Simultaneously funny and deeply uncomfortable, black comedy is difficult to get right. Today, I present you two movies that’ll make you squirm with laughter… if you don’t turn them off first.
Synopsis: A visually impaired pianist’s world careens into a series of shocking twists after he unintentionally lands at the murder scene of a former film star.
Now, a good black comedy doesn’t have to contain lots of twists and turns – but it doesn’t hurt. One way to keep people engaged when you’re showing them something that, ordinarily, they wouldn’t want to deal with is to keep them guessing. After all – who among us can honestly say they’ve never let out a chuckle of nerves? None! At least, I hope so because I’ve definitely done it and misery loves company.
Andhadhun starts off seeming like it’s going to be a humourous look at a young man with a visual impairment trying to break into the classical music scene, which already has any decent human wondering if it’s okay to laugh at blind people’s pain. While you ponder your moral failings though, things start to get dodgy. Then they just continue in a spiral of dodginess, criminal enterprise and incompetence.
You’ll be entertained, confused and ultimately taken for a ride by this movie, and you’ll enjoy it.
Note To Audience: please don’t laugh at blind people in real life. That’s just gross.
Mood Rating: If you get the urge to listen to Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder after watching this movie, you’re either a bad person or just really into the music, man… I’ll choose to believe it’s the latter.
Synopsis: Drug abuse and the darker side of Punjab rear their heads in the intense, interwoven tales of a cop, a doctor, a migrant worker and a rock star.
Trigger warnings for substance addiction, abuse, and sexual assault abound with this movie.
While Andhadhun is a single, if dramatic, step up from the Cornetto Trilogy (think The World’s End), while Udta Punjab is another staircase. Andhadhun sits on the shallow side of the pool that is black comedy, while Udta Punjab lurks in the deeper end. Not being a loyal follower of the genre myself, I can’t say exactly how deep we’re talking – but it’s safe to say you shouldn’t watch this movie with your parents. Or your younger siblings.
Co-starring the versatile Shahid Kapoor, this movie doesn’t bother to put you much at ease before smacking you over the head with the horrors of life in the world of drugs. Somewhere in there, though – you find yourself laughing. Whether it’s because something genuinely funny happened, or just to make yourself feel better is your business. I’m just telling you that you will laugh at some point.
Mood Rating: Put aside any delicate sensibilities you may possess and test the limits of your humour.
Bot Adhadhun and Udta Punjab are available on Netflix for chill and discomfort – so take advantage of your nearest WiFi hotspot and have a great weekend! If you’ve watched either of these – what did you think of them?