112. The Infidel
I’m sure plenty of people hate this movie (The Infidel) and I’ve read a few blurbs where people do. The title alone is going to draw audiences in to criticize the movie. Let us not forget that this is a comedy film riddled with satire.
The movie is not realistic. Very few are and even fewer comedies are realistic. Exaggeration is a big part of comedy. I am neither a Muslim nor a Jewish person so I’m not fully aware of each culture. I have taken an Islam course so I no more than some people on the religion, but it hardly counts. The movie does portray aspects of those religions truthfully and part of that comes from mocking certain pieces of the religion. Mahmud (played by Omid Djalili) has his daughter running around the house carrying a sword and screaming about jihad. Once it is out that Mahmud was born a Jew she even makes a comment about him being an infidel. The vast majority of muslim children are not raised that way. The fanatics that do exist from my knowledge weren’t even raised like that. It’s a joke. An exaggeration of the stereotype everyone sees. It’s a true stereotype and view that a number of people in the Western world hold true.
The comedy is well-rounded and like many British comedies there is a lot of wordplay. It is easy to miss sometimes. One of the other wonderful aspects to the comedy of the film is the little background scenes. The daughter is a great example. She is constantly running around as a fundamentalist, yet she is only five or six maybe and her character is just there for that. There is a scene where Mahmud is running with his son on the track and someone falls down behind them. They ignore it, but there is a big scene occurring as they keep running. The end credits have some wonderful dance moves. A robed muslim wife goes jogging. It’s a nice mix that is going to catch everyone’s attention.
Despite its absurdity there is kind of a deeper meaning to the film. You can see the comments on certain topics such as Palestine-Israel among others. There wasn’t a stance taken (that I could tell) other than that most of these debates are absurd.
Being a fan of Omid Djalili’s stand-up I advise you check him out. He’s the reason I watched the film and he did a good job. Richard Schiff was great as well. The two did a good job together.