Cinema Review: London Road | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, January 25th, 2021  

London Road

Studio: BBC Worldwide
Directed by Rufus Norris

Sep 07, 2016 Web Exclusive
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A serial murderer terrified Ipswich in Suffolk, England for a month and a half in late 2006. Steven Wright killed five prostitutes, women whose presence on London Road had become a nuisance to residents of the quiet town. In 2011, the National Theatre debuted a critically-acclaimed musical about the murders, composed entirely of text performed verbatim as it had been recorded in interviews with residents of London Road. The BBC film adaptation—written and directed by the artists behind the stage version—relies upon the same dialogue, often delivered in song.

London Road receives high marks for inspiration. Writer Alecky Blythe’s work distilling hours of interviews into the study of a town rocked by evil is admirable. However, the delivery—oft-repeated phrases that become odd choruses—is wanting. Viewers who don’t find the stilted songs a hindrance to their experience are likely to be disappointed by that lack of great insight the film provides. Rarely does a town unite to tell its story in such circumstances, so it’s a shame London Road fails to delve as deeply as it surely could have. Not even a bizarre four-minute scene with Tom Hardy as a cab driver is enough to give it the spark it needs.

Author rating: 5.5/10

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Average reader rating: 10/10


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