Philip French’s review of Four Lions in the Observer today mentions the Golden Globe award-winning 2005 Palestinian film, Paradise Now. An excellent comparison, and one that didn’t occur to me at all.
Paradise Now is about two young Palestinian men who become suicide bombers targeting Israel. It’s better than Four Lions, yes, but it’s also doing something different – such violence is a much more common occurrence along the Palestinian-Israel border, not the extraordinary event it is in Four Lions, and was on 7/7.
The humour in Paradise Now is much more muted, and links the continuing political situation and the poverty of Said and Khaled’s families, to their decisions to become terrorists.
Four Lions doesn’t treat any of its terrorists’ concerns seriously, making them out-and-out cartoon characters. Paradise Now presents us with human beings instead. Perhaps it’s a very British thing, to openly mock danger, and Four Lions does have all the best lines.
Anyway, my 2006 review of Paradise Now after the jump…