FIN Review: Colin Burstead’s tale is a sour pity party

I love movies about melancholy, unhappy people. In fact, flicks that centre on complicated, partially unlikable heroes are some of my favourites.

And yet, I couldn’t find much to like about central character Colin Burstead here. When introduced to Colin, we’re shown a well-meaning man bringing his family together to celebrate the New Year at a huge country retreat.

But when he’s told his estranged brother David has been invited, a series of events leads to Colin’s well-intentioned party being ruined.

The problem with this is it’s Colin himself — and his bullish behaviour — that messes this all up, and not outside factors.

These people are detestable, and not in a funny, witty, wry or interesting way. They suck the life out of rooms, and the vanity and self-righteousness takes the theatrics out of what could have been a strong picture.

Kudos to Neil Maskell as Colin and Game Of Thrones alum Charles Dance, in a playful, wonderful turn. They’re the strongest players in this half-baked film.

Truthfully, I expected so much more of writer-director Ben Wheatley, director of High–Rise and Free Fire — but he disappoints in this drama that could have been far more.

2/5 Stars

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