The Wounded Woe Of Withnail And I

Great piece on Withnail & I

Ben Hopkins

Endorphins. The simple reason why Bruce Robinson’s Withnail And I is so beloved is because of the euphoric rush prompted by laughter, which itself is born from its eminently quotable dialogue. If you’ve heard them once, you’ve heard them a thousand times: “Perfumed ponce!”; “We want the finest wines available to humanity!”; “We’re not from London!” The meaning is often crass, but the poetic phrasing and cutting delivery is the stuff of genius.

This is why Withnail And I has remained an enduring favourite since its original release in 1987, adored by everyone from students to cinephiles to your acquaintance who only ever seems to be a double whisky away from deviating from enthusiastic social drinker to full-blown alcoholic.

This is the primary perception of Richard E Grant’s Withnail. Yet for such merriment, it’s a profoundly downbeat tale. It’s a collection of endings: the fading embers of the 1960s ideal…

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