Withnail and I Fan Reviews

Withnail talking to Jake the Poacher

Film Review by S.G.Loy

Marwood went on to star in the lead in some long-forgotten production, whilst both Withnail and Uncle Monty, who were, despite their pretentions and eccentricities, both much better talents, faded away. This was yet another indication that an older, more stable order was being vaporised, and replaced with an emptier, yet more immediate culture.

Upon being rejected by the homophobe Marwood, Uncle Monty, himself a classic actor in retirement, who lived sans telephone and television - both vestiges of a modern world which he neither understood nor cared for - left in the night, in shame, never to be seen in the film again.

Marwood went on to yuppy glory as the new decade of commercialism dawned, brought on in great part, ironically, by the marketing assault and the tricks learned and used behind the rocketing of the Beatles to iconic status in the last decade.

The choice of Harrison's 'While My Guitar gently Weeps was a perfectly subtle choice. That Withnail was frustrated was doubly emphasised by the shallow characters surrounding him - Danny, Presumin' Ed etc. He had trouble relating to them because the only way he could required him to talk down to their level.

The scene in the country pub, Withnail conjures drinks from the landlord, who was a retired officer of the Armored Corps, a veteran and an adherent to long obsolete mannerisms, indeed a ghost himself. Significant too was how Marwood would not even share a drink with Withnail upon departure, as if his friendship with Withnail only flourished when Marwood was stagnant.

A sly hint of things to come for Marwood was the fact that he had a copy of Husyman's decadent statement 'Against Nature', (a book which Wilde plagiarised to a degree), so maybe Marwood developed an aesthetic later on after all? Or, it backfired on him horribly as he played a Victorian washout on some Masterpiece Theater drollness or a supporting role in some Anthoney Newley strangeness. The film almost begged a sequel.