Withnail & I is about the end of an era. Set in 1969 England, it portrays the last throes of a friendship mirroring the seedy demise of the hippie period, delivering some comic gems along the way.
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A garishly macabre vision of a Britain exiting the war years and trying to come of age, it presents a time when society was ridding itself of the shackles of its Best-Of-British conventions, and forging a new path. Sadly though, with any coming of age tale there are those who are unable to grow at the same rate. Withnail is one of those, too happy to take all the pleasures, and never wake up to reality.
It had a miraculously literate script whose every line deservedly became a quotable classic and the film boasts a once-in-a-lifetime combination of perfect performances from Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant as the loafing actors heading for a terrible bucolic weekend, Ralph Brown as drug-dealing Danny and Richard Griffiths as predatory Uncle Monty.
Conveys the experience of being drunk so well that the only way I could improve upon it would be to stand behind you and hammer your head with two-pound bags of frozen peas.
Fans can mouth the words of Grant's big speeches along with him, relishing every viperish turn of phrase...this is and always will be a perfect dark comedy and a student staple.
This is a ramshackle, exuberant affair, peppered with larger-than-life inhabitants, ludicrous scenes and quotable dialogue that have long since grown worn from frequent use.