I just watched this film for the first time last night and was blown away. I’m not really sure what exactly I think of it yet, except that I think it is a brilliant film. One thing about it that has occupied my thoughts are some critics’ charges of misogyny. On the one hand, I think the claim is ridiculous, as the female characters are as carefully drawn and with equal nuance (if not more, in some cases), as well as being the most sympathetic. However, it is true that the female characters tend to be very passive, best exemplified by Louise’s love and acceptance of Johnny despite all he has done (though, I must admit, I found myself falling in love with him, so I can understand her totally irrational feelings). Of course, one could argue that their seeming passivity is really the fact that they are given little other option, considering their situations (an idea supported by the scene where Louise almost calls the police on Jeremy). I realize that what I’m writing is a bit muddled, but I’m still puzzling things out.
So, what do you all think about the film? Since you are all intelligent film lovers, I look forward to gleaning some insight into the film from your impressions.
While I thought the direction was superb, I did not like this film at all. I found the subject matter not to my liking. I prefer Leigh’s Secrets and Lies. The whole concept of a nihilistic street person shunning societal norms and pontificating on the meaning of life during his exisistential journey through downtrodden London just didn’t do it for me. I thought it was familiar terrain already treaded upon. I read On the Road and saw the film Vagabond. That was enough for me. But I have to admit, Thewlis did give one hell of a performance, and as said before, the direction was fabulous. So I give it that, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
One of my all time favorites, and the reason I give Thewlis a lifetime pass for all the incredibly horrible movies he tends to co-star in.
It seems like I should say more, but I don’t feel like it.
I like the film too but the film is a little overlong with the last 15 minutes not as good as the previous 2 hours. But still worth owning.
This is an amazing film, because it keeps simmering away and at every moment it could boil over, and yet it all feels very natural somehow. It’s like The Honeymoon Killers, you feel like you’re watching real people through a keyhole. You want to run, you want to hit them, you want to shout, “Leave that room this instant.” It works the way most horror films are supposed to, but don’t, because they are so clotted with fornula.
People scream misogyny any time there’s a female character who accepts abuse from a man. It’s a delicate character type to portray, but let’s face it, we live in a society (the UK included) where this dynamic plays out so often in sexual relationships. It’s like demanding that gay characters always be virile and monogamous; it’s a case of art having an agenda to utopianize a flawed society. I prefer films like Naked which deal with the messy realities unflinchingly.