Let me paint you a picture: An irrelevant old man starts spewing racist and dying ideals to the general public. No one takes him seriously at first, but it’s not long before his endless pursuit of power causes the actual racists and nationalist to come out of hiding and support him. Long before the general public realizes it’s not a bit, he ends up being one of the most powerful men on the planet. Even wore, there’s nothing anyone can do about it. No, I am not talking about Donald Trump’s presidency. I’m talking about the plot of the film Look Who’s Back. Sound all too familiar?
In the wake of the announcement that theaters would be screening 1984 in (dis)honor of President Trump, I wanted to showcase how well Look Who’s Back pairs with the iconic film. Both movies highlight the ignorance and blind following of its government’s supporters, but Look Who’s Back tackles the origins of that ignorance and blindness. Before society hangs on every word that Big Brother says (despite his numerous and blatant contradictions), director David Wnendt introduces us into a world were suddenly and without reason, Hitler is in present day Germany.
The film uses a Borat styled approach. While the story elements are scripted, the general public’s reactions to Hitler are not. At first most people just laugh at him and assume he’s an impersonator performing a skit, but it’s not long before real people actually begin to agree with his outlandish prejudices and ideas.
In a scene where Hitler is spewing racist taunts and slurs, the general crowd is laughing along, but it suddenly stops being funny and horribly scary the second one person shamelessly agrees with him. From there the film takes a turn and you watch it spiral out of control when you realize some people actually still do feel this way about their fellow man, because of their race, religion and ethnicity.
Satire aside, the film is quite funny, most notably for Hitler’s reactions to the world of today. Actor Oliver Masucci’s performance of Hitler is as spot on, and he provides a suitable amount of menace and comedy. While the joke of Hitler being back does drag on at points, it’s completely necessary as the second act draws to a close and the film ultimately arrives at its point.
Although not nearly as iconic as 1984, Look Who’s Back succeeds at being both a funny and suitably scary parody. Personally, I have never been into politics or political humor but this is on a completely different scale, and I dub it as important and certainly funnier than 1984.