Funerals can be funny. Rahul Rawail tried to prove it last year in Buddha Mar Gaya where Anupam Kher played the tycoon`s corpse with secrets popping out of the coffin. The movie crashed at the box office.
I can`t decide who`s more expressive as a corpse, Anupam in Rawail`s failed farce or the British gentleman who played the dead patriarch of a British royal family in the movie.
It`s hard not to smile and even chuckle at the excesses of a funeral crowd who don`t seem to get it right. The inter-relations are formed quickly and that`s saying a lot in a film that has approximately three dozen characters in various postures of mourning and panting.
There`s some puffing involving cigarettes and other unmentionable objects.
Ten minutes into the comedy, and you`re hooked to hectic hilarity as characters drive into leafy lanes of a British town to attend the funeral.
Frank Oz`s character oozes irreverence and iconoclasm without seeming to. They`re nutty and cracked, goofy and ribald.
There`s a man high on Valium romping naked on the roof of the mourners` residence. There`s a dwarf claiming with photographic evidence to be the dead tycoon`s secret gay lover.
There`s a vain novelist from New York who scorns his Britain-based brother for being a home bird. There`re immediate instigations and profound provocations jostling for space.
Titters are tucked away in the farcical folds of this done-to-death-comedy that tells you it`s okay to laugh in the face of death and old age.
Finally, as all you`ve to show for it is an inert figure in a coffin and a house full of self-seeking hyper-selfish relatives orchestrated by a priest who has another appointment around the coroner.
The film features a sparkling array of acting talent. Watch out for Peter Dinklage, who seems saddled with shit in more ways than one. And Alan Tudyk, romping naked among mourners preserves a core of dignity in the ludicrous.
That, I think, is the secret of this comedy`s success. Death At
Funeral laughs at the living rather than the dead. It tells us that we
don`t need to fear mortality but the danger of taking life a tad too seriously.