I knew nothing about Naked when I was given this film in a Flickchart movie exchange group, which was perhaps fortunate as it ended up also being part of my Silver Screen Top 10 Time Machine challenge. Well, maybe “fortunate” isn’t the right word: chalk it up to my ignorance about the subject matter, but this film did not sit well with me at all. I can understand why some people would see it as masterful film-making, but its downfalls were just too much for me to look past.
After raping a woman, Johnny (David Thewlis) flees London for Manchester, where he connects with an old girlfriend. Uncertain about his future, Johnny wanders the streets striking up conversations with night workers and homeless people.
As you might guess from this description, Naked is depressing. It is a painfully raw look at the very worst people, and it was too much for me to bear. There is a lot of hatred and abuse of women in this film, including numerous rape scenes, and I just could not sit and watch: I often found myself turning away or closing my eyes. This isn’t a reflection of the technical craft on display, however, as I believe David Thewlis was phenomenal as Johnny, while the use of blue tones and clever camera work throughout were quite good. With that in mind, you might find Naked to be a great film if you’re the type of person that can sit through 2 hours and 12 minutes of morose, dirty and depressing subject matter, unsympathetic and terrible characters, and considerable abuse towards women (including rape). If you are not that person, then you are like me. I will never watch Naked again.
Naked landed at #1381 out of 1410 movies on my Flickchart. That converts to a rating of 0 out of 5 stars or 2%. It is ranked #253 out of 259 films I have seen from the 1990s, and it is ranked #24 out of 24 movies I have seen so far in this challenge.