There are very few films that are as quoted and loved as this obscure independent film made in 1986. The semi autobiographical film centres around two out of work actors living in London in 1969.
Who would have guessed that 23 years later that university students would still be reciting lines from 'Withnail and I' during drinking binges at the student union bar. The film is a multifaceted masterpiece thanks to director and writer Bruce Robinson, which nearly didn'tÂ get made due to disagreements between one of the producers and Robinson over the comic appeal of the script.
Thankfully Robinson won that argument.
It is a film that is as enjoyable to watch all these years later as it was on the day it was released and has made Richard E. Grant And Paul McGann cult heroes who can't go down the Street without someone shouting "Perfume Ponce" and other lines from the film.
It is a film that is full of classic lines from start to finish and I am guilty of doing the odd Danny "Cool your boots man" impression which I have been told am rather good at. And it is a film that requires a few viewings for the subtleties to reveal themselves.Â Richard E Grant's performance as Withnail is one of the greats of modern cinema as the eccentric cowardly blaggard, with a passion for booze and drugs but a dislike for his fellow man who he considers as beneath him.
He isn't that fond of agents and directors either.
Paul McGann's performance is equally as magnificent and the on screen chemistry between them is legendary in this film. Paul Mcgann's character 'Marwood' in the screenplay but not on the film or credits is a slightly more naiveÂ and sensitive character who seems prone to panic and the one who keeps Withnail together as best he can.
Then there comes the lecherous gay uncle of Withnail calledÂ 'Monty' who takes a shine to Marwood and provides another great performance.
The film is funny from the off and the intense dialogue is such that you can not leave your seat for a cup of tea for fear of missing one of the classic lines.
I recommend the film highly…well I would, it is in my top 3 films of all time. After watching this film try and go into a tea room in the lake district and not order cake with a smile….I dare you.