorial debut with this British comedy. Withnail (Richard E. Grant) is an unsuccessful, pill-popping actor; "I", or Marwood (Paul McGann), is Withnail's roommate and another equally underemployed actor. The time is 1969: Withnail is fast becoming a burned-out relic of the sixties, while Marwood is trying to reassimilate into society. The two take a trip to the country in hopes of rejuvenating themselves, but things go from worse to even worse. Given the intimacy and insight of the screenplay and dialogue, one shouldn't be surprised that Bruce Robinson (who adapted the film from his own novel) based Withnail and I on his own experiences.
The film proves that certain "Age of Aquarius" types were just as bollixed-up in Britain as they were in America.All Movie Guide

The narrative is told in the first person by the character played by Paul McGann, named just once in passing in the film (see below) as Marwood—and only credited as "... & I".

Robinson's script is largely autobiographical. Marwood is Robinson; Withnail is based on a friend he shared a Camden house with—Vivian MacKerrell—who died young; and Uncle Monty is loosely based on the unwanted attentions he received from an amorous Franco Zeffirelli when he was a young actor. He lived in the impoverished conditions seen in the film and wore plastic bags as wellington boots. Robinson threw four or five years of his real life into the script, condensing them into two weeks.Wikipedia

One of the funniest and most original British films in the second half of the 20th century, Withnail and I is a genuine cult classic. Set at the gray, scabby end of the 1960s, the film is a marvelous character study of two "resting" (read: unemployed and possibly unemployable) actors whose bitterness and frustrated hopes mirror the era's soiled, run-down glory. Few films have explored bitterness and filth with more acidic wit, and few actors have given more exuberantly poisonous performances than Richard E. Grant as the raging, cadaverous Withnail. Whether vomiting lighter fluid onto the shoes of his flatmate (the titular "I," or Marwood, portrayed as a seeming innocent by Paul McGann) or trying to kill a chicken for dinner, he is pitiful, charismatic, and endlessly watchable all at once. Also excellent is Richard Griffiths as Withnail's gay Uncle Monty, a huge man with a bacchanalian lust for life, not to mention for the unsuspecting Marwood. Withnail and Monty are two of the film's more unapologetically profane aspects, while Grant provides its thorny, tragic soul.All Movie Guide

That rare thing: an intelligent, beautifully acted, and gloriously funny British comedy. At the butt-end of the '60s, two 'resting' young thesps - Withnail (Grant, a revelation), a cadaverous upper middle class burning-out case with an acid wit and soleless shoes, and the seemingly innocent unnamed 'I' (McGann) - live on a diet of booze, pills, and fags in their cancerous Camden flat, until a cold comfort Lakeland cottage is offered for their use. For all its '60s arcana, this is no mere semi-autobiographical nostalgia trip, but an affecting and open-eyed rites-of-passage movie. Robinson's debut as writer/director (he scripted The Killing Fields) exhibits the value of the old virtues: characterisation, detail, and engagement. His characters are oddball, degenerate even, but rounded - none more so than the elephantine figure of Griffiths as Withnail's gay uncle Monty. Beautifully scripted, indecent, honest, and truthful, it's a true original. WH

Time Out Film Guide

Special features
• Commentary by writer-director Bruce Robinson (as second audio track)
• Commentary by actors Paul McGann ("I" a.k.a. Marwood) and Ralph Brown (Danny) (as third audio track)
• Interview with writer-director Bruce Robinson (14:18)
• Postcards From Penrith - featurette (20:52)
• Withnail and Us - documentary (24:47)
• The Withnail and I Drinking Game (14:55)
• The Withnail and I Swearathon (1:12)
• Trailer (1:24) & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987).avi & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987).srt and Us.avi with Bruce Robinson.avi Withnail and I Drinking Game.avi from Penrith.avi Withnail and I Swearathon.avi & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987).avi & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987).srt and Us.avi with Bruce Robinson.avi Withnail and I Drinking Game.avi from Penrith.avi Withnail and I Swearathon.avi

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