Furburt reviews: Naked

If anyone has been following my reviews they may notice that so far I haven't given a single negative review yet. This is mainly because I review films just after I've watched them, and I only review them when they make a definite impression on me. Good films are more likely to leave an impression than bland films. However, should I see something irredeemably terrible, I'll be sure to rip into it here. Just wanted to clear that up.

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And now, Furburt reviews :

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Naked, a 1993 film by visionary British director Mike Leigh, is at its heart a character study.
It follows Johnny (David Thewlis), a misanthropic, jaded Mancunian, as he journeys through a cavalcade of disappointments and despair in modern England.

He is a bitter man, an unabashed nihilist who has dived headfirst into hedonism. He drinks, he steals, he smokes, takes drugs and fornicates without restraint. He is only 27, but as a character he meets remarks, he looks like he's hitting 40. His philosophies are apocalyptic and demented. He believes in god, and hates him bitterly.

The first image we see is him raping a woman in Manchester, then stealing a car and driving maniacally to London to escape a beating. Seeking shelter, he arrives at the house of his ex-girlfriend, Louise (Lesley Sharp). He manages to ingratiate himself with her roommate, the dim cockney Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge). She falls for him almost instantly, but while he is nice, if hyperactive, at first, his mood quickly changes and he insults and berates her. He leaves the flat, and journeys the streets, but the flat plays a pivotal role.

Johnny is not well. It's clear, if never stated, that he's suffering from some sort of crippling mental illness. He's tearing himself apart very rapidly, and he's obviously aware that he hasn't got long to live if he keeps it up. Although the first impression we get of the scraggly bearded and thin Johnny is that he's scum, it becomes quickly apparent that he's a very intelligent man.

He's well read, sophisticated and a very funny person. His hamartia is his bitterness and misanthropy. He could advance himself, and he states himself that he's actually very academically qualified, but he believes that it's pointless to even try. Despite how horrible he can be at times, to himself and others, he is probably the most likable character in the whole thing.

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Johnny, summing up his world viewpoint.

This could be due to the fact that nobody in Naked is very likable. Unlike Leighs previous work up to this point, Naked is a dark, grimy film. It paints a picture of a London so utterly decrepit and grim that it almost feels like a different reality. The film is episodic in nature, with Johnny drifting through it, like Dante, through the levels of hell, meeting tired, broken people and their pathetic lives. His encounters are varied, he meets a security guard and debates with him on the topic of god, he meets a drunken woman trying to recapture her youth by being sexually open and refuses to have sex with her, he meets vagrants, workers, people as lost as him on his aimless journey towards nothing.

Everyone in Johnny's world is either stupid, arrogant or delusional. It becomes rapidly clear that Johnny, for all his faults, is a ray of intelligence in a world of people who cannot think. The scene where he is living rough in the streets of London, and comes into contact with a twitchy Scotsman looking for his girlfriend is funny and depressing all at once, as he tries to talk intelligently to what is obviously an irredeemable moron.

There is nothing nice in this picture, no happy undercurrent or hope. The humour is so black it almost hurts to laugh at it. The colour is washed out and bleak. The score is mostly a depressing cello, playing what's almost a lament. However, it's exquisitely filmed. The camerawork is natural and restrained, giving the picture an interesting down to earth feel.

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Johnny, in the final shot, walking towards an uncertain future

While Naked is mostly about Johnny, is also occasionally focuses on Jeremy/Sebastian (it's never really clarified which). Jeremy is the landlord of the house Louise and Sophie live in, he's a middle class, generically handsome person, and he's an utter bastard. As misanthropic as Johnny, he lives in a world where he can take what he wants, and he always succeeds. He has sex with random women, bullies and mistreats them, he insults people and lives a life where he is the only person who is allowed to be happy. He's almost as insane as Johnny is too, during one of his sexual encounters, he chokes the poor naive waitress he's making love to and dementedly confesses that he's going to shoot himself on his 40th birthday, so he won't grow old.

In many ways, Jeremy and Johnny are both sides of the same person. Johnny hates the world, and people in it, but he tries sometimes to save it, and most of his hate is turned on himself. Jeremy hates the world, and enjoys being cruel to people in it. He's a very arrogant, but also a very stupid person. We can't help but empathize with Johnny.

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Jeremy with one of his 'conquests'
(Please don't wrath me for this)

This movie is carried along not so much by events in it, but by how the characters react to each other. Most of the dialogue is written by improvisation in rehearsal, and then that is put into the script and not ad-libbed during actual filming, as is Mike Leighs technique. The performances are very natural, and David Thewlis, in what is really his breakthrough role, is superb, not just in conveying Johnny's emotions, but in subtly hinting at others below the surface as well.

If you haven't realised yet, I'll say it again. Naked is very hard hitting. It's depressing, painfully honest, and heavy on sexual attacks. It is not a feel good film.

However, as a film, it is a mini-masterpiece. It is to the point and brutal. It has no morals, no lesson, it is simply an observation of one of society's lowest rungs. It has no agenda, and seeks not to inform but to simply observe. This is its great strength. I would recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a film lover, as long as they can bear the crushing and sometimes unbearable realistic decay on display here.

This is impressive!
It made me want to watch the film

Sounds like an intelligent film.
I might try to see it myself.
Johnny sounds like a very interesting person.

FranzTyphid:
This is impressive!
It made me want to watch the film

I've always said if a review of mine makes just one person want to watch the film, then it's a success.

So yeah..Woo!

Im going to have to watch this now great review.

I'm upset. I thought you'd be reviewing the the state of wearing no clothes we know as "nakedness".

I removed that picture of Jeremy shirtless, I don't know how the mods would feel about it.

This was a pretty good review but I read the title as Furburt Naked and now I'm disappointed.

Freebird.:
This was a pretty good review but I read the title as Furburt Naked and now I'm disappointed.

Well, if you want to, I can always PM you with some....pictures.

Not strictly legal...pictures.

Furburt:
I removed that picture of Jeremy shirtless, I don't know how the mods would feel about it.

I got away with a picture of Viggo Mortensen topless from Eastern Promises, so I reckon it's not a problem if it's justifiable. If it's done for no good reason, or to set up a dumb joke, then they may have a problem with it.

pigeon_of_doom:

Furburt:
I removed that picture of Jeremy shirtless, I don't know how the mods would feel about it.

I got away with a picture of Viggo Mortensen topless from Eastern Promises, so I reckon it's not a problem if it's justiable.

Back it goes then!

Excellent review sir, If I ever want to feel as depressed as this movie seems to be I'll certainly watch it.

Hmm... Sounds like it's got absurdist qualities... I like adsurdism.
It's workshopped too, which is awesome.

Great review, I have to say. I think I'll be picking this up quite soon.

reg42:
Hmm... Sounds like it's got absurdist qualities... I like adsurdism.
It's workshopped too, which is awesome.

Yes, it is very absurd in places. The complicated philosophical debate that takes place between the security guard and Johnny becomes increasingly more bizarre as it goes on, and all the scenes involving Jeremy portray him as so utterly despicable that it's almost comical.

There's really no such thing as a "happy cello." There's upbeat cello, lively cello, fast-moving cello, but no sir... no happy cello.

Do you know who scores the film?

Hmm. Might just need to watch this when I get into a movie-watching mood.
Good review, lalalalala, *thumbs-up*

This film sounds like one of those works that had to be made. Nobody wanted it, nobody acknowledges the dark side of life that inspired it, but it had to be made.

It also sounds as if, sooner or later, it has to be watched.

Nicely done review, sir.

Furburt:

reg42:
Hmm... Sounds like it's got absurdist qualities... I like adsurdism.
It's workshopped too, which is awesome.

Yes, it is very absurd in places. The complicated philosophical debate that takes place between the security guard and Johnny becomes increasingly more bizarre as it goes on, and all the scenes involving Jeremy portray him as so utterly despicable that it's almost comical.

Well, in that case... I think I ought to make a trip down to the video rental place tomorrow. I will see this film.

Seems interesting and just the fact that David Thewlis is the lead might be enough to justify a rental.

You only review things you like?

"This aggresion will not stand, , man!"

I enjoyed reading this..it's very in depth describes lots of detail and you even break everything down..i say this is what a professional should be doing...*tips hat* Good show ol'Furb

this is long. soso review but you have lots of potential for future reviews. I belive in you :]

DirtyCommie:
You only review things you like?

"This aggresion will not stand, , man!"

No, I only review things that impact me enough for me to consider making a review. If I see a film that's brilliant, I'll make a review. However, when I see a film that's balls to the wall terrible, I'll make a review as well.

Thankfully, there haven't been many of them lately.

Furburt:

DirtyCommie:
You only review things you like?

"This aggresion will not stand, , man!"

No, I only review things that impact me enough for me to consider making a review. If I see a film that's brilliant, I'll make a review. However, when I see a film that's balls to the wall terrible, I'll make a review as well.

Thankfully, there haven't been many of them lately.

You didnt get the reference?

;(

Great review nd it sounds like the tyep of movie I would like to watch once. The pervert and misanthrope in me would enjoy it.

FranzTyphid:
This is impressive!
It made me want to watch the film

SKUB!!!! Also Furburt you should review the "The Gates of Hell" movie, 1979 (i think) italian director, VERY good movie

I've seen part of this film before, but I never finished it.

Though I thought the part with the scott and later with his girlfriend is funny as hell.

DirtyCommie:

You didnt get the reference?

;(

Of course I did! Are you doubting my Big Lebowski fandom? But I just wanted to answer your question.

ma55ter_fett:
I've seen part of this film before, but I never finished it.

Though I thought the part with the scott and later with his girlfriend is funny as hell.

MAGGIE!

ARCHIE!

I was splitting my sides at that point.

The title made me think it was something else.

Anyway, great review as always.

Nice review Furburt. I'm interested in seeing the movie, but...is this the movie with the clip you posted elsewhere where the guy gets beaten with the fire extinguisher? 'Cuz that was freakin' brutal.

Swollen Goat:
Nice review Furburt. I'm interested in seeing the movie, but...is this the movie with the clip you posted elsewhere where the guy gets beaten with the fire extinguisher? 'Cuz that was freakin' brutal.

Nope, that's the film Irreversible. This film doesn't really have any violence in it, nothing serious anyway.

Furburt:

DirtyCommie:
You only review things you like?

"This aggresion will not stand, , man!"

No, I only review things that impact me enough for me to consider making a review. If I see a film that's brilliant, I'll make a review. However, when I see a film that's balls to the wall terrible, I'll make a review as well.

Thankfully, there haven't been many of them lately.

Story of my life. I've torn through 8 reviews and a couple more unfinished ones, all scrapped since my last review (which was, funnily enough, one of New Moon). Batman: AA, Quantum of Solace, Transformers 2, Mass Effect and KotOR were some of those reviews that didn't make it because I didn't like the turnout, or just got bored of reviewing it.

Although I haven't reviewed anything particularly negatively thus far.

 

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