When you've watched 10,000+ movies, the urge to make connections is strong, even when you feel that connections aren't always neat and clean. In the 1960s, this feeling was on my mind during The Boston Strangler as I read informative articles about a notorious serial killer in the 1960s, the reporters involved in the story, and the ongoing uncertainty about his identity. The Killer – and keep wondering why this movie can't be like Zodiac .
Now, 2010 by David Fincher This is not the structure of The Boston Strangler at all, as writer/director Matt Ruskin ( Crown Heights ) uses this true story to take several different ideas at once. And unfortunately, not being able to fix any of these ideas is the most frustrating part.
The focus here is Circa 1962, Boston Record America reporter Loretta McLaughlin (Keira Knightley) and – due to journalism at that time and place – wanted to study the "lifestyle" section, but was relegated to "lifestyle". Serious news. When elderly women began dying in the Boston area, Loretta was the first to see a possible connection, finding evidence of common crime scene objects, such as stockings tied with a noose around the victim's neck. As she begins to cover a mysterious killer called the Boston Strangler with fellow reporter Jean Cole (Carrie Coon), Lorette begins harassing the local police, who begin blogging about her ineffective investigation.
Not surprisingly, much of The Boston Strangler combats institutionalized sexism in deeply disturbing ways. At first, Loretta's husband (Morgan Spector) seems like a staunch supporter of her career, but it could be a welcome development to see her take on the responsibilities of caring for their children, until her career takes a turn for the worse. for the worse. A predictable character in this kind of story. At best, Ruskin's scenario focuses on how the police try to downplay Loretta's account and discredit her simply because she is a woman, although this seems counterintuitive given her easy access to crime scenes.
However, it would be one thing if Ruskin stopped at the idea of silencing women's voices to go after murderers who silenced women's voices. Instead , the Boston Strangler was still busy with other matters.
Once the story broke and more murders deviated from the victim pattern, it was suggested that the media coverage may have created a copycat killer: we never see guilt or anguish in Loretta and Jean. There's also the possibility that murderers could profit from their crimes through books or other media events, but that idea ends up feeling more like an asterisk than an actual place to explore.
None of this puts The Boston Strangler on a collision course for Zodiac comparisons, nor is Knightley's design nearly as interesting or subtle as Jake Gyllenhaal's future Zodiac obsession . But then we come to a very familiar moment: the main character pays a personal visit to a suspicious person and begins to become aware of a possible personal threat from the environment. Yes, it is different here that the main character in question is a woman and not a man, because the corresponding scenes are in the zodiac so that they include the special problems that women face. It's also a less compelling scene and seems more made for quick thrills than exploring tantrums in places of pure crime.
Of course, there are situations where both problems are not solved in the end. In The Boston Strangler, it's hard to reconcile reporters' focus on personal success with the idea that they've never kept anyone safe. The Zodiac understands that some questions will never be answered, and showing photos of real heroes may not be the point.