Burn Burn Burn

"Excellent"

Burn Burn Burn Review


An unusually intelligent black comedy, this British independent film takes the audience on a road trip that's packed with surprises. Darkly hilarious and deeply moving, the film somehow manages to avoid both cheap jokes and cloying sentimentality to tell a story that's genuinely entertaining and resonant. And as it travels the length and breadth of Great Britain, the film makes terrific use of its eclectic cast.

Grieving over the death of their close friend Dan (Jack Farthing), best pals Seph and Alex (Downton Abbey's Laura Carmichael and War & Peace's Chloe Pirrie) are shocked to get a video message from him instructing them to take an epic drive to scatter his ashes across the country. Seph is looking for a reason to get away from her cloying boyfriend (Joe Dempsie) and annoying boss (Sally Phillips), and Alex is reeling after catching her girlfriend (Eleanor Matsuura) with another woman. So they hit the road, heading first to Glastonbury, then to Cardiff, York and finally to Ben Lomond in Scotland. Along the way, Dan's videos guide them as they have a variety of small adventures.

Writer Charlie Covell and director Chanya Button are cleverly exploring the idea that we all need to confront the secrets we are keeping from each other. Dan never told anyone he was dying of cancer, so he's challenging Seph and Alex to open up in ways he never could, understanding that the truth brings catharsis. Carmichael and Pirrie make a terrific team in this sense, united by years of friendship but divided by their unspoken issues. The actresses bring a striking individuality to these roles that makes the characters both infuriating and loveable. And the key points in their journey are fiendishly clever. For example, Alex makes her big confession while actually hanging on a cross, standing in for an actor playing Jesus.

There is also a line-up of talented scene-stealers along the road, including Alison Steadman as an emotional geriatric hitchhiker, Julian Rhind-Tutt as a free-spirited guru and Alice Lowe as a sardonic tour guide. Intriguingly, even with these rather big characters, the film feels earthy and grounded. Dark emotions are continually undercut by jagged humour, leading to a few powerfully moving moments that catch us off guard. This is a very clever little film that has a lot to say about the things we are reluctant to say to each other. And the balance of humour and meaning make it the kind of movie that sticks with us.

Rich Cline



Burn Burn Burn

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 106 mins

Distributed by: The Weinstein Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 6

IMDB: 8.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chanya Button

Producer: Chanya Button, Daniel-Konrad Cooper, Tim Phillips

Contactmusic


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