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How to Get Ahead in Advertising [Import]
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After the release of Withnail & I, British writer-director Bruce Robinson continued his satirical assault on British culture with this fiendishly funny rant, the title of which can be taken figuratively and literally as an object lesson in the art of consumer manipulation. Nobody dupes consumers better than Dennis Bagley (Richard E. Grant); his genius in crafting seductive ad campaigns has earned him a country estate, countless awards, an admiring boss, a loving wife (Rachel Ward), and, well, a gigantic boil on his shoulder that's like a throbbing zit from hell. Dennis is so tormented by a difficult campaign for pimple cream--and so filled with self-loathing after years of promoting dubious products--that his inner demon, the media-savvy and profiteering side of himself, has manifested itself as a talking pustule with a mind (and a face and a voice) of its own.
Robinson's scathing critique of mindless consumerism begins with one of the funniest monologues ever written, and Grant instantly claims his role with manic perfection. A time bomb of repressed anxiety, Dennis blossoms in righteous protest against his profession, only to find his evil boil growing dominant, worrying his wife (Ward's performance is charmingly sympathetic), and inevitably seizing control. The movie's message is obvious and heavy-handed, and Robinson's blazing wit grows increasingly bilious and urgent, but you can't blame him for sniping at easy targets. As corporate synergy and rampant commercialism reach insane proportions, How to Get Ahead in Advertising grows more relevant than ever, holding a mirror to the grotesqueries of capitalism in extremis. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The humor present here is very dark, and at times could be described as disturbing, so this may not be for everyone's tastes. Obviously, a comedy that centers around an ordinary man accidentally growing a second head isn't going to be something that's geared towards everyone's liking, but if you enjoy off-beat humour and outrageous satire, then this is probably something that will delight you. There's certainly a lot to recommend: the acting is wonderful, the direction is very assured and the writing sparkles. This is one of the few films in which it is almost impossible to predict what will be happening next. Sharply critical of advertising, capitalism, industry, commerce, and half a dozen other subjects, this is something that will make you think in the few moments when it isn't making you laugh.
DVD notes: The film is presented in wide-screen. It looks great and sounds just as good. There isn't much of anything in the way of extras, though it does contain the original theatrical trailer.
HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING is not a bad movie, it has even great moments principally due to the terrific performance of Richard E. Grant as Bagley, a young talented executive in the advertising business. Suffering from a nervous breakdown turning soon into schizophreny, Bagley develops a strange boil hiding an alter ego willing to take his place. This horror movie cliché, with the usual special effects involved, gives director Bruce Robinson the opportunity to develop certain ideas about the world we live in. Television, advertised products, show-business have little by little killed our critical sense. We don't know anymore the difference between reality and the lies we have to absorb all day long from our TV sets. These are interesting themes but the satire, in my opinion, often falls short and doesn't have the acuity required by this peculiar genre.
A DVD zone manipulation.
With this film England goes ahead once more with the black comedy, a genre not so cultivated as past decades.
The situations obviously are not under control of this authoritative and methodic manager. The chaos and neuroses will be his fellow friends in this funny tale.
Please, don't miss by any circunstance of watching this film.
To be true, the meaning of life of Monty Phyton, and Brazil of Gilliam were too, another unforgettable films in that decade, but due its own originality, how to get ... deserves a worthy place in the story of the great english black films in any time.
Most recent customer reviews
How To Get Ahead in Advertising is a very interesting film based on human dualism. Denis Dimbleby Bagley (Robert E. Read morePublished on July 16 2002 by Swederunner
This film might not be for everyone. Especially if you have trouble breathing. And you need to enjoy British humor when it's most insane. The part where Richard E. Read morePublished on June 19 2001
An excellent satire of TV gone berserk starts off well, with an advertising exec developing a pimple that starts doing the talking for him. Read morePublished on May 18 2001 by Amazon Customer