Naked (1993)

dir. Mike Leigh. I remember this film being much more darkly comic that it seems today. David Thewlis plays Johnny, rapist, and pseudo-intellectual who visits an ex-girlfriend in London, then goes on a doomed wander through London, spouting a mix of religious conspiracy theories, and literary references. Johnny’s diatribes are supposed to be witty I am told, but I found it irritating and exhausting. Watching again today, I find that it’s more misogynistic, than a critique of misogyny/patriarchy – I’m really bored of loquacious pricks abusing a series of women with low self-esteem, only to see them become smitten. The other main male character, the even more detestable Jeremy, seems to only exist to make Johnny seem more harmless than he is. Minor appearance from the wonderful Gina McKee (IN THE LOOP (2009)), who despite having an important scene with Johnny, is only credited as ‘Cafe Girl’. Interesting to hear Thewlis deliver the howling line “I used to be a werewolf, but I’m all right now!”, eleven years before playing Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter films.

By Nicholas Hudson-Ellis

Co-Founder & Film Programs Manager of Bangkok Screening Room.

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