Directed by Rufus Norris
London Road, adapted from the National Theatre's experimental musical, follows the residents of London Road during the investigation and trial of the Ipswich murders. Written by Adam Cork and Alecky Blythe, the dialogue and lyrics come from the exact words of the people in the thick of one of England's worst mass murderings.
London Road doesn't have the typical feel of a musical movie. There's no star-crossed lovers, no show-stopping musical number, and no singing in the rain. What London Road does have is an honest, real, and authentic look at how a community torn apart by tragedy came together to form a better future.
Having never seen the stage play, I can't compare the film to, what has been deemed as, the groundbreaking production. But the film was able to bring this original, new wave musical effortlessly to the screen. Rufus Norris, director of the original stage production, brought the material to life on screen, just as he did on stage. Norris brings the classic style of a British crime drama to the picture, but with the added flare of musical theater. It's a poignant film, with some damn catchy songs, that remarks on the power of a community.
But what's most incredible about London Road is the artistry and creativity that went into creating the score. Cork and Blythe, armed only with hours of typed interviews, were able to write a story and compose music that reflected the anxiety, anger, and fear of the residents of London Road. And it also blows my mind to think that Cork was able to write an impressive musical score that followed the tempo, rhythm, and tone of the original interviewees. I'm not at all musically gifted, so it blows my mind that someone is able to take a recorded interview and turn the style of someone's speech into a song.