This delayed review is due to the almost insignificant amount of time this film was in the Cinemas - compared to how long it should have been there!
I had heard so much about this "Brit-Asian" film and, apart from the spoiled jokes I had been told again and again, I wasn't expecting much. There are a rather large pile of 'watch-and-burn' films emerging from this genre - they either self-harm Asian society with stereotypes and predictable self-mocking, or they attempt to explore deep seated social friction - and usually do so with the grace of a horny gorilla. This film is none of the above.
Four Lions is off-beat, original, funny, thought provoking, relevant and unmissable - and yet doesn't take itself too seriously or wallow in melodrama for more than a beat. Where Road to Guantanamo (2006) and Britz (2007) consisted of two dimensional and predictable story constructs, and almost stereotypical characters (even if one was based on a true story), Four Lions lets loose a bright buffet of depth, insight and sheer joy. Yes this is a funny film about home-grown terrorists. Riz Ahmed (Britz, Guantanamo) seems to have been unleashed from "stereotype hell" to refresh us with taste of his real, raw talent. And as for Novak, well, what can I say. His reputation certainly proceed's him; His immersion into his character is so deep that I was well into the film before I even realised 'Hey, I know this guy from somewhere'.
This film is funny. The kind of funny that you want to see again and again. But it bars no holds, in any of the languages used. It addresses serious issues without presumption and opinion, and it shouts passionately from the heart of a hurt and torn society.
Don't delay or ponder on this one; rent it, buy it, borrow it, download it, stream it, whatever - but watch it now.