Lost in London is an autobiographical tale based on an embarrassing night Woody Harrelson spent in London in 2002, also his directorial debut.
Coming on the back of a string of flop movies like Now You See Me 2 Woody Harrelson reaches his breaking point and goes on a rampage on the streets of London eventually getting arrested for criminal damage. In just a matter of hours, Harrelson is on the verge of losing everything that matters to him. This film is a comment on the ephemeral nature of celebrity.
An important milestone in film-making, it became the first ever ‘live cinema’ screening in theatres when the actors were performing at that very instance. Of course, the idea of live cinema has been there for a while. Francis Ford Coppola claims that this is the future of cinema. But Lost in London is the first film to be screened in 500 theatres across the globe.
A nice mix of cinema and theatre
In an interview ,Harrelson says that it has always been his desire to combine the two things that he loves, cinema and theatre. A hundred minute take shot in one go being screened at the same time would be perceived as a ploy to attract more attention. But this film is no gimmick.
The film depicts how celebrity privileges influences behaviour and yet you can empathize with the protagonist because the audience can relate to his flaws. The films initial scene shows him cursing himself after an abysmal theatre performance. He meets his wife Laura just after for dinner. He is trying to hide from her the tabloid story about him cheating on her with other women. But she finds out about it in the next sequence. Meanwhile an Arab prince invites him for drink and thus begins the ‘wild night’ Harrelson describes as one of the worst in his life.
A wild night!
The prince takes him to a party where he meets his friend Owen Wilson. He tries to help Harrelson to deal with the anguish not with words of comfort but kicking him when he’s down. With his career, family, and now friendship unsettled he then enters into a fight with a cabbie and is arrested and for the same. The night is no doubt eventful but if you have seen The Hangover this wild night would seem static.
The misery Harrelson is going through is self-inflicted, a consequence of the mistakes he has committed in the past. In that respect it is hard to not draw a comparison with Birdman. Not just because of the similarity in stories but the manner of storytelling. Here Jazz music springs to life in the background and in Birdman there is special attention on the Jazz drummer.
The exciting part of this movie is it’s just like theatre. What you are seeing is being performed live and could go wrong. And that is why it so enjoying watching intricate scenes being perfectly executed. Like the exchange between Harrelson and Owen in the night club. This satirical take on the life of a privileged celebrity about to throw it all away must be in your ‘to watch’ list.