Starring: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahne Abbott
Director: Martin Scorsese
Running Time: 109 mins
The King Of Comedy is an American film about an aspiring young comedian who, in a bid to achieve fame, stalks his idol, a famous talk show host constantly harried by the adoring public, and as it appears ever more difficult to contact him, the future ‘King Of Comedy’ must adopt drastic measures to get his name known.
This film is particularly interesting, because for all the more light-hearted image it gives off, it’s one of Scorsese’s darkest pictures, that leaves you oddly both laughing and cowering by the end.
The main themes of the film are hugely intriguing, and still relevant today. One of the main ideas is about the public’s obsession with celebrities and the media, and how negatively a media culture such as this can impact on the lives of celebrities as well as their adoring fans.
Also, the film talks about the deluded mentality of the public to achieve fame and glory. Shown brilliantly through the character of Rupert
Pepkin Pupkin, a man whose ambition far exceeds his talent, you see very clearly how the celebrity culture can cause such deluded thoughts, especially through Pupkin’s bizarre yet perfectly realistic fantasies that set him on a course to thinking his idol is his personal friend.
Pupnick Pupkin is on the whole one of the most intriguing film characters I’ve ever seen. Giving off an oddly similar vibe to Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, he’s evidently not right in the head, a quality that is hugely emphasised towards the end of the film, however his very upbeat and ambitious personality manages to make him a strangely likeable and relatable person, despite the fact that his overambition is largely infuriating to watch.
The story, like its main character, is split up quite clearly into two main areas. The first act is all about the slightly lighter side, with it seeming as if Pupkin is on the way up in the world of showbiz, and it maintains a much more comedic and enjoyable atmosphere.
However, the second act is unbelievably dark. Delving into the insanity of the film’s deluded protagonists, it takes away a huge amount of that comedic feel from the first part, and replaces it with a typically Scorsese-ish story that is both exciting as well as heartbreakingly grim to watch.
Overall, this gets an 8.3, because it’s not only a classic Scorsese-esque movie, but it manages to bring in interesting themes, a fascinating main character, and some unexpected comedy.