Worn by Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon, the thriller “The Boston Strangler” once again brings this strange criminal investigation to the screen with many gray areas. Available on Disney+.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT ?
Loretta McLaughlin, reporter for the daily Record-American, seeks to establish the link that may exist between the atrocious murders of women committed in their homes for nearly a year in the Boston area. While the mysterious killer claims more and more victims – to the point of causing a veritable psychosis throughout Boston – Loretta tries to continue her investigation alongside her colleague and confidant Jean Cole. In their absolute quest for the truth, the duo come up against the sexism of the time and other infinitely more formidable dangers.
The Boston Strangler written and directed by Matt Ruskin.
IT’S WORTH CHECKING OUT ?
In 1968, Richard Fleischer staged The Boston Strangler, one of the most famous adaptations of this affair which occurred in the early sixties. The film focuses on the point of view of Albert DeSalvo, the main suspect and defendant, played on screen by Tony Curtis. Fifty-five years later, screenwriter and director Matt Ruskin in turn seizes the news item, but from a totally different angle.
This version follows those who launched the journalistic investigation and takes a close interest in the victims – who, it should be remembered, were only female. The feature highlights the work of Loretta McLaughlin and Jean Cole – played by Keira Knightley and Carrie Coon respectively – who covered the story for the American Record.
Under this new prism, much more consistent with our times, the Boston strangler case takes on a whole new dimension and reveals new contours. Fascinating, the film goes well beyond the criminal narrative and first gives an overview of the life of the newsrooms in the sixties. A time when women journalists, already few in number, were not allowed to write about anything other than “art of living” subjects.
Loretta McLaughlin has to write about a new toaster, but her ambitions lie elsewhere. Persuasive and insistent, she ends up seizing the case, but her involvement and her articles earn her threats. It was his meeting with Jean Cole that allowed him to continue his work and to dig deeper into the subject.
The Boston Strangler is also interested in the unknown specifics of this case, during which men took advantage of the murders to kill their wives or their mistresses themselves. By drawing inspiration from the methods of the serial killer, they could thus reject the responsibility on the criminal.
In front of the film, it is impossible not to think of Zodiac by David Fincher. The comparison may be overwhelming, but Matt Ruskin does not fall into the pitfall of pale copy. His feature film is beautifully staged and has a real tone that keeps the viewer’s interest up to the last second.
Excellent thriller on the place of women in the world of journalism and on a case that never ceases to surprise, The Boston Strangler is a film not to be missed, carried by two actresses whose talent is no longer to be proven.
The Boston Strangler is available on Disney+.