Comedy and epic films

2010-06-18 00:00

THE black comedy, Death at a Funeral, and the Bollywood epic, Raavana, are the new films on offer in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.

Based on director Frank Oz and writer Dean Craig’s 2007 funeral farce, and transplanted from the English countryside to sunny Pasadena, California, Death at a Funeral is a disarmingly funny look at life going on in the wake of death.

Charged with organising his father’s funeral, Aaron (Chris Rock) has to deal with the eccentricities of his entire family as they gather to pay tribute to their patriarch. His brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence), a successful novelist, arrives from New York to the delight of the family and Aaron steams while Ryan hogs the limelight. To complicate matters, the alarm on his wife Michelle’s (Regina Hall) biological clock has gone off and she expects him to do his husbandly duties — despite the unfortunate timing.

With his strong-willed, proper mother Cynthia (Loretta Devine) watching over his shoulder, Aaron attempts to put together a fitting memorial for his father, but his extended family undermines his efforts at every turn.

Confusion becomes chaos as future in-law, Oscar (James Marsden), accidentally ingests hallucinogenic drugs and Frank (Peter Dinklage), a “special friend” of the deceased, arrives with some information he thinks the family would like buried along with the revered patriarch.

The city’s other new film, Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, which stars Bollywood power couple, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachan, is a modern day adaptation of the great Indian epic Ramayana — which tells the story of Rama, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon Rakshasa, king of Lanka, Ravana.

Oscar winner, A.R. Rehman (Slumdog Millionaire), privides the music for the film, which has also been made in Tamil, as Raavanan, with a slightly different cast.

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