I have just watched The Death of Stalin; and it was pretty good. Set during the 1950’s; the film follows on from the death of the Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin), and depicts the following power struggle performed by his closest advisors. The film is well cast with particular mention going to Simon Russell Beale and the absolutely hilarious Jason Isaacs. It was confusing at times with actors who have strong natural accents like Steve Buscemi, whose natural American tongue does make him sound like an American character as a result, but at the same time, you can see how both he and Jeffrey Tambor don’t let that hold them back in trying to do their absolute best. The film is a weird one in a tone. It’s a black-political-comedy and from the start is focussed heavily on the comedy aspects; mostly involving strange scenes of a political meltdown at a concert hall. Then while all that is going on, creating chuckle-inducing sequences; you see the dark side of post World War 2 Russia and the acts of the Soviet Union. For the most part, the film focusses on a group of tragic characters as the squabble and bicker about who does what as they try to pull the wool over each other’s eyes and ultimately get the control they want. At the same time we see the dark realities of their actions, and whilst there are those who try to do good, in the end they all seem as bad as each other, and it really highlights the political depth, intrigue and drama of how far people are willing to go! What starts out as something almost resembling a classic slapstick comedy piece, turns into a frighteningly truthful, horrific drama. Altogether it is a very funny side-splitting film, but also a horrifyingly sour one too, purposefully leaving you with a cold chill at the very end.
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