Watch Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise
Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise is a 2001 British made-for-TV black comedy-drama film directed by Danny Boyle (of Trainspotting fame) and written by playwright Jim Cartwright. The film follows the story of a hard-up rep, Tommy Rag (portrayed brilliantly by Timothy Spall), as he is tasked with selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door in a rundown and dreary northern town. The film is set during the Thatcher era of the 80s, and it is a character study of sorts, exploring themes of loneliness, disillusionment, and desperation. At the center of the story is Tommy Rag, a salesman who is down on his luck, struggling to provide for his family. Through him, we meet a colorful cast of characters who make up the fabric of the town, including a depressed and suicidal businessman, a quirky widowed housewife, and a series of eccentric homeowners who are all united by their yearning for connection and meaning in a world that seems to have turned its back on them. Tommy Rag is a tragic-comic figure, a man who is good-natured and charming, but who is also deeply flawed. He has a wandering eye and a weakness for women, and his job as a vacuum cleaner salesman takes on a surreal quality as he uses the vacuum cleaners as a way to clean up the debris of his life, from his mess of a marriage to his failed dreams of owning a pub. As the film unfolds, we see Tommy Rag being pulled deeper into the underbelly of the town, where he encounters seedy characters, deviant sexual behavior, and a sense of moral decay that is palpable. The film is shot in a gritty and raw style, with Boyle making excellent use of close-ups and tight framing to emphasize the claustrophobia and despair of the town. One of the strengths of the film is the excellent ensemble cast, who all deliver nuanced and pitch-perfect performances. Michael Begley plays Lenny, a businessman who is contemplating suicide, and he brings a blend of pathos and black humor to the role. Katy Cavanagh-Jupe is outstanding as Dawn, the naive and optimistic housewife who befriends Tommy, and she infuses the character with a childlike wonder and vulnerability. Another standout performance comes from David Thewlis, who plays Eddy, a sinister and menacing figure who initially seems like a harmless oddball but who turns out to be involved in some shady dealings. Thewlis brings a palpable sense of danger and volatility to the role, and his scenes with Spall are some of the film's most powerful. Despite the bleak subject matter, the film has a streak of black humor running throughout it, and it never becomes too heavy or oppressive. Instead, it has a sense of energy and vitality that is infectious, as we see these characters struggling to make sense of their lives in a world that is crumbling around them. Overall, Vacuuming Completely Nude in Paradise is a unique and quirky film that defies easy categorization. It is a character-driven drama that explores the dark underbelly of a northern town, but it is also a film that is infused with humor and humanity. Thanks to Danny Boyle's assured direction and the excellent performances of its ensemble cast, it is a film that is both engaging and thought-provoking, and one that deserves to be seen by a wider audience.