Recently I was contemplating making a list of my favorite scenes in film, but I decided that instead of just…
Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ranting at strangers, and meeting characters in plights very much like his own.
How to review your favourite film, or even worse, how to review your favourite film when that film is Mike Leigh's Naked?
Naked starts of rough and only gets bleeker. But that's only a small part of what makes this a masterpiece.
First and foremost Naked is abouth David Thewlis' character Johnny, unenmployed both by choice and by circumstance, who personifies the ugly side most commonly shoved under the carpet in favour of the success stories. Yes, we're talking post-Thatcher Britain, but as far as I can tell there's many similairities to present time, and the world Leigh shows us is not limited to a certain era. But it might be limited to big cities.
Johnny is a man who…
Naked couldn't be more apt a title. Each character is stripped down to their core, sheerly acting out of impulse, and unable to hide behind any realm of theatrics. Urges come to their externally once simply well-posed selves and consume them, but not out of a blatant choice, more so just a dwindling down respect for conformity. Beings mope around the streets East London, unafraid to vent because Thatcher's era has ended and the aftermath is an individually segregated bustle. There Mike Leigh sets Johnny to his bleak Salinger-esque odyssey into the peeled-back essence of brokenness.
The nakedness isn't limited to strictly the people. Leigh seems to take everything down to an encapsulation to bareness; the walls inside the seedy…
It's difficult to figure out where to begin with Naked as there's so much to be unpacked within each of its chapters. To strip it down to the basics, the film is about an everyday philosopher named Johnny who both questions and embodies life's endless hardships. A whiskered and skinny David Thewlis plays this deep-thinker whose bad life choices are etched onto his scruffy, unwashed face. He's a thoroughly beaten down individual and a vagrant but his lack of definitive back-story makes him all the more enigmatic.
Mike Leigh's films have a kind of anti-realism to them. They're so ripped around the edges and grimy that they transcend the worst lifestyle you can possibly comprehend. This sounds like the most…
Naked is the perfect specimen of a film where the sum equals the parts. That may sound easy to do, but I've never seen a film do it better than this one does. When I say that, I don't mean that it's exactly as good as the camera work, the script, the acting, directing and so forth lead to. I mean that every aspect of this film perfectly reflects the character and the world he sees.
The camera work is fairly straightforward and stays pretty much out of the way. It's involved enough to create the sense of motion in the dialogue or pacing of the mind of the character but without ever being distracting. Thewlis, for his part, plays…
Years ago, the first time I saw this, I watched it dozens and dozens of times in a row because I loved it so much. It took me awhile to get over my little Naked addiction. I take that back, not an addiction, but It's an obsession I'll admit.
I think that obsession has returned but can you blame me?
Ok you can blame me, but whether it's the first time or the the 100th time (it's probably the 666th time I've seen this, just a guess) I've always loved this film. I love the philosophy within the rich dialogue. I love how no matter how many times I see this, I still get lost in the dialogue. Always manages…
Mike Leigh peels back the glossy veneer of London, magnifying the rips in the wallpaper, the cracks in the wall, the chipped hole patterns dotted across the concrete. Modern life in a Tory led Britain is shown as a society stripped naked of its value, where its underbelly scrapes a living from the floor and the head sneers down at its working body through its amoral snout.
The only conscience we are given is through a broken tap, pouring out a rapid stream of thought from the mouth of a sewer rat, a wandering Mancunian motormouth prophet. His disruptive intelligence is as misapplied as it is misunderstood, an idealist unwilling to compromise with the degeneration of the world around him.…
Louise: How did you get here?
Johnny: Well, basically, there was this little dot, right? And the dot went bang and the bang expanded. Energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the amoeba to fish, to fish to fowl, to fowl to frog, to frog to mammal, the mammal to monkey, to monkey to man, amo amas amat, quid pro quo, memento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on a little bit of grated cheese and leave under the grill till Doomsday.
-From Naked (1993) Written and Directed by Mike Leigh
I watched Naked on Netflix yesterday. Not sure what to make of it. Though Johnny is extremely smart, inquisitive, and insightful - at what cost does it come? He’s pretty…
4.5 out of 5 (A-)
Absolutely loved this. David Thewlis is unbelievable as Johnny. The characters are incredibly rich, have amazing dialogue, and go far beyond what's shown on the screen. It's a really interesting exploration of self destructive personalities trying to make sense of their world in post-Thatcher Britain.
Having read quite a few reviews of this and articles about it, I'm also surprised the music wasn't mentioned more. Thought it was stunning, and captured both the beauty and the despair that Leigh put into this film.
What's the best way to test your audience? Open your film with midnight rape in a Manchester alleyway. Nothing to hide, totally uncompromising. Brilliant.
Once you get past this "Now that I know you're cool" trick, director Mike Leigh invites you to explore underneath the surface of what seems like the nasty armpit of humanity. Oddly fascinating, immersive, but above all entertaining from start to finish.
Extremely well-acted. The eerie, unsettling score fits perfectly. Nice variation in cinematography, never a moment that I felt was visually displeasing. A breath of fresh air after watching Blue is the Warmest Color aka 3 Hour Bombardment of Extreme Close-up. Very nice!
Raw, striking and powerful. It hits an emotional core that I haven't seen in quite some time. Need to watch it a second time, but this is right on the brink of a 5/5. Mike Leigh is the man.
Explores the same kind of dark cosmos as Tarr, but with a "fuck-off" English sensibility. I've never really seen anything quite like it before.
Reminds me of many of the classic comics I've read from the late '80/early '90s out of the UK like John Constantine's Hellblazer. They are all products of Margaret Thatcher's reign as PM or at least, reactive to that time. So while I can somewhat enjoy or respect these types of stories, it's always at arms' length.
Hellblazer has the benefit of playing around with genre archetypes that I recognize, but NAKED's success rests solely on Thewlis's work as Johnny. The performance is wonderful and I can see Johnny as a representation of the type of people who end up in his situation, but even as an intellectually dry curmudgeon myself, I had a very hard time relating to anything.
Compared to another tale of wasted potential and living day to day, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, NAKED doesn't seem lacking, but it definitely doesn't hit anywhere near the same way.
Phenomenal , dreich and dark. unintentionally witty and thought provoking dialogue.
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
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