28th Aug2018

‘Funny Cow’ DVD Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Maxine Peake, Paddy Considine, Stephen Graham, Alun Armstrong, Christine Bottomley, Kevin Eldon, Tony Pitts, Diane Morgan, Hannah Walters, Hebe Beardsall, John Bishop, Lindsey Coulson, Adam Gillen, Dominic Brunt, Vic Reeves | Written by Tony Pitts | Directed by Adrian Shergold


A comedian uses her troubled past as material for her stand-up routine, trying to rise up through the comedy circuit by playing Northern England’s working men’s clubs.

Maxine Peake, famed British theatre actress formulates what might just be her greatest performance in the character of Funny Cow. The lead role in the same-titled feature drama directed by Adrian Shergold. Funny Cow is an unsettling harrowing dramatic embodiment the explores the satirical tale of life itself. The fragmented and ironic moments of pain and pleasure threaded into a caricature of sorts that play out in a vicious fiery blanket of love and fear.

The maligned experiences of terror Peakes’ Funny Cow character endures are the forefront of the films majestic wealth of spirit and catharsis, within the context of no matter how beaten physically and psychologically down one is, It is the resilience of internal character that pushes forward. Even in times of vain and eerie notes of abuse, you feel a sense of hope, however trepid and little It’s always slightly visible in the midst of the bleakest scenarios. This comes down to the extraordinary performance of Peake who is spectacular. The juggling of theme and genre is exceptional, highlighting her emotional range, in particular, to be utterly astonishing and the pinnacle of the films grasp upon its audience. It incites a heavy dose of engagement and connection with an audience that can’t bare to see the travesty of events unfold, yet see a glimmering ripple of hope, ever so delicately tranced with how beautifully the film digests and breathes in the irony of self-deprecating stand-up.

For what might seem a palette cleanser of sorts, would actually be the antithesis of the film’s portrayal of trauma and grief. As the film progresses it becomes somewhat clear that Peake’s character, slowly becoming lost in the weaving of a life she never reciprocated and feels sequentially undeserving of a life she arguably deserves due to her dire past, although her consciousness of circumstance begins to limit her ability to find peace. Consequentially the dramatic thread that opens up is stoically fascinating and deeply moving in the thematic element of her anguish. The screenplay by writer Tony Pitts is exquisite. Its vicious, gross, heartfelt and incredibly poignant. Ever so engrossing with a fabulous interconnected tone of comedy and drama, that goes hand in hand with perfect harmony.

Funny Cow is available on DVD and Digital now.


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