Withnail & I (Blu–ray)

January 28, 2012 4 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Marwood (Paul McGann) and his friend Withnail (Richard E. Grant) are unemployed actors who drown their troubles with whatever they can get their hands on, from booze to drugs to lighter fluid, if need be. Marwood can be offbeat at times, but Withnail is a total madman and is more off the wall than anyone could even dream of, I assure you. He is loud, abrasive, and concocts strange ideas, but he is also sometimes likable, at least to a select few people. When the two decide some time is needed away from their urban based lives, Withnail suggests they trek to the countryside, to a cottage owned by his Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths). But this vacation of sorts turns into real trouble, thanks to constant rain, scared neighbors, lack of foreign substances, and of course, the two men and their total lack of survival skills. As time passes, the two become more desperate for food, proper clean clothes, and other stuff, as the bond of their friendship is tested, time and again. Will these two unusual men be able to cope with life in this country cottage, or will they go mad in the time that’s supposed to be reserved for relaxation?

This is easily one of the funniest movies out there, a quirky and intelligent comedy that delivers on all levels. The film provides laughs from start to finish and while it is a little dry at times, the humor is dead on. The shining star of Withnail & I is Richard E. Grant, who is simply excellent here. He seems so natural in this quirky role, from the outrageous dialogue to the off balance mannerisms, Grant never falters here and that is very impressive indeed. I could watch his work here a million times over and never tire of it, he is that fantastic and powerful, truly amazing work. I’ve liked many of Grant’s performances, but this really was the performance of a lifetime and his finest work. Grant is joined by Paul McGann, Richard Griffiths, and Ralph Brown, among others and all the cast seems to be in fine form indeed. I never tire of the humor in Withnail and I, as it has so many great lines and Grant is so perfect in his role, while Bruce Robinson’s direction ensures it all remains woven together. Withnail & I is simply a wonderful movie, one that earns my highest recommendation.

Video: How does it look?

Withnail & I is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The source material is a little unruly, but this transfer looks good and is the best home video edition available. The visuals look soft and always will, but detail is improved and some subtle touches emerge that were previously obscured. The colors are just as the visual design demands, while contrast is a little soft, but that comes with the territory in this case. All in all, a good transfer that offers fans a solid reason to upgrade.

Audio: How does it sound?

The uncompressed PCM 2.0 soundtrack is fine, but this movie’s audio is by no means memorable. The dialogue is clear, which is all that really matters here. The depth beyond that is non-existent, but that is fine in this instance. As long as the vocals sound good, that is all we need here. This disc also includes English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Sadly, no extras have been included.

Disc Scores