War in pieces | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Jun 25, 2017-Sunday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

War in pieces

To live a life without seeing a Marx Brothers movie is to date a girl without ever wanting to sleep with her.

movie reviews Updated: Jan 08, 2010 22:51 IST

Duck Soup
Enlighten Home Library Rs 399
Rating: *****

To live a life without seeing a Marx Brothers movie is to date a girl without ever wanting to sleep with her. As you mull over that one, we insist that you pick up this priceless DVD that comes under Rs 400 and reacquaint yourself with anarchic comedy (considering you do see your own life in the mirror off and on). This 1933 masterpiece is many things: an anti-war movie, an anti-government movie, or as Groucho Marx himself insisted, a film with “four Jews trying to get a laugh”.

Groucho plays the cigar-chomping, eye-brows-arching Rufus T. Firefly, who is invited to become the leader of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia. His only interest is to help himself to get the money of the dowdy, loud-y widow Mrs Teasdale (played according to archetypal perfection by Margaret Dumont). Chico and Harpo Marx play the two spies from neighbouring Sylvania and as a riot of absurdist comedy ensues, Rufus Firefly declares war. Keep up with the gags — puns, one-liners, two-liners, eye-liners and sideways collisions — if you can. (The pause and rewind button will be of immense help.)

Don’t miss out the classic ‘mirror scene’ — with Groucho, Chico and Harpo all becoming Groucho. Surreal, devastatingly absurd, this is the political movie that tops them all — by not knowing that it’s political in the first place. Brill-creem-iant! There’s an extra feature film, Animal Crackers in the DVD too.