A black and white dark comedy about the troubles of being part of the liberal elite; pretentious? Absolutely, but it’s got Cillian Murphy and the rat man from Harry Potter in it so I’ll give it a shot.
A newly appointed Health minister gathers friends from the political and Social elite for a party plagued by the tribulations of being successful and clever.
My immediate reaction was I don’t give a shit about these childless, soulless professionals but Sally Porter manages to make a film with a veil of pretentious morality so thin I just ended up hating her. Cillian Murphy is brilliant as a cocaine-fueled “wanker banker”, while Kristin Scott Thomas paranoid politician gives the film tenderness and relevance.
But good acting only keeps you invested for so long. The script begins to drain you of any hope of caring.
The narrative is spoon fed and boring; everything ‘happens’ but none of it has consequence. The result is an infuriating lack of humanity; I wanted someone to cry or laugh or at least make me laugh. Indeed,
The Party is one of those comedies you’re not supposed to laugh at, a gentle grin will suffice. But the lack of laughs isn’t replaced by anything more profound; it’s written as if asking intelligent questions is intelligent filmmaking.
The black and white photography is a weak excuse for making a bad film as if to say, ‘sorry the film doesn’t say anything but its arty so its ok!’. It’s not.
Although the claustrophobia of the Georgian townhouse does leave you with a sense you're stuck with these sociopaths for the next 70 minutes whether you like it or not, unfortunately, in the case of The Party this is not a good thing.