Naked ★★★★★

One of those films that just feels all too perfect to watch when you feel like everything around you is slowly crumbling down.

It wouldn’t be inaccurate to describe Naked as a film all about horrible people but its title also perfectly fits as a descriptor for the state in which we are coming to witness David Thewlis’s Johnny being the most of himself. He’s cruel, misanthropic, hates the world around him, but there also comes forth a somewhat sympathetic angle coming forth because this era of Britain, which came so quickly following the Thatcher years feels almost like one that was built solely on a false sense of virtue—many of these same mistakes only are about to be repeated again and it also adds a very cynical angle to the film’s comedy, as it sharply contrasts how cruel Leigh’s characters can be.

Yet for every bit as fascinating as Johnny is, it’s clear that Leigh is critical of people like him. He’s very well-educated, as one could tell from his own monologue about the future of Britain (one that feels so tragically poignant even today, but noting Leigh’s lack of compassion for the political era which had just gone by), but he’s also taking part in everything that he complains about, which adds more to the pessimism of Naked, as it all comes together in the film’s ending. He’s still searching, but when there’s nowhere else to go, what’s the point in indulging in that extreme hatred?

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