The Richard Dawkins offensive has a powerful new ally in Borat director Larry Charles and comedian Bill Maher’s new film about faith and its associated idiocies.
Beginning with the premise that religion is detrimental to the progress of humanity, seasoned stand-up and agnostic Maher goes in search of meaning to assuage his doubt. It’s a very funny journey that brings him into contact with performing Messiahs, religious tat shop evangelists, mad scientist Jews and mobile phone carrying Imams among an international congregation of the perverse and profane. Having clearly done his theological homework, Maher uses his gift for analysis and pomposity piercing nit-picking to belie all manner of divine craziness.
With his intelligent use of cutaways and clips, Charles works to keep things accessible and just the right side of heretical, even if ‘after event’ chats between him and Maher in the car smack of bad reality TV.
That the film and Maher seem to ultimately run out of steam is of little consequence as the points he makes are fast, funny, furious and most importantly thought provoking.
GFT, Glasgow & Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Fri 3 Apr. See feature.