Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Limehouse Golem Film Review

I saw The Limehouse Golem today, a Gothic masterpiece directed by Juan Carlos Median that didn't flinch in its depiction of East End gloom, blood and gore.

We are to be entertained by a music hall tale of the apparent suicide of poor Little Lizzie's husband John Cree, played by the handsome Sam Reid. At the same time The Limehouse Golem has killed again. A heinous slaying of a family of four and their maid. And Inspector Kildare of Scotland Yard has been brought onto the case. Bill Nighy, not the marrying kind so easy to pin the blame onto when he fails to find the murderer, thereby saving the Yard's pin up boy. Teaming up with Kildare to find the killer is Constable Flood played by Daniel Mays. Always a joy to watch.

Olivia Cooke's poor Little Lizzie had a terrible start in life, but managed to find her way to the music hall, and with the help of beautiful Douglas Booth's Dan Leno, and Eddie Marsan's naughty Uncle, builds a hugely successful career. And it was while on the way up that she met John Cree who imagines writing a play based on her life, and how he saves her from her life of squalor. And so Elizabeth is a lady now, paying the bills while husband John writes, and no longer treading the boards.

Meanwhile four men are on the Golem suspect list. Each one in the British Library at the time the Golem was there defacing a book with his vile thoughts. One is dead John Cree. The others include Karl Marx, Dan Leno from the music hall, and scholar George Gissing. And very cleverly we see each man carry out one of the Golem murders. But the clock is ticking for Kildare to unmask the real Golem murderer, whether dead or alive, as Lizzie is herself number one suspect in what now appears to be the murder of her late husband. And if he can find the murderer he can save her, and his career.

A cracking yarn that has all the Ripper style trademarks, with terrific acting, styling, pith and pathos. But as a modern day woman it's always quite tough to handle the Victorian dark lives and deaths of the poor.

Out of interest it seemed that Bill Nighy was not the first choice and Alan Rickman was the intended Inspector Kildare. A delicious thought but Bill Nighy was classic in the role. And Olivia Cooke as Lizzie an innocent abroad playing the role of her life.

The film was dedicated to Alan and he would have loved it.

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