London Road (2015)
Recommendation: A Must-Miss.
I would recommend avoiding this film about the 2006 Ipswich (Suffolk, UK) murders of five prostituted women, from the perspective of the residents of the street where it happened – London Road.
I understand that London Road was the main site of street prostitution in Ipswich, and the film opens with an explanation that the real words of the residents of London Road from interviews were used, of their reactions and how they were affected by the murders and the subsequent investigations, culminating in one of the residents of the street being charged and convicted of the murders.
The real words of this local community were used and put to music, (and not very good music either) along with poorly choreographed group routines. I did not realise that Musical was one of the genres listed for this film, along with Adventure. I mistakenly thought it would be a dramatised ‘true crime’ film.
Presumably the “adventure” component referred to the development of a London Road resident’s association, repetitive (and musical) statements about how distressing and upsetting it was to live next door to a murderer’s house with police tape cordoning off the road etc and seeking counselling for their distress.
This all culminated in a community celebration, developing a ‘London Road in Bloom’ garden competition, complete with speeches thanking the police for finally getting rid of the “girls”. One of the ‘pillars of the community’ stated that if she had the guts, she would shake the murderer’s hand to thank him for what he did.
Is it appropriate to celebrate and sing about the deaths of five young women?
Trivialising it down to an appalling level by turning it into a musical garden party.
Apart from being an insult to the women and their families, there is nothing to recommend this film in regard to acting, direction, scripting, the music or choreography. The best thing about it is that it seems to only be on limited cinema release, on the arthouse film and festival circuit.
For those who may be interested in learning about the 2006 Suffolk murders I would highly recommend watching BBC One’s 2010 three-part miniseries, dramatising the events from testimonies of those directly involved, and titled “Five Daughters”.