(For SI blog reader Kurf)
It’s past midnight, here on the East Coast.
And here we are, the gin-soaked desis popping the DVD into our Panasonic player to watch the Martin Scorsese-directed film The King of Comedy.
Featuring Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis, the movie debuted in the U.S. about 27 years back.
We don’t know how well The King of Comedy did at the box office but the movie made it to many of the critics’ list of top movies.
We’ll update this post after finishing the movie.
Folks, The King of Comedy is one helluva movie.
Here’s a great line – and pretty prescient too (more on that later) – from the movie that in a sense sums up the film:
Better to be King for a night than schmuck for a lifetime.
Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin a desperate, ambitious aspiring standup comedian obsessed with getting on the Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis) late-night TV show.
As with most humans, overweening ambition outstrips limited talent in the case of Rupert Pupkin too.
Refusing to take no for an answer, the 34-year-old Rupert, first alone and later with Langford stalker Masha, resorts to some extremely unorthodox techniques to try and get on the Langford show.
Robert De Niro is superb as the will-not-take-no-for-an-answer wannabe comic.
While this 27-year-old movie is an interesting take on the lengths some people will go to to get an entree into the entertainment arena, recent events in the U.S. such as the hoax involving the missing boy and the gatecrashing into the White House dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a few months ago suggests if anything that Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Zimmerman were prescient and, maybe, ahead of their times.
Given the repeated fantasy elements shown in the earlier part of the movie, is the ending too merely an act of Rupert’s hyperactive, vivid imagination.
Hey, this is a movie and whichever way you look at it you can’t go wrong.
It’s all a fantastical act! Right?
In parting, we’d say you’d be a big schmuck not to watch The King of Comedy. The DVD can be rented from Netflix.