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Happy New Year, Colin Burstead film review: family dynamics

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead film review: family dynamics

COLIN Burstead (Neil Maskell) has invited his extended family to celebrate New Year’s Eve in a mansion on the Dorset coast.

He is not pleased to find his sister Gini (Hayley Squires) has also asked their brother and black sheep of the family David (Sam Riley) to the gathering but is determined through gritted teeth that everyone have a good time.

This however seems impossible with multiple family dynamics at play, not least his father Gordon (Bill Paterson) asking to borrow more money off him and his mother Sandy (Doon Mackichan) all doom and gloom after an accidently-on-purpose mishap.

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead is dizzying in the amount of side plots and characters melded together by a frenetic and choppy editing style and shaky handheld camera.

It is a shame this stylisation was decided upon by director Ben Wheatley; the prolific British director is renowned for the variety and experimentation of his projects but in this case it mainly hampers the fantastic performances by the cast.

The witty script touches on ideas of masculinity, class and Brexit as well as what it means to be part of a family, how much loyalty and love should you feel obliged to give when the people you are related to drive you up the wall.

The film’s main downfall is that the sheer number of characters and storylines means none are properly serviced during the 95 minutes.

However the strength of the cast ensures it still packs a punch and the moments of greatness are truly great.

Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (MA)

Director: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Neil Maskell, Sam Riley, Hayley Squires

Three and a half stars

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