“It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it!” If I had a shiny new pound coin for every time I’d heard that, I’d be a rich, rich man. Trouble is, it’s not exactly accurate is it? Great dialogue transcends both the performance and the film from whence it came and has the ability to infiltrate popular culture and consciousness. From the endlessly quotable to the words you wish you’d said yourself, each week will feature an iconic iteration. So in the words of Reservoir Dogs’ Joe Cabot…”Let’s go to work!”
The past came a-calling this week as a film from my youth rematerialised, albeit in GIF form. Mike Leigh’s Naked made a strong impression on a then US-centric fledgling film fan. The Hollywood glitz and glam was replaced with grit and grime, as temporarily homeless Flâneur Johnny (Thewlis), spits vitriol at all who’ll listen. Example?
“Have you ever thought, right, but you don’t know, but you may have already lived the happiest day in your whole fuckin’ life and all you have left to look forward to is fuckin’ sickness and purgatory?”
Truths, right there. And Naked is full of such truths and is prime for a rewatch in this house. It was Johnny’s final rant that cemented the film (but sadly not the quote) in the memory after only one viewing.
If you do remember the final caustic “harelipped hunchback” line, do let us know in the comments below.