Thursday, 8 October 2009
Withnail & I
Withnail & I is widely regarded as one of the best British films ever made. Made by Handmade films, a name that everyone should respect as a maker of incredible cult movies, Withnail & I is made great by the performances of Paul McGann and Richard E Grant as two unemployed actors, and especially by the script. Originally intended as a novel, it becomes clear when you read the script that Withnail & I was so sharply written as to be perfectly suited toward almost any audience, while being incredibly clever, debauched and genuinely saddening come the final scenes.
In the rain, Withnail accompanies Marwood to the train station, swinging a bottle of '53 Margeux and conflicted and upset. He puts a face on it and says goodbye to Marwood, who is leaving to lead in a play. Turning around hopeless, Withnail walks to the fence of London zoo, wolves padding around beneath the trees on the other side, and begins to recite the speech from Hamlet act 2 scene 2. It is soon apparent that Withnail is an incredibly talented actor. The wolves don't care. Finishing, defeated, Withnail turns away and walks across the park, a victim of his own destructive nature.