Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moofies - Four Lions (2010)

EXPECTATIONS: Christopher Morris, best known for Brass Eye, is behind this film, so I expect it to be fantastic.

REALITY: As Four Lions began I was unsure as to what it was I was seeing. The focus seemed to be on humour and I wasn't sure it was respectful or smart or something I was willing to go along with. I hung in there and it didn't take long for these 4 seemingly cartoonish British jihadists to become somewhat sympathetic.

The plot involves four young extremists planning a terrorist attack during a fun run event. Some of them are comically stupid, but there are moments when we see these extremists with their friends and family and it gives these villains a human face. While not condoning what they're doing or trying to give it a 'reason', the film still acts as an interesting investigation of a real life phenomenon; extremists living within a western context. I think the technique of 'hitting the audience with heavy themes while they're laughing' is very prevalent here.

I like being challenged by a film, and the final awful scenes at the finale of Four Lions had me laughing and crying at the same time. I think this film is something very specific to the stylings of Christopher Morris and while it may be hard to stomach I think it's a winner.


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