Ironically, he became increasingly paranoid during his final years and feared for his own life. For over 60 years, massive speculation has surrounded his unexpected death in March
How does one laugh when bodies are dropping left and right and the action onscreen is an interpretation of real-life and deadly serious events? Because the humor of Armando Iannucci's latest derives entirely from the fact that totalitarianism is inherently funny, is inherently insane, is inherently a joke.
The refusal to allow any disagreement with the will of the leader is a recipe for hilarity, a formula for humor based on the idea that there's nothing funnier than a contradiction—and no contradiction is greater than that between reality and a cult of personality.
The Death of Stalin is based on a sort of sick genius, one that derives its humor from the notion that disagreement is verboten despite the fact that disagreement is the most fundamental of human notions.
Iannucci illustrates early and often the insanity of Russia's predicament by depicting life under the rule of Josef Stalin, a man with the power to kill you for no reason other than he wants to.
Stalin's pals are filled with a sort of ever-present, low-level, high-maintenance dread. They have to keep track of who the regime has killed, and why, and what they have said each night to each other and to the USSR's head of state, mining the evening's conversations for clues about what might set Stalin off.
The musical performers, meanwhile, know only that they must do what they are told. When Andreyev Paddy Considine is informed that he must present a record of the night's performance to Stalin, he realizes he must present this recording to Stalin despite the fact that no such record exists.
All of this tension takes place amidst the backdrop of genuine terror. Beria dispenses lists of people to be disposed of, stating manner-of-factly that soldiers are to, for example, "shoot her before him, but [to] make sure he sees it.
Doublethink and its dissipation is the primary concern of The Death of Stalin. Beria understands better than most that he and his cronies have lived a lie in the shadow of a monster; yet, he also understands that he was the monster's right hand, the monster's teeth and tongue.
Beria may be able to save himself, but only if he can dismantle the world that he has helped build. No saint himself—and all-to-eager to adopt the mantle of reformer—Khrushchev is a typical Iannucci Veep, In the Loop sort, a bureaucrat who understands just how dangerous life can be absent the protection of bureaucracy.
And Buscemi himself plays the role nicely: I admire that Iannucci does not appear to have demanded anyone adopt an unnatural accent in this film: The jokes all come in the timing of it, the natural humorous rhythms of their speech.
Following Stalin's death, the Soviet leadership adopted a new course in economic policy, placing greater emphasis on consumer goods. In East Germany, the hard line Stalinist leader, Walter Ulbricht, continued to develop a strict command economy. 10 rows · Stalin died in March and his death triggered a power struggle in which Nikita Khrushchev after several years emerged victorious against Georgy Malenkov.  Khrushchev denounced Stalin on two occasions, first in and then in Khrushchev had been active in the Russian Communist Party since joining in After Stalin took control of the Soviet Union following Lenin’s death in , Khrushchev became an absolutely loyal follower of the brutal dictator.
Jason Issacs deserves special praise for his smallish turn as Zhukhov, leader of the Russian Army, playing the military man as a hardcore bro, a swaggering jock who leans into the effort to maintain an orderly transition of power because, hey, why not.
Some have argued that Stalin and his purges are no laughing matter. I would suggest that some of those who lived through the USSR's terrors might disagree; track down a copy of Hammer and Ticklea documentary about Soviet jokes, if you can find it.
There is something revelatory about transporting the bureaucratic machinations featured in Iannucci's previous work to the gulag archipelago that was Soviet Russia. How could something like government-organized mass-murder take place? Well, how could it not, when you put all power in the hands of a paranoid madman and his fear-filled cronies?
This entry was posted in Culture and tagged Movie Reviews.After Stalin took control of the Soviet Union following Lenin’s death in , Khrushchev became an absolutely loyal follower of the brutal dictator. It was Georgy Malenkov who inherited Stalin’s titles, but not for long, as he was politically rather weak, and rivaled by other prominent party members, Nikita Khrushchev first and foremost.
But the real power immediately after Stalin’s death was mostly in the hands of Lavrentiy Beria, who had support of security and law enforcement agencies. It was the first since the death of Josef Stalin in , but almost nothing was said about the dead leader until, in closed session on the 25th, 1, delegates and many invited visitors listened to an amazing speech by Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of .
10 rows · Stalin died in March and his death triggered a power struggle in which Nikita Khrushchev after several years emerged victorious against Georgy Malenkov.  Khrushchev denounced Stalin on two occasions, first in and then in Sep 23, · There was a power struggle among the Soviet Communist Party elite to succeed Stalin after his death in Georgy Malenkov was nominally the next leader after Stalin.
Following Stalin's death, the Soviet leadership adopted a new course in economic policy, placing greater emphasis on consumer goods. In East Germany, the hard line Stalinist leader, Walter Ulbricht, continued to develop a strict command economy.