Red Monarch, 1983 - ★★★

Red Monarch, 1983 - ★★★


“Why are the skies blue ?, and what are lesbians for ?” - Joseph Stalin (Colin Blakely)

Amusing political satire made for British TV (Ch4 for a change). That follows the daily pomp and ceremony of Joseph Stalin's dictatorship. Based on recollected notes from a Russian political watcher Yuriy Korotkov.

My preconception of it being an authentic portrayal went quickly out the window, when Stalin (Colin Blakely) started speaking in a pretty thick Irish brogue. Its a savagely silly sendup of what it'd be like living in the shoes of a dictator. From his self obsession at his own place in Russia's history, he must be the most important look at the size of his self portrait banners. To how he deals with his paid to be loyal (quiet) subjects, his own family and how he greets visiting foreign dignitaries & press. Comically its a little clunky, and relies predominantly on Eastern bloc stereotype gags, but its still funny enough all these years later to make it worth seeing.

[Personal Reasons For Remembering]

David Suchet is so well cast as Stalins assistant Lavrenti Beria. Stalin and Mao Tse-tung having arm wrestling & egg eating contests. Entertaining a brash Yankee interviewer (Carroll Baker) and avoiding her trickier questions by offering her gifts. Being told home truths while playing a relaxing game of snooker with drunk son Vasily (David Threlfall whose always known how to throw a parteee).

Originally taken from Letterboxd

No comments: