Dark Comedy

By Adlin Pinto

One of the most common human reaction is laughter; it’s international, needs no words, it’s an infectious trait.  Laughter, as we know if good for the soul, and comedy films gives such a huge boost in raising our spirits. One of the earliest forms of comedy is the ideals of the comedy of errors, which dates back to Shakespearian time. That edge of slapstick that can go from hilarious to black humour in a fraction of a second. Well, Say your prayers is one such British dark comedy directed by Harry Michell. Enjoy more about Dark Comedy here.

Comedy of Errors celebrates slapstick and mistaken identity, in addition to puns and wordplay. This style of comedic farce has been around since Shakespearian times and is still a popular format for humour. Comedy of errors means an event or series of events made ridiculous by the number of errors it can be a humorous or disastrous event. Shakespearian is a classic example of comedy of errors, and new film say your prayers is one such dark comedy carrrying on this age old style.

This new British comedy begins as a typical farce, touching on horror, that may well have you spilling your microwave popcorn whilst still keeping you laughing.  Say Your Prayers follows two inept assassins targeting a controversial atheist author at Ilkley’s Literary Festival in Yorkshire. Harry Michell’s film is quirky and charming in the way only the Brits do comedy.

This charm is down largely to its lead star, Harry Melling, who plays Tim, a sensitive soul and an unlikely, of all things, hitman. He has come with his brother (Vic) to a Yorkshire town in order to kill the author of God Awful, a new book that seeks to prove that God, no matter your religion, does not exist.

His brother is only a little more skilled in Christian Jihad than he is, but the pair are always prepared to get down on their knees and pray. The brothers bumble through their mission mistaking their target and killing an innocent man but step up their plans to find the right man.

It becomes clear that the two boys don’t really have the wherewithal or passion to carry out their assignment and so it comes as no surprise when Derek Jacobi appears as a cunning, of all things, cockney priest. Jacobi plays it deadly straight, and plainly is the true villain of this piece. The other is the author, played by Roger Allam, smug and condescending. Also included in the starry cast is Anna Maxwell Martin, who plays the foul-mouthed and politically incorrect detective trying to stop the murders in her little town and she pushes her character’s grotesqueness to such ludicrous levels.

Also foul-mouthed is Vic, Tim’s brother, but there are hints of a certain fragility and humility, and proof of abusive childhoods exists in his flinches from the priest’s threats. He and his brother, despite their murderous intent, are decent people when compared to the others around them. Their relationship holds this film together.

Say Your Prayers is a fun watch. Packed full of dark themes and hilarious moments, it’s a movie that will make you laugh as well as keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Find out more about Dark Comedy here. Say Your Prayers is on digital platforms from 28 September.

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