Family plays an important role in most peoples lives. Love them or hate them, your nearest and dearest are always there. Until they’re not. And then their absence can be keenly felt. Or you might have never known your family or wish you hadn’t. Death of a close relative, and the subsequent grief and loss, is a difficult subject to tackle through drama, let alone comedy. It’s something Jason Wingard does so well in his new film Eaten by Lions.
When Omar (Antonio Aakeel) and Pete’s (Jack Carroll) mother and step-father/father die in a large feline related incident, they are all lost at sea. Their aunt (Vicki Pepperdine) and uncle (Kevin Eldon) are happy to take Pete in but Omar feels like a spare part. Omar sets out to discover who his real dad is but he’s in for one heck of a shock. Not as much as Irfan (Asim Chaudhry), his father, who isn’t exactly the paternal type.
Whilst there are a few too many clichés in Eaten by Lions, for the most part it’s a refreshing British comedy which doesn’t pull any punches. Neither Pete’s disability nor Omar’s race are played-up for cheap laughs, but they still both become the butt of the jokes. Wingard isn’t afraid to use direct or strong humour but never lowers himself to crassness. The cast is good and Carroll in particular stands out with great comic timing. Eaten by Lions is a fun tale of brotherly love.
Eaten by Lions is out in cinemas on 29 March.