Director: Armando Iannucci
When the Russian leader, Stalin, dies unexpectedly chaos descends upon his closest subordinates as they try to maintain a dignity to the outside world whilst going to treacherous lengths to further their own ends and designs on becoming his successor at the expense of their rivals.
This is an expertly chosen cast which offers an array of talent to die for and perfect for the sort of satirical farce you would expect from Armando Iannucci. It’s very hard to separate the characters and analyse them fairly as the film moves along at quite a hectic pace. Once one exchange of unpleasantries has finished it’s straight onto the next. This plays partcularly well to the skills of the main competitors to become the new premiere such as Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale and Jeffrey Tambor backed up well by Michael Palin,Paul Whitehouse and Dermot Crowley.
The film is a very funny political farce, well written and played out by the cast. it’s no less than you would expect from the team behind The Thick Of It. It would be lazy to make comparisons to The Thick Of It but it wouldn’t make it any less accurate to point this out. It’s just a different setting, country and environment but Armando Iannucci proves that that kind of humour can be transferred to a variety of situations. I wouldn’t so far as to say it’s one of the funniest films ever made but it’s certainly a comedy that you should give your time to, particularly if you’re a fan of Iannuci’s previous offerings.
3.5/5 Stars – A competent ensemble comedy piece.