Review | Boston Strangler
“Boston Strangler is a gripping film about the reporters who broke the story of the notorious serial killer. So not only does it deal with those horrific crimes, it also focuses on the challenges women journalists had to face in the 1960s in a powerful way. Keira Knightley owns the screen and Carrie Coon is just as fantastic.”
Boston Strangler is 20th Century Studios’ latest film. It is a crime drama based on the true story of the Boston Strangler from the 1960s. The film will release on March 17 on Hulu for US viewers and on Disney + with Star for the rest of the world. I had the opportunity to watch it in February.
I always love watching crime dramas. It is a genre that fascinates me because it makes you think trying to find out who is the killer. But the ones based on a true story can be even more enthralling. It is shocking to see that serial killers as vicious as the Boston Strangler exist. And this one is really heavy and creepy. Indeed, between 1962 and 1964, 13 single women were murdered in the Boston area. They were between the ages of 19 and 85.
The film tells the story of these crimes through the lense of Loretta McLaughlin (played by Keira Knightley). She is the reporter who broke the story of this serial killer. In that way, it reminds me of Zodiac, a film that also dealt with a serial killer with a story focusing on the journalists’ point of view. I think it is an interesting way of tackling such stories. We are so often used to follow an investigating through the eyes of a detective. So, seeing a story unravel by following a journalist gives another point of view.
And I think it is especially revelant with Loretta. In fact, she and Jean Cole (played by Carrie Coon) have faced many troubles while covering this story. Not only this film deals with those horrific crimes, it also deals with Loretta and Jean’s struggles as women journalists covering a huge murder story at the time. They actually had to deal with sexism and backlash for pursuing the truth. Moreover, Loretta also faced problems at home because of her work. And this is extremely compelling. It adds substance and even more layers. This film does an incredible job at depicting the work environment for women reporters at the time. But, it also tells a gripping story with the investigation of these crimes.
Furthermore, Keira Knightley is the star of this film. She brilliantly portrays Loretta McLaughlin with the required gravitas. She owns every scene she is in. Carrie Coon is just as every bit as fantastic. She plays Jean Cole as a more experience and poised character. The two form a terrific on-screen dynamic duo.
VISUALS AND MUSIC
The visual atmosphere also plays an important role in crime dramas. Indeed, it helps building tensions. The cinematographer Ben Kutchins went with cold colors and minimal light to amplify the anxious atmosphere. On top of that, Paul Leonard-Morgan has composed a score that does its job – it helps building on the atmosphere. The costumes, the cars and the sets perfectly send us to the 1960s era. There was a thorough work done on the aesthetic.
Boston Strangler is a gripping film about the reporters who broke the story of the notorious serial killer. So not only does it deal with those horrific crimes, it also focuses on the challenges women journalists had to face in the 1960s in a powerful way. Keira Knightley owns the screen and Carrie Coon is just as fantastic.
Boston Strangler arrives tomorrow on Hulu for US viewers and on Disney Plus for the rest of the world!
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