Friday, 8 January 2016

Comedy and Laughter - A Still Game Review

Comedy and Laughter - A Still Game Review

Still Game is a Scottish comedy in which actors in their 30’s and 40’s play retired people in their 70’s. Both of the main characters, Jack and Victor are about 73, widowed and rent apartments right next to each other. As best friends they share everything, from breakfast to going to the pub together to staying up late at night at Jack’s place because he got sky and Victor hasn’t. Other characters are a Muslim corner shop owner, Navid, and his talkative cleaning lady, Isa, who is incredibly nosy and lives on the same floor as Jack and Victor; both are played by young actors playing old people.
In this comedy, they use a mix of toilet humor, Shadenfreude and intellectual humor to make the audience laugh, and it’s a burlesque form of humor as the producers and writers have caricatured retired people and applied exaggerated characterization to them.
In one specific scene, Bobby, the owner and barman of the local pub the Clansman goes on a bike tour to stay in the next village overnight. He cycles to the next pub and is greeted by a barman that is nearly an exact replica of himself, mullet hair and lines in face, and when he orders a pint and is asked what he does for a living, he is quick to reply lawyer, as he doesn’t want anyone to know how stereotypical and samey his pub is. The door opens and two people looking an awful lot like Jack and Victor walk in, being introduced with names that even sound like Jack and Victor, at which Bobby nearly chokes on his beer and leaves quickly before he can find out any more similarities between both pubs.
It took me a good while to get used to the rural Glasgow accent, but even before that the stereotypical characters being acted out are just behaving in very funny ways. For example, one morning Victor walks over to Jack still in pyjamas and lets the bottoms down for Jack to inspect his piles. Isa, being her nosy self looks through the letter box slit and assumes they must be up to something and tells everyone that Jack and Victor are gay, after which they get awkward tolerance from everyone one else, except for that they don’t know what’s up. As many jokes are very visual (a person slipping on ice, Jack and Victor walking over to help and slip as well) I did not need to understand what they said to make me laugh, but as many jokes were intellectually funny (in a hospital setting Jack and Victor are responsible for the radio; one man’s last wish was “Rosemary” so they go to lengths to find the song, play it and it turns out to be his ex-wife’s name, his wife sitting by his bedside is furious)  I learnt to understand and love them too.

Still Game is a great adult comedy that teachers the watcher to understand a weird Scottish accent if patient enough and until then keeps entertained with slapstick and other graphically funny moments, my personal score is 5/5.

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