Some people find themselves intertwined in the safety net of everyday life, with many demonstrating an uncontrollable urge to leave the monotony of their existence behind and embark on a journey into the unknown.
While plans for fun-filled escapades possess a capacity to vanish into murky shadows of obscurity, swarms of passport clad swashbucklers continue to dart towards the luminous lights of the travel world, orchestrating tumultuous treks around the globe whereby insights into alternative cultures, serene sights and culinary masterclasses gleefully stain the mind, embedding burrowing their way into the brain for eternity.
Would-be explorers experiencing apprehension may seek validation from family members or close friends before sampling a slice of proverbial travel pie, though in truth any doubts about vacating the comfort zone should be alleviated after a screening of 1987 British cult classic Withnail & I.
Set in the dreary doldrums of 1960s London, two hapless reprobates harbour dreams of breaking their duck and landing their ‘big break’, whilst navigating the trials and tribulations of urban existence.
With the exasperated anti-heroes floored by their distinct lack of intellect and an absence of luck taking a stranglehold, the pair decide to leave the swamped streets of Camden and commence with an impulsive escape to the unfamiliar terrain of the Lake District.
Cue 107 minutes of chaos… Withnail & I’s narrative, a whirlwind rollercoaster ride into the psyche of sixties seduction, perpetuates why delving into the unknown is an experience to be embraced and harnessed, as opposed to evaded, with colourful characters injecting the drab backdrop of rural England with a splash of figurative watercolour.
While the loveable rogues stumble upon a series of unfamiliar predicaments whilst clumsily navigating their way through a self-imposed standoff with nature, the hilarious catalogue of ensuing incidents encapsulate the trials and tribulations of a traveller – bound in a maze of bewilderment, a beautiful juxtaposition of an otherwise familiar place known as home.
While Withnail & I isn’t a conventional travel film, alas The Beach, Sideways or Lost in Translation, Bruce Robinson’s pervasive masterpiece is the epitome of the perfect travel tale: a story of escapism, friendship, self-discovery and exposure to concepts conflicting with what is perceived to be ordinary, each of which are commonly affiliated with travel and justification for exploration.
Rummage through an innocent spittle of obscenities, polish the cobwebs from this beautiful masterpiece and prepare for to plan Summer of a Lifetime, albeit slightly further afield…