Withnail & I

UK 1987
Director : Bruce Robinson
Cast : Richard E. Grant, Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths

107 Min. | OmU | Original with german Subtitles

Retrospective

The 60s are nearly over. A cold and wet autumn has fallen over the city. The momentum has left the Swinging London of past years. What remains are the memories of better days. Days when drugs and booze still held some kind of magic, when freedom meant more than life without any money in a cold and filthy house. For Withnail and Marwood, two unemployed actors, the situation has become nearly intolerable. Paul McGann’s Marwood is increasingly anxious and neurotic, while Richard E. Grant’s Withnail holds on to his illusions of being a dandy. Grant and McGann are a great team. Without a hint of vanity, they portray two losers of an era that was bound to end in a great depression anyway. Even the most unerring one-liners and punchlines are delivered with such an understatement, that one nearly forgets to laugh. Like them, director and screenwriter Bruce Robinson downplays the rather drastic slapstic aspects of his cinematic debut, instead going for a desperate and melancholic wit that is unparalleled even outside of British cinema.