The King of Comedy Reviews
One of Scorsese's more overlooked movies, 'The King of Comedy' boasts an incredibly engaging and bizarre concept that supports a captivating performance by Robert De Niro as an unconventional aspiring comic.
And when I say versatile I really mean it. DeNiro is playing the farthest departure from a gangster imaginable, and Scorsese has managed to make a film with nearly no action feel incredibly frantic and exciting.
The character of Rupert Pupkin is what every writer should strive for when attempting to create a sympathetic psychopath. I know how awful these things he's doing are, and by that I mean both his comedy material and his criminal activity, but I still really (and kind of sadistically) wanted him to succeed.
The fantasy/dream sequences were a superb idea. When the first one hit I didn't know if it was real or imagined, and this works perfectly in the plot. This added element makes it so each time we see another sequence we have to question whether it was really happening. In fact, I still don't know for sure if the epilogue was intended as an actual glimpse into the future or not.
Robert De Niro is great as Rupert Pupkin. He plays him as a sympathetic character, so you feel sorry for him instead of being annoyed or disgusted by him. Sandra Bernhard is a good counterpoint to show what he could be if his obsession is taken to the extreme. But I think the best acting in The King of Comedy came from Jerry Lewis. He is everything you'd expect from a popular TV talk show host, and delivers some of the most subtle and funny jokes in the movie.
The humor was something I never expected. I don't know why but, despite the title, I thought Scorsese was taking this down a more serious path. But the film is darkly comedic throughout and I was chuckling a lot. Scorsese makes a few choices that I don't understand, but most of the time I think it's a very good movie. I was even impressed by the costuming because Rupert's suits looked exactly like someone trying to dress up as his favorite talk show host. Maybe not one of my favorite films of all time, but definitely a treat, and proof that Scorsese has more range than I thought.