The screenplay must have weighed fifty pounds on its own….This film is a cauliflower, and it’s MASSIVE.
I can’t make any new observations; It’s been reviewed to death. All I know is, the movie is fucking epic and immense whilst somehow managing to contain itself within a dirty wet world where two quid is rather a lot of money and where dolls need diaper changes. It’s nowt, and it’s all. As nothing happens, so does everything.
The passion that Robinson evokes is wherein lies his genius. Ahead of its time, WITHNAIL AND I doesn’t KNOW what’s to come, or the legacy it is to leave with its Beckett comparisons and the tidal wave of visitors to Penrith. (This is the muddy juncture where fanatics – in the true sense of the word – can be found hopping into a fucked Mark II Jag and retracing the nothingly-everything journey of Withnail and Marwood).
1) Point your camera and shoot.
2) Let it run.
For the correct sort of wetness, you should also obtain what looks like unadulterated child’s piss.
Then let rip with long scenes, editless one-shots, and beautiful silences. It’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are ALIVE. It’s Vladimir and Estragon-and there’s even a convenient carrot. It’s horrible and bleak. It’s on-location-visitable. It’s Hendrix Heaven. It’s Bruce Robinson’s life story presented as an étude in booze.
In your fucking FACE, Zeffirelli.