The Death of Stalin revolves around, well, the death of Joseph Stalin. After word of Stalin’s illness, his committee scheme and bumble around trying to save their leader and his ideals, but also ready to take over and steal some of the other’s power.
The film stars Steve Buschemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Simon Russell Beale, among many others. All giving pretty fantastic performances. Buchesmi and Beale are more of the masterminds, while Tambor comes off a weak, not knowing what to do as Stalin’s next in line. The committee also constantly tries to sabotage each other, giving each other tasks that anyone or added work that these people clearly do not want to do.
One thing that does bother me about this film (and about many films) is that this film is supposed to take place in Russia, but absolutely no one in this film speaks Russian or uses a Russian accent. All the actors speak using their usual voices, though the film does make up for this with the setting. The Soviet armband is used, red is constantly seen throughout the film, casual mentions of killings are also used, so the viewer does know that this takes place in Soviet Russia.
The comedy however does work very well in the film, though nothing is really inventive or new in the way comedy is used in the film. If I were to describe this film in one word it would be dysfunctional. If you are a fan of the show Veep, which I have recently gotten into, I would suggest checking this film out, the director, Armando Iannucci, created the show and the film has the same style of humor.
I give Death of Stalin a B.