07th Jun2018

‘Monochrome’ Review

by Kevin Haldon

Stars: Jo Woodcock, James Cosmo, Cosmo Jarvis, Amy Ambrose, Suzy Bastone, Donna Berlin, Lee Boardman, Liz May Brice, Amelda Brown, Josephine Butler, Renée Castle, Darren Clarke, Richard Cordery | Written and Directed by Thomas Lawes


Emma Rose (Jo Woodcock) has just had her life turned upside down when here boyfriend has been arrested for some sort of Pyramid scheme that is not really important to the plot so we will keep it generic. Fearing that she may somehow be involved and the next suspect she obviously goes on the run.

In a bid to hide out undetected she finds herself in a quaint little town and offers herself to a wealthy land owner (James Cosmo) and prolific painter, the deal is he gives her somewhere to stay she works for free. However this movie is billed as a Dark British Thriller so get ready for the turn. The painter discovers her true identity and sees this as a way to treat her as a slave, so he becomes a bit of a bastard to her, setting off a chain of events that will lead Emma down a dark path to becoming a serial killer who preys on the wealthy.

Meanwhile we meet Gabriel Lenard (Cosmo Jarvis) a young bright socially awkward detective with one hell of an ability, he has synesthesia which basically means he can ‘hear’ colours and ‘see’ sound. I know right how cool is that as a plot point?!? I found this really interesting and wanted more from it however this movie brings it up only to show us why this guy is a tad weird. Yes, he uses the ability once or twice but they could have sold the movie on this premise alone. Anyway I digress, Gabriel is working on a bunch of cases that are seemingly unrelated but is able to figure out that there may be a would be serial killer lurking and wouldn’t you know it the crime task force are hesitant about his theory.

Now that we know our players let this game of cat and mouse begin. Gabriel is convinced he can catch Emma but Emma is only just discovering her lust for murder…

Jo Woodcock is so so so good in this flick, starting as this quiet unassuming put upon young lady who just needs to get away and be free but slowly and surely building up this rage and hatred towards the people who truly treat her like crap. The funny thing about this serial killer is that I was always rooting for her, these wealthy people are treating her so poorly so why shouldn’t we root for her.

This is a testament to Woodcock, she slow plays the rapid mental breakdown with great effect so when she does snap the payoff is completely worth it. Cosmo Jarvis as Gabriel the detective really has you gripped in someways his scenes are more tense than Emma’s because he is awkward, he has this ability to put himself in her mind and much like Emma he is being pretty unfairly treated making this chalk and cheese combo more peas in a pod than is natural in this type of movie.

I honestly thought both newcomers, Woodcock and Jarvis, did a superb job in the movie. I bought the motivations of them, they felt real and tangible to me. It would have been easy for both these characters to become jokes, Emma with her crazy psychotic break and Gabriel with his socially awkward specialness BUT they nail the parts and that is where this movie completely lives and breathes. Then you also have the supporters putting great roles too, faces you will remember from other film and tv appearances.

I strongly recommend Monochrome, as I said the acting is really great, writing is on point and writer/director Thomas Lawes shows a lot of skill and artistry with this flick, pick it up.

Monochrome is available on VOD and DVD now.


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