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The Death of Stalin (2017)

The Death of Stalin (2017)



Steve Buscemi

Simon Russell Beale

Paddy Considine

Rupert Friend

Jason Isaacs

Directed by Armando Iannucci

The movie is a political satire black comedy that totally makes a mockery of Joseph Stalin, mostly focused on his death. The movie takes no prisoners in this portrayal and even Stalin’s death is so pathetic and sad. The movie is directed by Armando Iannucci, who also worked on the screenplay, and they went far in this fictitious portrayal of the power struggle that happened after the death of Stalin in 1953.

The comedy really gets going when Stalin dies and the plot to now take power is where the actors pulled their comedic strength to the forefront of our screens.

What brought me to watch this film was after seeing Iannucci’s work in the Charles Dickens adaptation of David Copperfield which was named, The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019). Another film of his I will advise you to see.

The movie plot starts with the weird depiction of Russia under Stalin, which is easy to see the probable historical inaccuracy. We get to see how lists of people to be killed are being given out and executed. Also, how killing people just to keep the idea of Russia’s strength is done with little care for the family. How the men in power use their power to extort the people, sexually abuse the women and do all the worse things you can imagine. Stalin’s death, gave these men more power, as all the members of the Central Committee started to scramble about to become the person to lead the country. The movies main villain is Beria (Simon Russell Beale) who upon Stalin’s death took over things in the background. Arranged things to make Malenkov the new leader of the party while he controls things in the background. He gave out a new list of people to be killed, replacing that of Stalin. He also did all he can to get members of the committee in line with him.

He made enemy of Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi) who also wanted to seize control, but Beria was always one step ahead. How things played out between Beria and Khrushchev is what this movie is majorly about. We see how they outplayed one another and who won in the end is what you will get to witness and enjoy as the movie progresses.

The movie was a critical success upon its release and it was banned in Russia as you would have expected for its portrayal of their country. At the box office the movie was not much of a success, not withstanding this is a nice movie to see because it is fun to see and will give you an idea of what Russia was like.


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