O Lucky Man!Always remember gentlemen, that you are a failure in catering if you don't know what to do with your leftovers.
Quite a start. A bracingly original vision of Great Britain during a time of great change. A sprawling 3 hour journey that swings for the fences and works as a collection of individual sequences. Though in the end, I wasn't sure what it all meant. Sure had fun though.
The major draw here is Malcom McDowell as an eager Everyman, a financially ambitious traveling salesman who embarks on a series of adventures. Some are funny, some are intense and often the two meet at some lunatic intersections. (At one point, he gets lost near a military instillation. He's captured, tortured and ultimately freed by the cleaning lady who complains "they never clean up after themselves.") Along the way McDowell meets mad doctors, evil global businessmen and numerous members involved in the law. He goes from greedy capitalist to peace-loving social worker. It's all performed with an over-enthustiac glee that reminded me a lot of Alex in A Clockwork Orange. It's amazing to see McDowell tear into that character type a 2nd time, and come up with a performance that's equal.
Taken a section at a time, O Lucky Man! works really well. Anderson's go-for-broke approach reminded me a lot of a film by another famous Anderson... P.T.s Magnolia. However (just like my big problem with Magnolia), the running time ultimately works against it. The journey is even more rambling than it needs to be, and it gets pretty tedious in the final half-hour. But I really liked it's ambition, including some greek chorus song breaks by Alan Price. (I thought the songs would slow down the movie, but they're really good. I want to get the soundtrack now.)RATING: ***
Having seen If... I'm very interested in completing McDowell/Anderson's Mick Travis trilogy and watching Britannia Hospital.