|Johnny (David Thewlis)|
This film is polarizing for me. On the one hand there are things to love about this film, but on the other hand…
The film begins with Johnny, pictured above, sexually assaulting a woman. As soon as Johnny is done, he grabs a car and flees from Manchester to London where he moves in with an old girlfriend. He spends most of his time roughing up her roommate. She is so spaced out that it’s surprising she even notices the rough sex or that she has just responded to another one of Johnny’s many rants. Then Johnny goes out into the modern world that seems to have dumped on him and all the characters in the film with all his pseudo-intellectual desperation in tow.
On the streets he meets a variety of characters. The most interesting being a night security watchman. He’s the only one who seems to be capable of keeping up with Johnny. Meanwhile at home, a creep who seems to have all the self confidence of a high school senior football player with penis envy shows up and starts pushing the two ladies around.
All the characters are as the title says: naked. Not literally, but in the sense that there is nothing between them and the cold world around them. This creates some really good performances, particularly from Thewlis, and an almost Cronenberg cold as steel world and soundtrack to match.
On the other hand, since there is nothing between these people and the world around them we get a lot of dialogue that is about as insightful and meaningful as the rantings of a depressed humanities major. We are also forced to watch some rather uncomfortable sex sequences that turn your stomach and make you truly understand the words sexual assault. Finally, the film screams for some sort of unifying principle or meaning and I couldn’t find it for sure. The closest that I could find is that a modern UK has dumped on it’s people and the rest have fled to other countries like characters in the story who go to America, Thailand, and Zimbabwe.
As a result, you get a mixture of good things with some unsettling things and no glue to really hold it together. Not every film needs glue, but this film did. So it’s only worth a look.