One of these days, you’re going to find yourself scrolling through the countless options to find a ridiculous comedy to watch with your friends on a mellow afternoon, and that would be your cue to give a shot to “Quasi.” Owing nothing to a grander scheme of things, any deep socio-political message, or even the Victor Hugo novel it’s a loose adaptation of, for that matter, the film is unapologetic about its wildly lame and ludicrous sense of humor that is likely to fill up your sack of jokes for a year at least. And if you’re like me and nothing makes you crack up loud like dad jokes, cringy puns, and intentionally bad French, this Broken Lizard satire might just be the film for you.
Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Film?
Brian Cox’s baritone gets us acquainted with the wild-wild 13th-century France that we’re not supposed to find interesting. An apt joke for the “old souls” who deem the Middle Ages a fitting time period for their existence, the France we see here is foul with depravities, torture, incest, extortion, religious extremities, and a major lack of “wokeness”–something Pope Cornelius attempts to remedy by calling the hunchback “orthopedically challenged.” ‘Quasi’ is quite literally the story of Quasimodo, the rather unfortunate bellringer of Notre Dame who’s also a crowd-favorite torturer. Quasi’s back-bending (I’m so sorry) work at creating a device that failed to straighten his back is now King Guy’s most adored torture tool. King Guy is a bit of a character himself. After not quite strategically getting his wife, the previous queen, brutally murdered, Guy has chosen to strengthen his footing by making friends with the English and marrying Princess Catherine.
Now the new queen, Catherine, must be coronated by the all-powerful Pope, who does enjoy a show of barbarous torture himself. Fond of Balon oysters, Guy hoards the best ones for the royals while the torture chamber’s CEO, Lucien, eats the generic kind and makes his poor subordinates watch as they brutalize infidels, thieves, and blasphemers. That is, until a rather sweet chef, Michel, is sent to be stretched out by Quasi’s rack, and he encourages the brave hunchback into an oyster chant that demands oysters for all. If being degraded, bullied, and dunged aren’t bad enough for Quasi, his hut-mate/ people-endorsed best friend Duchamp’s insufferable positivity makes existence significantly worse for Quasi. Hated by all, Quasi never expected that Catherine herself would be drawn by his valiant chant for equality of privileges. What he expected even less was actually winning the Papal lottery with a ticket Duchamp handed to him out of pity. That one ticket changes the entire course of how his life was supposed to go, and before you know it, he’s caught between hammer and anvil.
Why Does Quasi Get Tasked With Murder?
The Pope imposed rules and regulations that felt a tad too unfair for the king, who would prefer living life on his own terms. The clash of egos between the obnoxious king and the abominable Pope has rendered France a cesspool of chaos. When Quasi is rewarded with a chance for a confessional with the Pope, the king gets hold of him and tasks him with “Papicide.” Reluctant to commit a heinous crime against the religion he fears, Quasi denies it at first, but he’s quickly threatened with execution for himself and his best friend, Duchamp. Her crush on the hunchback and her fear that she will receive the same fate as the last queen has given Catherine enough reasons to snoop on the king. Alas, learning from the queen that he’ll be dead, whether or not he plays his part, in no way helps Quasi, who has to go through with the confession. With a dagger in his hand, Quasi can’t even begin to contemplate the murder when his predicament is made even more grueling. Pope Cornelius also tasked Quasi with the assassination of the king, with the promise that God’s grace would surely straighten out his back and fix his crooked face. Quasi doesn’t care a brass button about getting rid of the lump on his back, but being entrusted with the task of carrying out two rather momentous murders when he is to die either way is a pickle he can’t seem to find a way out of.
What Happens To Quasimodo In The End?
Crying over the spilled milk does nothing to change the fact that Duchamp has made the mistake of losing the chance to be popular in town, especially among the ladies. Bitter over missing the shot to be a hero, Duchamp denies his friendship with Quasi. But there’s a plan that the queen hatches that would not only ensure Quasi’s safety but also help Duchamp lord over his heroics. On the day of the coronation, Quasi’s theatrics of losing his mind are stopped by Duchamp’s fake dagger, which stabs the cow gut Quasi is wearing over his stomach. With Quasi safely transferred to a local cave to live out a year of hiding, Duchamp believes that he’ll reap the benefits of being deemed the savior who protected the king and the Pope from the lunatic. But sadly, Duchamp’s forgettable face makes it so that people don’t even remember him being on stage, let alone saving anyone.
Morose Duchamp brings food to Quasi, only to feel even worse at the sight of the queen giving Quasi the royal treatment. Under the influence of liquor, Duchamp spills the beans to Lucien, who’s quick to let the king know that the hunchback is alive and thriving. When Quasi is captured and tied to the device of his own creation, the queen, who’s clearly in love with him, first avenges him and kills Lucien, and then throws caution to the wind and gives into her rather questionable desires. 13th-century France surely was an odd place considering the queen’s love for Quasi only is only elevated when she sees the royal stamp on his stump and realizes that they’re cousins. Before the time comes for the Pope and the king to carry out Quasi’s execution, he’s already in the wind. With the help of Michel, who now resembles a tree thanks to the rack torture, Quasi makes his way through the town without being noticed. When Duchamp is captured for the crime of being best friends with Quasi, and his ego keeps him from admitting that he’s, in fact, the hunchback’s best friend, Quasi drops the idea of helping him out.
At the coronation, however, when Duchamp is tortured in a way that is a man’s worst nightmare, Quasi intervenes in the brutal entertainment like a hero and reveals the truth about the king and the Pope’s orders for each other’s murder. The crowd is practically just there to cheer for whichever side draws the winning card, and they have no moral values whatsoever. Even when Catherine exposes Quasi’s royal position, the king is hell-bent on getting him executed just for the fun of it. Poor Michel dies when an arrow fails to gauge just how tall he really is and makes his dying wishes known to Quasi and Duchamp. His first wish is to have a proper burial where his limbs won’t become animal food, and his second wish is for Quasi and Duchamp to leave their egos behind and accept that they’re best friends.
When the king and the Pope’s right-hand men die and the two stab each other, we get to know that Guy and Cornelius were, unsurprisingly, lovers at the university. Both of them are under the notion that the other has cheated, the reason why their scorn has grown to a fatal extent over the years. With the queen declaring Quasi the king of France, the crowd cheers on their new ruler, who promises to govern the people with kindness and mercy. Even though Quasi and Duchamp fail to deliver on their word to Michel as they dig him a grave that barely contains him, under Quasi’s rule, the French people see a life of abundance, with oysters being the food of the commoners.