Derek Winnert


This article was written on 30 May 2013, and is filled under Reviews.

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The Comedian – Film Review


Edward Hogg does a very good job in a difficult star role as Ed, a northerner working as a London call-centre salesman, bored out of his mind and pretty much burnt out at 32. A real average Joe, not really very handsome, charming or witty, he’s trying to make it on the London comedy circuit. His material’s not too bad, but there’s just one big problem – he simply isn’t funny.

One day on a night bus on his way home after a failed gig, Ed meets a free-spirited, outspoken, young black artist called Nathan (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett). They connect and start a passionate affair, but things pretty soon start going awry when Nathan discovers Ed lives with a beautiful French singer, Elisa (Elisa Lasowski), whom he loves inseparably but asexually.

Then Ed faces the choice of his attraction to a man and his love for a woman. Or is this actually love for a man and attraction to a woman? Hard to say. It’s complicated, anyway.

The Comedian is a very well-meaning film, fresh, dramatic and funny, a bit depressing, a bit life-affirming. It’s filmed in documentary realism style, which some may find adds to the raw, freshness of the experience, but others may find annoying and alienating. The last, long sequence is entirely played out in a cab, where Ed’s talking to the cabbie, whom we can only see in the driver mirror. This scene and several others represent brave stuff. It’s effective, though the filming method does mean some scenes ramble, go on too long, get a bit boring, like scenes from your own life, probably.

The London backgrounds, filmed apparently randomly and with immediacy, come up strong, real and pungent, thanks to Benjamin Cracun’s cinematography. London becomes an important character in the drama, though a shady, supporting one.

We have of course noticed that all the actors play characters with their own first names. No idea what that’s about, but it’s interesting.

The film won’t find friends everywhere, who does? But it’s honest and true and worthwhile.

(C) Derek Winnert 2013

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