Just Been Watching… (114)

The Limehouse Golem (2016)

I watched this film on the BBC, and it is also available on Amazon.

***No spoilers***

Adapted from the novel by Peter Ackroyd, this film is set in Victorian London, in the 1880s. Think of those films about the real ‘Jack The Ripper’ murders you might have seen, and you get the idea. However, Ackroyd is a distinguished and wonderful writer, and he brings that era to the screen in fascinating detail, with convincing performances from a dedicated cast.

With a series of brutal and unconnected murders causing uproar in one of London’s poorest districts, Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) is brought in to take over the case. He is not expected to be able to cope, and is merely a scapegoat for Scotland Yard to blame when he fails. He soon discovers a connection with a woman on trial for poisoning her husband, (Olivia Cooke) and with the assistance of Constable Flood (Daniel Mays) he starts to look closely at all the suspects for the heinous crimes.

Where this story scored for me was in the introduction of real people into the fictional killings. The famous Music Hall entertainer, Dan Leno, once the highest paid person in Britain, features heavily throughout. He is played by Douglas Booth, with real flair. Other suspects include Karl Marx, the writer of Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto. He was actually living in London at the time, and is woven into the story.

The tale unfolds in a series of flashbacks and ‘fantasy’ sequences, as we see inside the mind of the troubled detective. We also follow the life of the poisoning suspect, Lizzie Cree, and her unfaithful husband, John. Most of the film is set in a Music Hall, where many of the characters work. This allows for a very interesting insight into the entertainment of the time, along with the way that social classes mixed in such establishments. With no spoilers, I cannot go into detail. But this film had me gripped, and wanting to know the identity of the murderer.

That is revealed right at the end, in a wonderful twist that I didn’t suspect. And I love twists!

I should add a warning that the murders are shown in some graphic detail, with lots of blood. There are some sexual references, and minor nudity, but nothing unsuitable for TV viewing in the 21st century. If you like your murder mysteries set in the past, and enjoy films with an old-fashioned feel, then this is one for you.

It has had mixed reviews, but I would suggest ignoring those. This film brings a cast of mostly British character actors all at the top of their game. In addition to those mentioned, there is the reliable Eddie Marsan as the theatre manager, and Henry Goodman as Karl Marx.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere, and the performances.
This trailer gives a good feel of the film.

38 thoughts on “Just Been Watching… (114)

    1. I only subscribed to Prime recently, but I actually watched the film shown on the BBC. I mainly got Prime so I can watch films on my tablet when I go to bed. Something new I plan to do in 2020! 🙂
      Haven’t done that yet though. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. On Amazon Films, and historically captivating.
      And it’s Limehouse Golem, unless you were making a joke about Mr Trump! 🙂
      (Limehouse in a riverside district in East London)
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Like

  1. Unfortunately, this one passed me by, in the welter of Christmas viewing, but I will have to try & catch it when I can, one way or another; there’s a good chance that it’ll be repeated before too long, and I think I can afford to hold on until then 😉 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another most interesting film I have never heard of, Pete. I checked it on Amazon Prime and it’s on our watchlist now. Thanks a lot!
    Best wishes from the sunny coast. A big pat for Ollie. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I won’t profess to know how it might work with audio description, but I am sure you have great imagination, so will ‘see it’ in your mind. I hope you enjoy it.
      Happy New Year to you, and my thanks for being so inspirational. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. Lol. Yes I realused that and will look at your Reviews more now. Now that the “break” is over with lol. I am not a Christmas person and am just about beginning to feel human again! Time for a good film!

            Liked by 1 person

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