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Withnail and I – Film Review

These reviews of various films are simply an exercise to get the students 
to put their point of view as clearly and succinctly as possible to paper.
During the semester we looked at a number of films, concentrating
largely on these films from an actors point of view.
Committing their points of view to paper clearly, as an exercise, 
is the 1st step in developing their vocabulary for examining and sharing
what does and does not resonate for them as regards script, picture, 
and performance.
Alex Murphy

The movie is about a weird but absolute friendship between two unemployed actors/ roommates/best friends. At first, when I started watching the film, I thought, this is absolutely not my cup of tee (a movie that tries to shock with drugs and alcohol way of living, and verbal gymnastics ).. but as the film moved on, I started to get into this story. The story is told in a way that charmingly reveals more and more about each of the main characters: why are they there where they are? What will happen to them? There were a lot of moments I empathized deeply for Marwood:I really felt him suffering because of the friendship with Withnail.

But in the final scene, when we see Withnail left behind at the park while his friend is going after his career, you see him devastated, and it occurs to us that he is not going to get where he wants to be (to be a great/famous actor).

The acting of Richard Grant (Withnail) I first thought was over the top.. But then, as we got further in the movie, I started to realise that this style, his flair had a kind of a

credibility: if you are hammered/stoned every single hour of the day, his grandiose behavior could be a result of the grandiosity, the arrogance,and the alcoholic intake. The acting of Paul McGann (Marwood) was amazing: the changes between him being drunk, stoned, having a panic-attack, the good-boy… were all striking! This is a very realistic person!

The acting of the uncle Pyton was a bit over the top, but added nicely to the movie; it added another comic layer.

Visually, cinematically, to be honest, I don’t really know what to say about that.. There was definitely a particular style, but what was that exactly? It was in line with the story, I think-it served the story. It was filmed quite darkly, and sometimes from very unusual angels, which I liked cause that added texture to the film visually; it makes you see things differently – things look more messy, or detailed, and this adds to the complexity of the story, and of the characters moment by moment.

Lieselot Meurisse, acting student



IAFT Cebu, Philippines is a film school that delivers an educational experience that reflects Hollywood roots and traditions. Founded in 2004, IAFT Cebu offers Certificate and Diploma programs in film , acting and 3D animation. Located in: One Hollywood Blvd
, Bigfoot I.T. and Media Park, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu, Philippines. Email:, Contact Numbers: Globe/Viber: +63-917-314-3456 Smart: +63-947-991-9659 Phone: +63-32-495-2111