Naked ★★★★★

I was ready to turn the movie off after twenty minutes. Johnny is the pseudo intellectual misanthrope everyone who has ever been in a house party has met and who everyone detests. However I persisted and Johnny immediately became a more interesting character when he was no longer around women who he in his deep misogyny can't find himself to do anything else with than abuse.

When he joins the night guard, it becomes quickly apparent that he actually isn't a misanthrope, he as an extremely disillusioned idealist. He cares and he wants the guard to be happy, but in his disillusionment towards society he doesn't see a way for him to be happy. Of course this is just him merely projecting his own insecurity and cynicism on him, which is really how he is with everyone in the movie.

The moment that revealed the most about his character was when in the stairs Johnny follows the guard and the guard stops and turns around, Johnny steps back down and leans on the wall. The reaction isn't abrupt like someone who had been beaten and was expecting a punch would have, but the moment the flow of the conversation is turned back on him, he can do little else than secede and say "alright, alright". The moment reveals his habit of verbal aggression as preemptive attack on the world, which he expects to attack him.

He's aggressive towards everyone, but he's resentful towards women and I can't help, but read that as anything else than resentment towards Thatcher, which is then projected on the entire female gender. He charms women, sleeps with them and then viciously hurts them because he was betrayed and abused by his mother.

I've seen people say, that Jeremy is nothing more than a plot tool to highlight, that even though Johnny is a bastard, he's not the worst bastard and while that is true, the contrast between Johnny and Jeremy is so much more than that, they're brothers. One an idealist, the other an individualist and what if anything Thatcher's England was than individualistic? Jeremy thrived in it and his lack of empathy for anyone else is the reason why. He's a sadist who uses and abuses women and leaves money behind because money in his eyes makes everything okay.

The thing is though, despite being worse than Johnny in that Jeremy has no empathy and care for anyone, he's not actually worse in practice. Johnny takes an advantage of women by making them feel for him, it's his way for stripping down their defenses before he can slither in like a snake and the moment he has them vulnerable, he hurts them and leaves. He is as bad as Jeremy is, it's just that he does it in a different way.

The greatest stories exist on many levels and Naked captures the spirit of a country in a certain time, while also being a fantastic examination of different shades of extreme misogyny.

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