Who said learning about the past can’t be fun? There’s only certain times in history where the death of a man can be turned into a potty-mouthed, darkly comedic riot – but Stalin popping his clogs definitely falls into that category.
The highly talented ensemble cast from The Death of Stalin scheme, smirk and plot their way through the days and hours following their leaders untimely death. The language, style and general out-right barminess on display from a cast that includes Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and stage-supremo Simon Russell Beale in a stand-out role as the disgusting (and ever-scheming) Lavrently Beria, is an infectious hoot.
We also get to say a mega “hello” to Jason Isaacs who does his best Soviet Sean Bean impersonation and Tambor’s turn as withering deputy leader Georgy Malenkov is another delightful highlight in a film full of so many memorable and varied performances.
Savage in both humour and tone, Armando Iannucci’s latest creation strikes a healthy balance between the real-life, murderous politics of Stalin and the Soviets and the comedic sensibilities the film carries. It will not be to everyone’s taste – and its darkness will put some off – but The Death of Stalin is one of comedy’s greatest success stories of 2017.