Sunday, April 3, 2011

Four Lions (2010)

Director: Christopher Morris. Cast: Will Adamsdale, Riz Ahmed, Adeel Akhtar. 97 min. Rated R. UK. Comedy/Drama.

Let me start with this hilarious trivia:

"According to [the director], Barry, the Jihadist group leader, was based on a former BNP member who in an attempt to out-knowledge the Asian youths he regularly assaulted, studied the Qur'an and as a result "accidentally converted himself" and became a Muslim."

That's the premise: four bumbling imbeciles (three Pakistani, one British) start a terrorist cell in London and plan to radicalize the Muslim movement in the UK. The movies narrates several of their idiotic foiled terrorist attempts, which are exaggerations of real events (e.g. people blowing themselves up by mistake), offering the film's core situation comedy. But the overall message, is that the terrorist threat is not as dire as we've been told. I'm giving this a Mojo, just because you'll definitely take a side either for or against that message, and be discussing it with whomever you watch it with.

Mo says:


  1. I enjoyed this film it was funny and smart and thought provoking and you are right it did stimulate conversation.
    The panic over terrorism was totally over the top in the UK, even people up here in the Highlands of Scotland became paranoid. I have no doubt Muslims have been targeted by racists even more since 9/11 and as oil runs out and the media continue to stir up hatred against "Islamists" that will continue.
    I know people who are otherwise good and descent people who "hate" Muslims even though they don't actually know any and have never had a negative experience with one.

  2. The problem we had during the Bush-Blair War on Terrorism, was that they hyped up the terrorist paranoia so extensively, it led to some people becoming somewhat "desensitized" to the threat (whenever the threat level become "orange" or "red", I honestly didn't know what extra action to take as a citizen).

    This culture probably led to films like "Four Lions", where filmmakers are trying to neutralize the threat by making it look ridiculous. Bush-believers would probably have a major problem with this movie.

    My own approach, is that the paranoia should not be as overwhelming as was previously instilled in our minds, but not as dumbed down as this film tries to portray either.