Wilt - faithful attention to the book on the whole, some deviation (blow-up doll aside) but nonetheless both book and film hugely entertaining. Tom Sharpes' acid wit is brought to life in this sardonic swipe at the Police Forces who 'protect and serve' us, and bureaucracy, served up on the same plate with our sympathy being evoked for Wilty. Causing us to ponder on the lives of those other poor devils who are obliged to try and teach in similar environments. Its seems obvious where Sharpe's sympathies lie in the book and this transposes well to the film, the characters of Wilt and Inspector Flint are portrayed brilliantly by that well known comedy duo 'Smith & Jones'. The dialogue, as in the book, is magic! Wilt being tied to a Blow-Up doll, falsely accused of murder, and vainly protesting his innocence. Maintaining the theme of farce, the piece of evidence that could have 'cleared' him, had been used by a toilet-roll challenged Wilt to serve an urgent 'bathroom' need. Tom Sharpe's literary swipes at the corrupt, powerful, snobbish and any other eligible targets never fail to deliver with copious doses of humour, irreverent and bizarre situations and truck loads of irony. To see his books brought to life on film or TV is precious and not to be missed. This film is hugely entertaining. I would suggest an 'evening in' with the DVD and any other like minded individuals and be entertained. Really entertained.
When I saw this film had Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones in it I thought it must be funny and watched it. So glad I did! Excellent plotline, with some cracking pieces of script and real laugh-out-loud moments. Recommend this film to anyone with a funny bone!!
I saw this film before reading the book by Tom Sharpe, and although some say that pretty much ruins the reading for you, I'm still glad I did, as when I came to reading the book I could 'hear' the voices of Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith in their respective characters in my head, which made it all the more enjoyable. I'd bought it largely because I'm a fan of Smith and Jones' work (their 'news for the elderly' sketch is one of the funniest things I've ever seen), so despite a number of mixed reviews elsewhere my expectations were still fairly high.
The film itself does differ in places to the book, although this didn't really matter to me. It moves along at a steady pace and there are enough funny moments to keep the viewer's attention. The performances are excellent, particularly that of Griff Rhys Jones, who plays the title character. His range veers from anger (directed at a blow-up doll he's trying to get rid of in one of the funniest scenes in the film) to quiet bewilderment as he is continuously questioned by Mel Smith's Inspector Flint, who puts in a performance good enough to make you sympathise with him, despite his heavy-handedness. The two main actresses, Alison Steadman and Diana Quick, also bring their characters to life. Steadman's Eva differs quite strongly (physically at least) from Tom Sharpe's version yet this does not detract from either of them.
I do feel that the film could've benefited from a bit more length - perhaps more time could've gone into Wilt's life at home and the college, as well as his relationship with Eva (more exploration into her faddish nature), but this is a minor fault. Overall this is an excellent film that can be rewatched and still make you laugh. The humour ranges from the small one-liners to outright farce, which creates a film with a pretty broad comic appeal. The extras are pretty good too: interviews with Smith, Jones and the director, as well as some brief location footage. Not bad for a British film in the late 80s!