Naked Lunch Reviews
The sense of alienation and foreign sexuality is very well drawn and the film stands up to repeated viewings rather well.
As best as I can tell without knowing more about the background, the movie is about self-hatred and fear being able to create art. I'm a fan of stories about making stories, however I found it just a little hard to follow and not due to the surrealist nature of the whole thing (which is definitely confusing but in a positive way and not a negative one). I think this is due to the fact that it's a metanarrative about a writer that is not Cronenberg, as opposed to Adaptation where the character is literally the writer of the movie on more levels than one. Its actually surprising that for a movie that gets so meta, that any trace of the director himself is entirely missing.
This is on a narrative level only however as almost every other Cronenberg trademark is present. Fantastic gore effects, great monsters, living technology, psychological trauma manifesting itself into reality, it's all great fun.
I'll have to come back to this after reading the book and getting a little more understanding of what I'm watching.
The film's disastrous financial performance of $2-3M at box office upon an over $17M budget is very much what it deserves, so I thought I would go easy on it's rating by giving it a generous 6/10 solely for its adaptation. However as a film to recommend to others to see, I would give this a generous 4/10. The average of these ratings is 5/10.
I have read a good portion of Burroughs' semi-autobiographic, but mostly fiction novel &, even though it took a while to decipher, I really liked it & eventually bought it; overtime, I could just imagine the scenarios being played out. When I saw the film adaptation, I was captivated as it seemed to bring the book to life (director David Cronenberg also included elements of Burroughs' other works). With unique acting (especially by Peter Weller as William Lee), strange/intriguing settings & characters (much praise for the Mugwump), & magnificent bold direction by Cronenberg, "Naked Lunch" was a great film that captured the essence of Burroughs' famed novel. A must-see for fans of the author's works or of the Beat Generation!