A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
After a dopey and incompetent film extra from India is accidentally invited to a sophisticated and exclusive party, chaos, havoc and mayhem ensue. That is more or less the summary of 1968’s “The Party” starring the marvellous Peter Sellers. Hrundi V. Bakshi (Sellers), the adorably polite and well-mannered film extra mixes it with the rich, the famous and everything in between. As uncomfortable and intimidating as it all seems, Bakshi persists and tries his hardest to make a good impression, but sadly continues to create destruction and disorder with every clumsy footstep he takes.
Slapstick comedy is an art form that has severely diminished in recent times, it’s just not the same as it used to be. Clumsiness and believable awkwardness is a skill that is harder than the likes of Sellers make it appear. From the days of Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” series, Sellers has mastered the art of chaotic humour, thus inspiring the likes of “Mr. Bean” and “Nation Lampoon”. The hysteria is relentless, and with every move Bakshi makes to try and fix his previous accident, he finds himself initiating a chain of events and consequences far worse than before.
Bakshi is an incredibly sympathetic sole. His polite, friendly and excitable manner is delightful to watch, but heart-breaking to witness every time he is brushed away by his fellow snobbish party attendees. Along with the endless mayhem that Bakshi generates, there are some enjoyable sub-plots to keep the audience amused, particularly involving the bar tender who gradually polishes off drink after drink throughout the night.
All-round fun and stupidity, “The Party” is a film that doesn’t offer much depth or complexity, it’s more or less a 100-minute series of unfortunate events. Bakshi is both the archetypal best and worst guest to have at a party, for many reasons; yet his contribution to this otherwise lifeless gathering makes for some enjoyable viewing nonetheless.