I’ll start with a quick run-down of the synopsis as that is all we have to go on as far as ‘plot’ is concerned. Don’t misunderstand me as this is a masterpiece of assured and dark direction, devastatingly witty dialogue and one of the finest and versatile displays from an actor in an almost impossible sea of words I have ever watched. The scenes are ridden with bleakness and hopelessness. Mike Leigh hasn’t before, or since, made something so poignant and brutal at the same time. David Thewlis gives the performance of his career. I’ll be honest; I was amazed after the first ten minutes of how truly EPIC his script must have read. I don’t know what the word count is in the film but I’d like to see how it compares to other films of similar lengthy dialogue. Thewlis’ character ‘Johnny’ is like a man disgusted that he doesn’t find himself in the dystopian post-apocalyptic world he was lead to believe he would be. Johnny is a sick, twisted, genius who is more comfortable than anyone in this dark and destructive under belly of our society in the 1990s.
Naked is completely mesmerising in how fast paced it flips from brilliance to depression. The main character seems to fleet from one person to the next infecting them with his nasty, life battering vision of the world and its inhabitants. Countless, beautifully written lines and the scenes with the security guard really set this film aside from most films I have seen. There are some really brutal moments. They seem like fleeting minutes that I actually found light relief in, compared to the savage dialogue in the rest of the film. This one really does make you think. Naked is depressing and euphoric at the same time; if you’re looking for a plot there isn’t any.
Lastly I’d like to explain this film really is a must watch for any fan of any genre. The supporting actors are great, especially the ‘toff’ Sebastian who depicts a deprived f up in the true sense of the word – one of the ‘bored’ people that our protagonist loves to hate. Sebastian is the perfect evil bad guy yet still has no place in this film. The acting, in particular the performance from Thewlis won very prestigious awards. Thewlis won the best actor and Leigh best director at Cannes for this truly inspiring and thought provoking film. My advice is watch this film, but please think, it will hit home in some way or another. Therefore pace yourself, take your time, most importantly pay attention to how you feel when you watch it.
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
The Brides of Dracula (1960)