Call It A Night


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Call It A Night
"It's competently made, genuinely funny in places, but not consistently funny enough to make it a must see."

Is it possible to create a breezy comedy of early-adult incompetence within the constraints of "running an estate" in the recent Northern Irish sense? Can one mix the kind of genial banter and casual romance that wouldn't disgrace a short play about saying no to drugs with finding a sodomised corpse? Can you eat a sausage roll in an intimidating manner?

These are among the questions asked by Call It A Night, part of the 2013 Coming Up Programme. Allowing writers and directors early in their career to play with Channel 4's film-making toolkit, it has given director Samantha Harrie and writer Bronagh Taggart the chance to create a whimsical quasi-gangland that is amusing enough, but never quite grabs, never quite grips. Humour's a difficult beast. Coming Up stablemate Doughnuts balances car-culture obsessions with the obligations of familial life in a way that's touching; Call It A Night is trying for a higher wire but it's a harder balance to strike. The film's left with tonal issues that it never quite resolves.

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It's competently made, genuinely funny in places, but not consistently funny enough to make it a must see. It may be that it wasn't to your reviewer's taste, I've never been able to laugh at Dr Strangelove and The Big Bang Theory makes me feel like I'm watching a Voight-Kampff test. The Channel 4 film-making toybox is well used, the cast (including actors who've turned up in other C4 project's like Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror) all put in good turns, but like an evening patrolling the streets, Call It A Night leaves one a bit cold.

Reviewed on: 05 Aug 2013
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A gang have to solve a murder to restore peace on their housing estate.

Director: Samantha Harrie

Writer: Bronagh Taggart

Starring: Imogen Doel, Conor MacNeill, Des McAleer, Eugene O'Hare, Andrew Simpson, Barry Ward

Year: 2013

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: UK


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