An Entertaining Black Comedy.
A British black comedy doesn’t mean a comedy movie about black people. Death At A Funeral is a dark comedy, because it is about comical situations that arise during a funeral ceremony. A funeral isn’t of course a time of joy; it’s a time of sorrow and mourning, but what if no one around you is allowing you to give your beloved one final farewell? That’s the situation that Daniel is in.
Daniel’s (Mathew Macfadyen) father is no more. He lives in some part of England with his mother, but is eager to move out with his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes). He’s arranged a funeral for his father and has numerous relatives attending. His real brother, Robert (Rupert Graves), a successful novelist living in New York, is flying down. Their many uncles, aunts and cousins are coming to attend as well. However, there’s one guest who Daniel doesn’t recognize, a dwarf who says he’s Peter (Peter Dinklage), one of his father’s close friends.
Just as the ceremony is about to begin, Daniel’s cousin’s fiancé, Simon (Alan Tudyk), who has been drugged by mistake says that the coffin is moving. The poor guy is hallucinating and knocks over the coffin. Daniel’s mother breaks down and just when things are settling back, Peter tells Daniel that he and the latter’s father were gay lovers. And then, all hell breaks loose as Daniel, Robert and their cousins try to stop this news from coming out.
Death At A Funeral, written by Dean Craig and directed by Frank Oz, isn’t a laugh riot. It’s a black comedy, so the humour is in a suppressed form as well. The film moves at a slow pace, where the characters create one funny situation after another. That said, the slow pace isn’t a bad thing because the movie is not a drag. Death At A Funeral is tight, concise and funny enough to keep you entertained.
The one really commendable thing about the movie is the actors’ performances. The entire cast strong and complement each other really well. Peter Dinklage is of course going to be the funniest simply because he’s a dwarf with a big head and bigger eyes, but apart from him, Andy Nyman deserves a mention for his act as Daniel’s paranoid cousin.
As far as black comedies are concerned, Death At A Funeral is as good as it gets.
Also published on www.reviewcatalogue.com.