Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ranting at strangers, and meeting characters in plights very much like his own.
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Amazing, a masterpiece from the early 90's. Thewlis is unforgettable as Johnny. Much darker then Leigh's Secrets and lies and both are a fine example of what films are capable of achieving with the right director at the top of his game. Enjoy.
The dialogues (erhm, monologues) are exquisite.
"Have you ever thought, right, but you don't know, but you may have already lived the happiest day in your whole fuckin' life and all you have left to look forward to is fuckin' sickness and purgatory?"
Like a British version of After Hours, except...it's actually good. Leigh really nails what it's like to be painfully aware of your own humanity in an absurd universe. Vitriolic, spiteful, but not without existential truth.
A fascinating and troubling film which offers no easy answers or pretty characters. The occasional mis-step, usually involvng a character named Sebastian who isn't nearly as interesting as Leigh seems to think he is, but over all one of Leigh's best films. Don't miss it.