Film & TV

British Film Festival Review: Burn Burn Burn

Two troubled friends set out to spread their late bestie’s ashes around the English countryside in a tragic, hilarious and incredibly heartfelt road trip.

When two friends set out to spread their late bestie’s ashes around the English countryside, it makes for a tragic, hilarious and incredibly heartfelt road trip.

The debut film by director Chanya Button has close friends Steph (Laura Carmichael) and Alex (Chloe Pirrie) on the road with their best friend Dan’s (Jack Farthing) ashes. It finds humour in the discomfort of life balanced with a sober reflection on two lives that have reached a crossroads. It’s a tale that has been told before – wise words from the grave urging the living to seize the day – but it’s subtly, compellingly acted with authentic emotion.

Cynical twenty year-old Dan has just died and bequest Steph and Alex with his Dad’s car and a list of destinations he must be scattered. After each of the girls have a breakdown, they grab the opportunity to escape from their lives and fulfil their best friend’s last wish. A video accompanies every location, and Dan breaks down their personal importance and ultimately attempts to sort his friend’s issues beyond the grave.

In a journey of self-discovery with a millennial twist, the tension quickly builds between Steph and Alex as they each battle their own relationship, family and life demons. The sombre background of England’s grey skies and black comedy give the quirky pair and their random narrative a soul, with a conclusion certain to get the tears flowing. From Abbey ruins, hippy communes, grungy clubs to crucifix re-enactments and burning wicker-men, Burn Burn Burn is a genuine story of two pals finding their way in a world of unknowns and uncertainty.

Reviewed by Hannah Lally
Twitter: @HanLally

Rating out of 10: 7

Burn Burn Burn will screen again on 17 and 20 November for the BBC First British Film Festival, which runs 3 – 23 November 2016 exclusively at the Palace Nova Eastend Cinemas.

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