Naked Lunch is a screen adaptation of William S. Burroughs’s novel of the same name. Not sure about the book (didn’t read it), but the film basically shows the image of a mind during a period of psychotic hallucinations induced by overuse of hard drugs. The concept and certain events (William Tell act) are autobiographical, and specifics of the psychosis are probably made up (some of them, anyway).
On the one hand, the film is done extremely well: the direction is fine, as well as the acting, the story is internally consistent, even though completely insane, which makes it interesting to follow, and overall implementation is great. But on the other – the contents of the heroe’s delirium is very unpleasant for the most part: the bugs, the slime, the paranoia, – all those things and others leave a grisly impression.
All in all, the film feels like a detailed document about tortures, or mass murders, – it fascinates to a certain degree, but you have no desire to come back to it afterwards. Although, being true to the facts of life (in addition to undeniable talent of the director) makes it a decent work of art, no doubt about that.
Released in: 1991
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Written by: David Cronenberg
Performed by: Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, Roy Scheider, Monique Mercure, Nicholas Campbell, Michael Zelniker, Robert A. Silverman, Joseph Scoren, Peter Boretski, Yuval Daniel, John Friesen, Sean McCann, Howard Jerome
Entertaining quality: 4+ out of 5
Art quality: 5- out of 5
IMDB page: link