How to Get Ahead in Advertising tells the story of Denis Dimbleby, a high flying advertising executive who suffers a mental breakdown which leads him question his entire outlook on life and brings to life the very real battle between polarised oral outlooks as his now split personality fights for control of his mind. It’s very rare to find a film which can so flawlessly combine a thought provoking analysis of the morals of advertising with a talking boil and split personality; but somehow How to Get Ahead in Advertising does just that!
Through the combination of a tremendous individual performance by Richard E Grant, clever prosthetics and a script than any writer would be proud of, Bruce Robinson has put together a truly original film with aspects that can be enjoyed by any viewer but are far better enjoyed as a package. We follow Grant’s character as he turns against everything he’s worked for only to be pulled back through his internal struggle, all the while his life falls apart around him. It has humour; it has romance, it has drama and all of them coupled with some peculiar (and occasionally disgusting) scenes including a boil (which later grows a moustache). This film has fast made it into one of my top 50 films and is certainly one I’ll be quick to enjoy again and encourage others to watch.
This films only flaw is a slightly peculiar ending which comes a little quickly and has the feel of something that ran out of time. Whilst this almost ruined the movie for me and I still cannot get my head the strange final scene, on reflection, Richard E Grant’s portrayal of a man on the edge, having to encapsulate two very different versions of one man is enthralling to the very end and worth watching.
Now out on Blu-Ray through Arrow Films, this is definitely worth adding to your collection.
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