Sponsor

New Release Review - LONDON ROAD

Musical depiction of the accounts of residents of a street affected by a serial killer.


Review by Emily Craig (@emillycraig)

Directed by: Rufus Norris

Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson


"It’s a shame this film is ruined by its musical element, because it has potential to be good; I just don’t see what it adds to the story. London Road should definitely stick to the theatre and should have left a darker tone to the film."





Steve Wright, the “Ipswich Killer” or “Suffolk Strangler” as he might be known to some, is the serial killer who took the lives of five sex workers in the town of Ipswich, Suffolk. London Road is an adaptation of the musical play of the same name, written by Alecky Blythe, who conducted interviews with residents of London Road after the murders in 2006.
What makes this film unusual is that the dialogue is word for word from the manuscripts of the interviews of the residents and journalists at the time of the brutal killings; every little verbal tic and mistake the interviewees made are used in the film, which gives it a real sense of meaning. Unlike Five Daughters (BBC, 2010), which focused more on the murder victims and their families, London Road concerns itself with the impact it had on the residents of London Road. The film takes us through numerous interviews with different residents, discussing how they felt about the murders. Where some feel dread and sadness, others don’t feel anything at all; “good riddance” and “I’d shake his hand” are some of the chilling phrases used in the film; even more disturbing when you know that these are actual quotes.
For me, the musical element of the film just doesn’t go; it’s not to my taste and the repetitive dialogue can sometimes get quite annoying and tiresome. Because the dialogue is from quotes, the music has been made to fit the words, which sometimes feels a little rushed. I find that the songs have no catch at all, no emotion or drama that songs in a musical should have; it really is people just singing words in random melodies, repeating themselves. It’s sad to say that because the acting is really strong, especially from Olivia Coleman who plays Julie, one of the residents. Tom Hardy, for a miniscule part, is also very good; he plays a menacing taxi driver obsessed with serial killers.
The 'London Road in bloom' competition at the end of the film is shot extremely well and is the highlight of the film. In these scenes, I see hints of the catchy songs I wanted to hear all the way through. The way the community gets together and transforms the street full of beautiful flowers really is a lovely moment. It’s a shame this film is ruined by its musical element, because it has potential to be good; I just don’t see what it adds to the story. London Road should definitely stick to the theatre and should have left a darker tone to the film.

You can view London Road at wearecolony.com/london-road




discussion by