Four Lions

I recently caught up with this gem from 2010. I felt a hole in my heart that could only be filled by watching, experiencing and then inevitably blogging about it. If you haven’t heard of this film (What have you been doing, living under a rock?????), the premise is simple. It is about five people (that quickly turns into four) who want to become terrorists in the name of Islam. Yes this film is a comedy and yes it is amazingly funny and yes you should probably stop reading my dribble and check it out for yourself.

So since you insist that I continue, I will tell you why I think that this is one of the most innovative comedies of the 2000s. First off, Christopher Morris takes a taboo subject that has been in the news a lot, especially in Great Britain, and makes it funny. Terrorism is not usually thought of as a funny subject, especially when it has religious motivations behind it. Most especially if the religion is Islam. It just isn’t a funny thing that people believe so much in a concept that they are willing to die for it. At one point in the film, two of the characters even go to a “training camp” in Pakistan that have scared the living shit out of good upstanding white citizens.  They are so feared that American drones make it a habit of trying to find them and kill the inhabitants, even if it might not be a training camp. In fact these characters while at the training camp experience one of these drone attacks. It is one of the funniest and possibly only really scary moments in the film. Terrorism scares most people down to their bones. Only people who are not ruled by CNN or Fox News will be able to laugh at this film. The other people will probably just take it as truth and then go and make racial slurs at the nearest Muslim.

Second off the characters are delightfully inept. They think that people are watching them at all times, they make bomb powder and set it off in their apartment for fun, one thinks that blowing up crows would be an amazing idea, and they think that the mosque would be a perfect place to blow up in order to radicalize the local religious people. One person (the same person who thought training crows to be suicide bombers would be a great idea) gets blown up while trying to hop over a stone fence, taking out sheep with him. Their videos trying to incite fear in the community gets huge laughs from me in particular. Everything these men do and say are slightly off and slightly ridiculous.

Third off even though this film is considered a comedy and the characters are silly, they still feel like characters who have real motivations and families and cares. That is truly what makes a great comedy. I have to be able to relate to the characters. If I ever became a Muslim and decided to become a suicide bomber, no doubt my experience would probably be a lot like the one this group experiences. Life just isn’t all seriousness and stuff, but full of embarrassing and funny moments. This is what most of the people in the world have to realize. Don’t take things so seriously. Even something as sombre as suicide bombing can be rife with problems. Take this film as an example.

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