Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Dinner Game

Or, as it should be known in the original - "le Dîner de Cons". Loosely translated as The Dinner of Idiots.

Sunday night found the usual film club regulars reinforced by 40% as Helen and Rob joined us for a showing. Here 's the non-Millbrooker Towers residents before the bottle count rose beyond silliness. Clockwise from the left: Rob, Helen, Frankenkeith, Shazzerooneypoos and the back of Dong's bonce.
Anyway, before we talk about the general debauchery that happened after the film; I'll try and do my usual drivelling about the cinematic pleasures that we enjoyed.

The premise of the film is that a bunch of well-to-do media types hold a weekly dinner party to which each brings a guest; whoever's guest turns out to be the the "most spectacular idiot" wins. A cruel and unpleasant dinner game in which normal, everyday people with their own little foibles and interests are ridiculed without their knowing it.

We don't make it to the dinner party as things go wrong for one of the wealthy participants, Pierre Brochant (played by Thierry Lhermitte) when his "idiot" guest turns up at his apartment for a pre-dinner appointment.From that moment, the film becomes a farce in its purest sense; the wrong person turns up when it's least convenient; blunders keep happening just when you think the plot will run smoothly for a while. Brian Rix wouldn't have been out of place in the cast had he been French.

It's almost impossible to give the film any sort of review without giving away the plot and therefore the surprises that keep you laughing. And you do keep laughing - it's very funny indeed. The direction by Francis Veber plays it strictly for laughs and at a rapid-fire pace. The central performances are not subtle, but work tremendously well in the context. Jaques Villeret as Francois Pignon (the "idiot") is superb and actually manages to make his character's ludicrousness believable. All of us at Film Club enjoyed it hugely; Dong didn't take a single fag break throughout the 80 minute running time and there were chuckles aplenty from the gathered throng.

This one comes very highly recommended. Deep and meaningful? No. Great fun? Yes. And, no, you're not laughing at cruelty, but at humanity and the outrageous situations. Get a copy and prepare to be amused. Now - let's just mention the aftermath of watching this film....

We had all obviously been uplifted into high spirits and we might have got a bit over excited on the wine consumption front. Note the merry expressions at this point as Dong prepares to entertain with his striking rendition of something or other in Olde Englishe: Rob enjoyed plinking away on the guitar, but sadly the video I took of him playing isn't fit for wider consumption (just a quality of image issue - the playing is entirely in keeping with my usual output to YouTube), so here's a rear view of him being musically inebriated: From a somewhat hazy memory, Frankenkeith had an early start the following morning to do his coastal watch duties; Helen was working with Point Europa first thing; Shazzerooneypoos starts at 05:30 on a Monday and I had to be away at 07:45. What on earth possessed us to raise the bottle count to this:Yep - nine reds and three whites. Frankenkeith and Auntie Sharon drink white, so that's an average of a bottle and a half each. The remaining five of us polished off all the red (and Mrs The Millbrooker didn't drink very much). I think the word for all of us was "steaming". Good God, I'm 45 years old, haven't I learnt by now?

I do hope the other very naughty participants in this Bacchanalian debauch felt better than I did in their various workplaces on Monday. But I somehow suspect they didn't. Next week, guys, we'll keep it a bit lower key, shall we?

Hic, burp, fart, poop.

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