The King of Comedy (1982)
January 22, 2010
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Celebrities: sometimes we love them, sometimes we hate them, but mostly we’re obsessed with them.
Director Martin Scorsese hits a satirical bulls-eye in this black comedy that explores the absurd lengths to which nebbish Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) will go to land a spot on the TV talk show of his idol, Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). Pupkin believes that one appearance on Langford’s show will be his ticket to stardom, so he kidnaps his idol and sets into motion a chain of events you have to see to believe!
The film has a comedy look in the title and in the poster but if anything it’s a lot more of a serious look into the world of being a fan.
The film shows Pupkin as a very strange, obsessive guy who will never take no for an answer. The one thing I liked in this film was that it gives you this strange claustrophobic feeling within this guy’s head. You see how he lives and goes off on talking about celebrities, and it actually makes you think about some of the biggest fans in the world, are sometimes the creepiest.
The way the film is structured is to show us to what stardom can do to you. Our desire to become so famous is so strong, and so intense that it makes us delusional, and think of things that are in the real world and what are not.
De Niro does gives probably one of his most bizarre performances of his career, and shows that he can be so uncomfortable, and strange that it can actually start to have an effect on us. Jerry Lewis gives a good performance here as the celebrity that has so much anger to hide that when it comes out, he goes really really insane.
The ending is what kind of ruined it for me in a way. I think that the ending could have been a bit more clear to its approach to its subject material and actually had me a bit confused. Was this reality or fiction?
Consensus: An unexplained ending, but The King Of Comedy has two equally-matched performances, very dark look into the world of obsession, and a hidden gem from Scorsese.