Saturday, September 29, 2007

Death at a Funeral

Halt or I'll Leap

Funerals are serious business, where the mood is usually grim and sombre, and friends and family come together to commemorate the passing of their loved one. The proceeding is usually prim and proper, with some protocols to adhere to, for fitting tributes given in a dignified manner.

Death at a Funeral however, is a delightfully wicked black comedy of everything that can go wrong in a funeral. Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) is preparing for the funeral of his dad, but my, there are so many things on his plate, such as bring trusted to provide the eulogy rather than his brother Robert (Rupert Graves), who is a best selling author, and having his wife constantly remind him about their deposit for their new home.

With the gathering of family and friends, expect the bizarre to happen, and it involves around, and this is not exhaustive, meeting the new prospective father-in-law when you're high on hallucinogens (Alan Tudyk in a scene stealing role here), a perpetually missing bottle of "Valium", a pastor who's in a hurry, an old senile uncle with a foul mouth, and a 4 foot tall stranger who seems to have a very shocking secret to reveal should he not get his way. There are multiple plot elements here all perfectly linked together like a well oiled stage play, and resolved in very satisfying outcome.

As a comedy, there are the big moments that are played out just for laughs, but what is commendable, is how it managed to sustain that laughter throughout the movie. It's not just laugh out loud moments, but little chuckles sprinkled along the way that had brought out smiles. And as you would already come to expect from a British production, the movie contains superb individual spoken lines that you would have to listen attentively to (and deserves repeat watching), but at the same time doesn't give you an inkling of a feeling that it's only for the linguistically-skilled, because hey, it does enjoy that occasional toilet humour and shit joke as well!

If you're in need for a good laugh, then Death at a Funeral is a crystal clear choice this week!

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