Flying under the radar at this year’s Sundance Festival is the new comedy by celebrated satirist Chris Morris, mostly known as the guy who takes aim at the most taboo subjects. His new film for example, Four Lions, is an Islamic terrorist farce. Testy to say the least. The film centers on four young Muslims from Northern England who become radicalized and attempt a terrorist atrocity… with hilarity sure to ensue!
Personally I find Morris a bit too eager to shock sometimes with laughs an apparent afterthought, so this seemed dangerous ground. This being said, The Guardian have an exclusive clip which packs in the laughs, all rooted in the intricacies of stockpiling bleach for bomb making. The jokes are nuanced and quite frankly hilarious and the Northern English accents add a realism that grounds it firmly in the working class world of Billy Elliot and The Full Monty. Morris himself has said he wants to show terrorists as “scary but ridiculous” and treat them much the same way as the Nazi’s are treated in many a comedy. It should also be stated that Morris has put incredible work into this to make it not only real, but sensitive of ordinary Muslims who do nothing wrong.
The biggest difficulty this film will have is getting people to go see it, especially in America where the terrorist threat is very real after the Christmas day scare. Whether people are ready to laugh at this subject matter hasn’t been tested, but if they are, we could well have this years In The Loop, which as an aside should be nominated for it’s suberb writing at the Oscars if life is fair. Four Lions can be seen at Sundance, but go quick, in case it doesn’t get picked up for distribution, which let’s be honest is likely.