Friday, May 11, 2018

The Death of Stalin

If there's one thing Armando Iannucci will be forever associated with, it's the political satire. Having found immense success with The Thick of It and Veep, he serves as a polar opposite to what Aaron Sorkin did with The West Wing. (But in light of recent events, the need for such depictions has waned significantly.)

That said, his latest film The Death of Stalin still remains welcome amid these trying times. (It's nice to see something politically focused and actually laugh about it.) And surprisingly, amid the frustrated swearing and constant backstabbing, it's pretty accurate historically. (See? Truth can be stranger than fiction.)

Now because of the political world during the last two years, one would shy away from such stories in fear of ruining their day. (Hell, some of them make websites like The Onion redundant.) But Iannucci makes sure with The Death of Stalin that concerns for the current state of things are forgotten in favor of his film. (Those who say movies aren't a good escape from life clearly haven't seen any.)

Anyway, there's one thing very much proven in The Death of Stalin: have your matters in order when you shuffle off this mortal coil lest you want pandemonium to follow suit once you're in the ground. And this being an Iannucci work, there's anxiety everywhere. (No wonder they're all at each other's throats.)

The Death of Stalin may make one's head spin trying to keep up with who's betraying who but that aside, Iannucci provides an anecdote to today's political woes. Instead of dreading the outcome of the politicians' impulsivity, we can actually laugh at them in the knowledge that they're long-dead. But as George Santayana wrote, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

My Rating: ****1/2

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