Thursday, 18 April 2013

Four Lions (4 Stars)

Sigmund Freud's theory of humour is based on the premise that A tells B something funny about C. Only a German would say something like that. British humour is often of the form A tells B something funny about A. The British, especially the English, are capable of laughing at themselves. The Germans aren't.

This film, that I already briefly reviewed here, is a typical example of British humour. At first sight it might seem like a film making fun of Moslems, but it's really a film in which the British are making fun of themselves. The Moslems in the film are all British. The non-Moslem characters in the film, such as the police officers, are just as ridiculous, though they occupy less screen time.

Four Moslems decide to win places in paradise by becoming suicide bombers at the London Marathon. We follow their preparations when they visit a training camp in Pakistan and are rejected as wreckless fools. Back in England they make bombs in their homes, using recipes found on the Internet. Bleach, saucepans, nails... and if you want to know the rest you'll have to search online for the Terrorist's Handbook, it should be easy to find.

Unfortunately, being a terrorist isn't as easy as our four (initially five) young Moslems think. Intelligence, dedication, ruthlessness and above all cool nerves are needed if you want to kill a maximum number of people in a crowded event like the London Marathon. The four heroes are lacking most of these qualities. The police have them under surveillance from the start, but they are just as incompetent and arrest the wrong people. The film is full of belly laughs and you'll enjoy it if you're British. If you aren't, well, you might not find it funny, but give it a try anyway.

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