What does a serious comedy look like?
It was a question I’d never even considered until I sat down to watch The Death of Stalin; comedies could be dark, sure, or they could approach serious topics in a humorous way, but I had never seen a movie I could rightfully describe as a “serious comedy” before. Something where the dark stuff wasn’t just there to contrast to the humour or to drag out a few of those “shocked horror” laughs – a movie where the darker material directly informs the comedy, where both the humour and the bleakness are irrevocably wrapped up in each other. But that’s what The Death of Stalin achieved, and it’s bloody brilliant.
The Death of Stalin does what it says on the tin, following the higher-ups of the Russian cabinet as they scramble to reform themselves after Stalin kicks the bucket. And, I’ll be honest…
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