“Although not perfect this is yet another brilliant example of British interpreted political humour done excruciatingly well.”
Directed by: Armando Iannucci
Written by: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider
Runtime: 107 Mins
Release: 20 October 2017 (UK) / DVD & Blu Ray now available.
From the makers of The Thick of It and In The Loop comes another of its darkly accurate political comedies, this time focusing on the power struggle created in the vacuum after the death of Stalin; an unusual topic to base a comedy on but one that works extremely well.
Full of the usual wit we have come to love from a creation by Armando Iannucci (but sadly no sign of Malcolm Tucker) the interpretation of events seen within The Death of Stalin is perhaps one of the defining things about it. Full of famous faces from both the UK and the US, The Death of Stalin decides to avoid the usual cringe worthy attempt at accents and instead has the actors speak naturally or, in the case of the superb Jason Isaacs, with a regional twang. Utilised so as not to remove the audience from the events of the film, as-well as to aid the actors when scenes were improvised, the decision is a stroke of genius, adding an extra level of humour as these Russian political minds try to childishly one up each other in the hopes of taking the place of the newly deceased Stalin.
Speaking of the murderous despot, this film does not shy away from the truly horrible things the man did, especially concerning the lists of people he wanted murdered. Despite the somewhat gruesome nature involved with murdering thousands of people The Death of Stalin manages to draw an extraordinary amount of humour out of the situation; poking fun at the paranoia that was rife throughout the country about what actions would lead to death or to salvation.
The film suffers in certain areas with a few of the attempts at humour falling a bit short of their intended mark, but then trying to make a meeting situation is often difficult; the show W1A is a standout example of when this is actually done well, yet often goes to absurd lengths to make it humorous, something that would have been out of place in this film.
Although not perfect The Death of Stalin is yet another brilliant example of British interpreted political humour done excruciatingly well. If you are a fan of that wonderful kind of cringe that us Brits excel at then this film is not to be missed.