Naked: directed by Mike Leigh a jpoc movie review
A film without purpose about people without purpose
Main Cast
David Thewlis Johnny
Lesley Sharp Louise
Katrin Cartlidge Sophie
Greg Cruttwell Jeremy
Claire Skinner (I) Sandra
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jpoc rating
Five out of ten.

Another film from the bargain bin at the Heathrow Airport Duty Free Shops.

jpoc review
British cinema likes to deal with hard topics and this has led to some remarkable films in the past. A crucial part of those successes is always the portrayal of even the most unsympathetic characters as real people with plausible flaws and redeeming characteristics.

Naked fails simply because it forgets to do this.

The film's central character, Johnny (David Thewlis) is an emotional predator. He preys on those weaker than himself for his own amusement. Intelligent, persuasive and articulate, he has little trouble doing so as long as he is with the right people.

Fearing a much deserved beating, he steals a car and flees his native Manchester and arrives at the house that his ex-girlfriend Louise (Lesley Sharp) shares with two friends. There, he has a series of misadventures in which he crosses paths with an assortment of unlikely characters.

First, there is Sophie (Katrin Cartlidge) a young woman who is attractive enough that Johnny wants to bed her and stupid enough that she thinks that it means something. Later, he encounters a security guard who invites him in to the building that he is guarding, a lonely woman seen undressing at a window who invites him in to her room, a man putting up posters in the night who invites him in to his van and a waitress in a cafe who invites him in to her house.

Not one of these characters or encounters is at all plausible. They are moving in a world where fear and suspicion are key survival traits and yet everyone the Johnny meets invites him in to their safe zone.

Thewlis does a great job with the material that he is given and almost manages to make you believe in Johnny but the task is too hard.

Watching this film is a little like watching one weeks episodes of a typical British soap opera. People move around and events take place but nothing actually happens.