Seriously Funny

While discussing Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, we were asked how comedy played a part in the story. Many of us laughed while watching the president of the United States talk to the Russian leader about the nuclear attack headed their way. This is a very serious matter because millions of innocent lives will be lost if a series of events doesn’t happen to stop the planes from dropping their bombs. Still, we laugh at the unprofessional banter and lack of urgency in the phone conversation.

I think that comedy helps people form deeper connections with the characters in the movie. When Major Kong reads out the items in their survival kit he says a guy could have a good weekend in Vegas with all of that stuff. He manages to make a joke while on the way to drop a nuclear bomb and reading the items that the men would be left with if they were to be stranded in Russia. He is trying to find the good in an unfortunate situation. I’m sure a lot of us have tried to do the same thing when faced with a challenge. I’ve heard people say that you have to laugh to keep from crying. Even though many of us will never be in an attack plane, we can relate being in a tough situation. Therefore, the viewer can make a connection to the character and possibly understand the feelings of a person who would actually be put in a position like this.

Does the comedy make this film easier to watch? The topic of nuclear warfare is very serious and should be discussed. The satire in the film might make some uneasy, but it helps lighten the topic so that the viewer can understand the message of the movie. It definitely is a movie that I would go back and re-watch to catch all of the satire. Also, I could suggest the movie to more sensitive viewers because there are limited combat scenes, in fact, the only death we see it that of Major Kong as he rides the bomb like a cowboy. Ironically, there is not even fighting in the war room. With that being said, is the comedy used to attract a greater audience? Would a war movie that is too serious have less to analyze?


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