Where I Watched it: hulu
English Audio Description By Descriptive Video Service
Written By Joel Beacon
Heading into this, I did have thoughts. Why is this a March Hulu release? Why wasn’t this given a theatrical push? But, David Fincher’s criminally underrated Zodiac was also a March release, and also the besst comparison I could come up with. Both films explore a killer that might have eluded the police entirely, and still puzzle true crime buffs to this day. Who was the Boston Strangler? Will you believe what this movie has to say?
The star here is Keira Knightley, who plays clearly the lead journalist. This is less like She Said, where it felt much more balanced between Zoey Kazan and Carey Mulligan, yet it is presented as if these two are on equal footing. however, Carrie Coon’s journalist doesn’t have nearly the same ravenous desire to get to the truth of the Boston Strangler like Knightley, and therefore she’s drifting a bit into the background.
it is Knightley’s relentless pursuit that makes the film interesting, and the clear statement of what this moment meant for female journalists. While everyone seemed willing to turn a blind eye, Knightley was determined to figure out who the strangler was, and meets various levels of help from men who actually want to assist to men who look at her as a skirt, a novelty, and resent being asked questions by a woman.
As far as the violence goes, at least through what I was able to pick up through the audio description, there is a touch of it here. It’s not glorified or gratuitous. We don’t watch the strangler kill all his victims, but we do get at least an attack, and the uncovering of bodies left behind to help drive home the terror of this period.
While this film never reaches the level of Zodiac in its ability to maintain a compelling mystery, it does play enough with gender dynamics to be worth your time, as well as present a really strong performance from Knightley. It’s nice to see her getting this type of role again, as she somehow is less popular for casting agents now, which I don’t understand. It’s about time Knightley was given the opportunity to step back into the center frame, and Boston Strangler does a good job of pushing her there.
Final Grade: B+