I suppose we have all been to parties where the combination of booze and guests who aren’t the best of friends creates an unexpected tension. In my world it tends to be divorced or separated couples who are both friends of the hosts and get invited and come. Most often there is a civilised frisson as others watch a ritualised dance that comprises the couple seeking to maintain a modicum of decorum while wanting nothing more than to reignite whatever it was that caused them to separate in the first place.
The Party is that and more. The premise – highly successful opposition politician Kirsten Scott-Thomas is promoted to shadow health minister throws a party to celebrate. The guests are well known to the host and hostess but not necessarily to each other. The husband, Tim Spall has a secret to reveal. Two actually. The atmosphere is already febrile with guests from different political and cultural perspectives sniping when the first bombshell drops. The ripples have barely formed when a second and third are added to the mix.
Cillian Murphy adds a sweaty neurotic to the mix – he has a gun but we don’t know why – and after twenty minutes of barbed bitching the whole thing explodes. Any facade of superficial niceness disappears and the fun begins.
The Film is only 71 minutes long, more a TV play than your average cinema experience and it is shot in black and white which takes a while to get use to and I’m not sure either why or that it works ( though since I can’t fathom the why how do I know if it works?)
It’s a worthy piece that made me both grin and laugh out loud. Not spectacularly so and none of the crises are novel – well not until the last which is foreshadowed in the opening scene but the revelation, when it comes is both startling, laugh out loud perfect and splendid.
Do see it if you can. TV would be fine too if you begrudge the effort to leave home and/or the cost, because it doesn’t need the big screen to enhance what is after all a kitchen-sink setting.
We caught an early evening production, with a plan to grab fish and chips from Ken’s after, so ice cream felt both indulgent and sort of culinarily back to front. The fish and chips were splendid, mind you.