Film: The Infidel [england, 2010]
Where I saw it: home/streamer
Who with: Loner style
Last year one of my favorite films was the scathing black comedy Four Lions. It's an English film from director Christopher Morris and it was a relentless slice of subversive comedy based around a small group of bumbling jihadists who want to strike a blow against the oppressors. You know, blow up stuff and kill people. Four Lions is a brave film in this day and age. I don't know why in the world I thought The Infidel would be the same kind of edgy film [the poster is awful by the way], but I got sucked in by the plot: Muslim finds out he's adopted and horror of all horrors--he's Jewish! His family, friends, fellow Muslims and himself are all horrified at the turn of events and the film follows the struggle to come to acceptance of his strange Muslim/Jewish identity.
The Infidel tackles its subject matter with the lowest common denominator styled broad comedy. It's just not funny. It sticks in every stripe of religious stereotype about these two groups. If you want cardboard cutouts and characters with little depth, The Infidel has you covered. The lead character is played by Omid Djalili [who is also a popular stand-up comic] and I've never seen him in anything, but his performance [and the film in general] reminded me of something the low-bar setting Kevin James might attempt. James has perfected the comedy stylings where everything is exaggerated and everyone is trying so hard that it saps the film of life, laughs and charm. Or, that might be reading too much into it. Maybe it's just not funny and that is why it is a failure? That's probably it.