Preview: The Infidel

Out next week, David Baddiel’s The Infidel promises to be “a comedy of ethnic proportions”. With jokes like that, they’re already laughing. Sort of. So what is the low down on this religion-tastic hootfest? We wanted to find out before we watched…

Starring stand up comedian Omid Djalili, The Infidel follows the story of Mahmud Nasir, a middle aged family man whose devout Muslim sensibilities are somewhat waning. He’s slacking off on prayer, gets a little too hungry for Ramadan, and he’s pretty sure ‘no swearing’ is one of those rules God meant as a really great joke. However, his world gets turned upside down when he discovers that he was adopted. And not only that, but his mother was actually Jewish. Oy vay, vere is my bagel etc.

Now, we like a bit of Omid Djalili as much as the next person, but this movie does seem more like a vehicle for Omid to do his standup than anything else. The official website doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence plot-wise, stating

“As Mahmud tumbles headlong into a full scale identity crisis, the only person he can turn to is LENNY, a drunken Jewish cabbie who agrees to give him lessons in Jewishness, which start with how to dance like Topol.”

So, pretty deep stuff then?

According to critics so far, the makers are more than a bit uncomfortable mocking Islam, so the jokes are mainly fired at good old hilarious Judaism – think lots of shrugging, dancing with chairs and foreskin-based hilarity. Still, with the up-coming Four Lions (a comedy about wannabe Muslim terrorists), we’ll soon have equality back in the mocking religion ranks. Which makes it all OK, right?

Initial reviews seem a little on the scathing side, though apparently a visual gag involving a hook-handed cleric dunking a biscuit makes it all worthwhile. Seriously.

We’ll have to wait until next week to see for ourselves, but for those who want to know more, grab your yamulkas and visit the official website here.

And have a trailer. Go on, you deserve it.

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