In this volatile, confused time, what the world really needs is another scathing, bitter, hilarious political satire to take the juice out of it all.
So thank heavens for In The Loop — a feature length theatrical spinoff of the popular BBC TV show The Thick of It — which more than fits the bill.
Like the series that spawned it, the film is an ensemble piece about wacky goings onof the governmental powers that be, specifically charting the media-fuelled battles between the office of a klutzy British MP (Tom Hollander) and various high rankers in Washington, each with their own vested interest in either starting or stopping a war in the Middle East.
Reprising his small screen role as the foul tempered, foul mouthed communications director Malcom Tucker is Scottish actor/director Peter Capaldi, who serves as the picture’s rotten core, spitting out a jaw dropping torrent of artfully articulated expletives and abusing all around him while frantically trying to gain control of the situation.
“The show was on late at night in England so we got away with a lot of profanity,” says the actor of his alter ego’s small screen origins.
“We had a team of writers coming up with all this stuff, so I can’t take all the credit for what comes out of Malcom’s mouth, but (director) Armando (Iannucci) let me and the rest of the cast improvise and add material.
The lean, wiry Capaldi is perhaps best known to western audiences for his roles in such eccentric fare as 1983’s Local Hero and Ken Russell’s Lair of the White Worm, where his turns as an awkward, sweet geek cutie set the tone for an endless spate of similar roles.
But Tucker is the opposite of the typical Capaldi character. He’s a ferocious, virtual monster of vulgarity and one with few socially redeeming qualities.
“If there’s any good in Malcom it’s in that he gets the job done,” says Capaldi. “He may be a bastard to everyone around him, but really, he’s not the guy who gives the orders. He’s ultimately just a cog in this big, lunatic machine.”