London Road follows the story of the street London Road in Ipswich around 2006-2007 when five prostitutes were murdered. It shows the anxiety whilst the killer was still loose but also the recovery after the killings.
London Road may not be one the most exciting looking films of the year. Yet it is in fact one of the most emotional and personal films of the year. The people of London Road aren't heroes they aren't perfect they openly say things to the camera that do sound shocking and uncaring but they ultimately come from a place of honesty. These people didn’t stand up and solve the problems at the heart of their community until it was too late. But what makes London Road so good is the way that they are portrayed simply as people. People who aren't perfect but simply human people who say things that can upset but are speaking truly but ultimately in the end have what they thing are the best interests of them and others at heart.
the main reason for the emotional honesty at the heart of London Road is the fact that it the characters dialogue comes from verbatim interviews taken from real people surrounding the events. It’s as realistic as dialogue can get. Interestingly this hyper realism is contrasted with the fact it this dialogue has been taken and turned into musical verse. The words aren't changed but sentences are repeated to form choruses and it’s all scored. The music serves many purposes throughout the story. It makes some very dark and troubling ideas more palatable. For instance very early on in the film we see two girls walking through Ipswich town centre as they walk around they feel the sense that the killer could be any one of the men around them. Some this becomes the musical number “It Could Be Him” suddenly when put to song we become caught up in the music and it becomes easier to accept the idea that anyone around you could be a serial killer. But the music also makes a symbolic point these people of this community broken by these murders suddenly become united in verse not only that but all speaking with the same voice showing the strength of this community through such exceptional circumstances. This united sing voice contrasts with the individual interviews with the characters which are all spoken. The performances of the actors also make London Road so strong. Each character feels different yet they all feel united in the same purpose of wanting what is best for the community. Every character has different aspects to their personality. Rufus Norris’s direction of the film is an interesting part of the film the camera shows us the mood of the film though the way it shows the street. We can feel the anxiety and fears of the residents of London Road at points because the street will feel grey and messy but as they move past these fears the street itself will feel better.
Ultimately London Road isn't the biggest film of the year it’s not the showiest but it’s ideas are bold and it shows the complex nature of people and how they act in a community.