This is a comedy caper that harks back to the films of the fifties and sixties. Lord Charlie Mortdecai is a buffoon of an art dealer who needs 8 million to pay his tax bill and the only way he can get it is by stealing a lost Goya painting. However Mortdecai is a bumbling, hapless non-action man, who keeps accidentally injuring his own long-suffering bodyguard. Mayhem ensues as the plot unravels in all directions as Mortdcai swans around, full of his own self-importance and aware of no one but himself.
When presented with a key card in an American hotel Mortedai is so pompous and self-absorbed he thinks he has just been issued with a credit card.
The book of Proverbs in the Bible contains a fistful of comments regarding fools and folly. Here’s a few:
Wise people don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their folly. (Proverbs 12v23)
It is safer to meet a bear robbed of her cubs than to confront a fool caught in folly. (Proverbs 17 v 12)
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26 v 11)
Mortdecai certainly broadcasts his folly for all and sundry, and as far as his oft-shot bodyguard/manservant is concerned, it’s most definitely safer to meet a cub-robbed bear than to spend too much time round Mortdecai.
On the flip side the writer of Proverbs advises us that a healthy fear of God is the beginning of all wisdom, and Jesus told his friends that to discover him was like a wise builder setting up home on a secure foundation. (Proverbs 1 v 7 & Matthew 7 v 24)
The Biblical Mordecai (without the ‘t’) in the book of Esther is quite a different character. In that book it’s the Prime Minister Haman who is the buffoon, and a corrupt one at that. Though Mordecai is loyal to King Xerxes he refuses to bow to PM Haman, recognizing that the man has evil in his plans, nothing less than the destruction of the Jews. However, as the wily Mordecai and his courageous cousin Esther do battle with him, it is Haman who ends up tripping up on his tangled web, ultimately undone by his own nefarious folly.