Naked ★★★★½

Mike Leigh's Naked is a difficult film to process. This is because it is utterly unclassifiable. If you removed the dialogue from context and concentrated solely on Johnny's diction, you'd realize that it could easily be quoted as a comedic analysis of life itself. Yet, when this incredibly black humor is coupled with the relentlessly bleak atmosphere, Naked becomes this mind-conflicting masterpiece that manages to entertain, frustrate, depress and enlighten its audience.

The film revolves around the homeless Johnny as he traipses around East London conversing with lower-class workers, questioning their habits and often irritating them. It's a relatively simple premise, but these almost fragmented stories, in the hands of a skilled team, can make for a brilliant film (much like La Dolce Vita or Slacker). Johnny is certainly a great protagonist as his background is never explained; in fact, much of this film remains ambiguous which is perhaps why it works so well.

There is also a little tune that deserves some mention. It's an expertly composed, sweet yet morose melody that plays during emotive scenes. It is like Mihaly Vig's composition in The Turin Horse that plays incessantly during that film, although Naked's track isn't as memorable.

Naked is a great film overall. Every aspect of it is exceptional, and some of its scenes are sweat-inducingly intense. Certainly not for the casual movie-goer, but I definitely recommend this eccentric work to those truly invested in the medium.