Film Film Reviews Great Films (8+)

FILM REVIEW: Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964)

The blackest of black comedies conducted with the straightest of faces, Dr Strangelove is a bizarre and surreal movie very much unlike anything else I’ve seen from Kubrick. There are the same meticulously crafted shots and the same visual attention to detail, but nowhere else was he as viciously funny as he was here.

Sharp as a knife point in its satire of the testosterone-fuelled political war machine, Dr Strangelove takes the bleakest imaginable subject matter and spins from it an elaborate web of absurdist idiocy. There are countless moments of comedy gold here, from the overly polite telephone conversations between the President and the drunk Russian ambassador to the bumbling misunderstandings of RAF commander Peter Mandrake.

This film is proof that comedy can be as sharply critical as any multi-hour tear jerker (Schindler’s List et al), and can make that criticism deliciously fun at the same time. Peter Sellers’ performance as the completely ineffectual president of the United States (alongside his dubious and only half-heard communication with the Russians) also strikes an increasingly relevant note in the era of Trump.

8.8/10

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