Withnail & I A Movie Review
Withnail and I (1987) Review Summary
“I demand to have some booze!” barks Withnail (Richard E. Grant) before downing a bottle of lighter fluid, giggling hysterically, collapsing and finally barfing all over I (Paul McGann). Ladies and gentleman we have a cult classic.
Withnail and I is utterly unique in its depiction of two elegantly wasted, unemployed thespians as they struggle with life, booze and a Camberwell carrot (6 inch spliff). The story unfolds during the tail end of 1969 where we meet Marwood and Withnail whom inhabit a wretched cold and meticulously filthy flat in Camden. Surrounded by such squalor and the unenviable problem of “forking the rats” Withnail mentions he has an uncle, ‘Monty’ (Richard Griffths) whom he assures Marwood would be gracious enough to lend them his cottage in The Lake District for the weekend.
Upon arrival their heaven is abruptly interrupted with torrential rain, peculiar locals and a particularly randy bull that takes a shine to Marwood. Worst of all they’ve run out of booze! Retreating to the only hostelry within miles Withnail tangles with a local poacher and his eels when offering to buy the one he has in his trousers. Withnail, being firmly rebuffed retreats to the cottage. Their sense of paranoia increases when not long after thy spot him skulking nearby and become convinced that he’s there to psychotically do away with them.
The following evening luckily Monty arrives to visit ‘his boys’ and catches them both in a somewhat compromising position! He treats them to food hampers and the finest wines from his bountiful cellar and explains his love for a ‘firm young carrot’, much to the surprise of Marwood. It seems the weekend is only getting started.
‘Withnail and I’ has grown into a cult classic. The perennial student film and one of the most quoted of all time. Writer and director Bruce Robinson encapsulates the timely demise of drug addled 1960’s with more gags than you could poke a stick at. Richard E Grant flawlessly portrays the drunken, abusing debauchery of Withnail and Paul McGann, who plays ‘I’ gives a career best performance as his much persecuted friend cruelly overshadowed by Withnails’ hubris.
Simply put this is one of the most quotable, likable and talked about films of all time and is an absolute must in any film connoisseur’s collection.