This is Not a Comedy (El Comediante) is a Mexican comedy-drama starring Gabriel Nuncio, Cassandra Ciangherotti, Adriana Paz, Alejandro Saevich, Eduardo Donjuan and others in the various lead and supporting roles. With a run time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, This is Not a Comedy has been declared the winner for Best Feature Film and Best Cinematography at the Guadalajara International Film Festival. The original audio is in Spanish but This is Not a Comedy features English subtitles.
The synopsis of the film on Netflix reads, ”A comic finds new meaning in his life when his best friend asks him to be her sperm donor, and he meets a girl who connects with the cosmos.”
-This is Not a Comedy review does not contain any spoilers-
Gabriel is quite a hopeless and humourless comedian who had left his steady job at the publishers to pursue comedy full time. Leyre (played by Cassandra Ciangherotti) is Gabriel’s girlfriend. Leyre and Gabriel are initially portrayed as quite incompatible. Leyre believes in intergalactic Confederation and the transcendental form of the human spirit. She strongly believed in energies and inner lights and was quite upset with Gabriel for not letting his inner light shine. Gabriel instantly disagrees with her and lets her go to pursue his realistic dream of making a film.
This is Not a Comedy claim to be a comedy. However, by the time the movie ends, one feels a certain heaviness in their heart. It feels like the end of an intimate affair. Gabriel’s sadness seems like a tangible thing and it is this sadness that often feels like a character in this heartfelt film. Gabriel, other than being depressed, is also quite broke. He does not earn much from the infrequent comedy stand-ups that he does. The woman that he calls his best friend fails to acknowledge or recognise his emotions or state of affairs.
This is Not a Comedy does not have a lot of interactions. Even the ones that are a part of the film, do not feel like interactions. Gabriel calmly goes through every tragedy that befalls him. At points, it feels like he is about to burst, but his demeanour remains indifferent. Every tiny flicker of light in his life seems to be extinguishing little by little. This is Not a Comedy makes quite a good use of imagery to get its point across. Gabriel’s plight can often be seen reflected in the very vivid portrayal of extraterrestrial endeavours that his mind conjures up.
The film extensively relies on music and the tones produced by everyday objects to its advantage. There is piano, laughter, the absence of the barking of Gabriel’s dog and much more which add to the gloomy undertone of the film. There is death, but there also is this hope that lingers on when things die and it is this hope that keeps Gabriel going. During the final minutes of the film, the viewer might be silently praying to see Gabriel break down. Gabriel needs to cry, Gabriel has to cry, but he never does.
Summing up, This is Not a Comedy
There is something hopeful in the belief that the human form is just a part of one’s journey in becoming one with the cosmos. There is peace in believing that we are more than our tiny lives in this huge universe. This is Not a Comedy makes you hope a bit more. It makes you want to believe in aliens and intergalactic transcendence and the idea that things, however bad it seems right now, will eventually turn out to be all right.
This is Not a Comedy is now streaming on Netflix.Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.