25
Oct 04

The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers

Do You SeePost a comment • 636 views

The Life And Death Of Peter Sellers is plagued with an inappropriate soundtrack. Not when the film apes and recreates periods of Sellers film career (though the Henry Mancini Pink Panther theme is surprisingly played down). Rather the intrusion of a Clash song to signify the late seventies, the Stones for the late sixties which all seem to belong to a different England to Sellers. Any commentary read into “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” exists merely to cover the storytelling back of Stephen Hopkins the director.

Not a bad film, but too much of a film. The obsession of film on surface means it is hard to do biography with depth. Considering the thesis of this film (Sellers was just all surface) it is difficult to see how it will prove it. It purports to tell the life and death of someone, but we join the story when said person is thirty and never see his death. What we do get is a Stars In Their Eyes version of Sellers life, recreating a few famous scenes from a few films and link them with Sellers being a bit of a cunt to all and sundry.

The supporting characters get pretty short shrift (with the exception of Theron’s Britt Ekland). Poor old Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan are reduced to gurning sound effect mongers, occasionally popping up in the background to make silly noises. The Freudian reductionism of the story barely rings true either. So a film which echoes its own subtext. Sellers was a man without a soul, the film suggests, unfortunately so is this film.

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