29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
DVD is essential since VHS wears out after about 200 watches,
This review is from: Withnail and I [DVD] (DVD)
Bruce Robinson's "Withnail and I" is a modern classic, beloved by its cult following, and can be rewatched so many times that most people feel the need to have a spare copy handy just in case one wears out. Indeed, if you can hold on to your copy without lending it to someone and never getting it back, you're doing better than the rest of us!
Loosely based upon his own life, this is a story of two 'resting' actors and how they try in vain to escape the festering stink-hole that is Camden Town in 1969 by having a weekend out in country. Richard E. Grant's astonishing performance as the brilliantly sarcastic, cynical and eloquent anti-hero Withnail, is counterbalanced by the aloof Marwood (better known as 'I'), from whose perspective the film is based around. Richard Griffiths amazingly camp performance as Uncle Monty is one of his greatest roles, and when thrown into the mix with the scheming Withnail and the unsuspecting 'I', it makes for one of the most fascinating menage-a-trois ever to be caught on camera. Aside from the three main characters, there isn't really many other people in the film, but they include the late Michael Elphick as a poacher (who threatens Withnail with a dead fish), Withnail's dodgy mate Danny (who invents the legendary 'Camberwell Carrot', a joint that utilises up to 12 skins) and Presuming Ed (who doesn't say anything in the film except for 'Hare Rama').
Probably the most quoted movie in British history, nearly every single line is like a sound-bite. It has also spawned the most infamous drinking game in movie history, which involves trying to keep up with Withnail's drinking throughout the movie, which in reality is actually impossible. It is the mark of how great an actor Richard E. Grant is to point out that he doesn't drink himself, yet manages to portray drunkenness to absolute perfection, even to the point of giving one of the most convincing portrayals of a hangover in history.
The DVD contains a great documentary which has plenty of Bruce Robinson himself, and discusses how the characters came about, and how the film has earned cult status among other things. It also offers you a couple of different sound options just incase you have a fancy 5.1 system or something similar. There is also some nice stills of Grant and McGann being stupid in a bathroom, and a commentary track by McGann and Ralph Brown (who plays Danny in the film) which is worth a listen.
Don't just buy this movie... buy two or three, you're going to need them!