The Death of Stalin

UK 2017. Dir: Armando Iannucci. 106 mins. VENUE: International Village Cineplex in May

Reviewer Ed Farolan

You´d think this film was a tragedy, from the title and the first few scenes. Then you realize it´s a dark comedy from writer/director Armando Iannucci who´s known, as in the the HBO comedy “Veep,” to depict politicians as not only vapid but also crass.

So as the film progresses, you realize this is a political satire on the incompetency of authority figures in Soviet Russia during Stalin´s regime of terror. Adapted from Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin’s graphic novel, Stalin´s death in 1953 gets the central committee composed of Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi),Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), Molotov (Michael Palin) and Beria (Simon Russell Beale) manuever to get into power. Who wins? You guessed right:the man who took off his shoe and banged it during a UN session.

I like this film, as I like films of this nature: dark, violent and funny. It won a number of BAFTA awards and although Buscemi was nominated, the Englishman (of course) Beale got the best actor award. Stunning Bond actress Olga Kurylenko is also in the film and plays a key role in Stalin´s death.

© 2018 Ed Farolan