Bill Nighy stars in an entertaining adaptation set in the music halls of Victorian London
A series of gruesome slayings in the Victorian East End is attributed to a ghoulish mythological figure in this adaptation of Peter Ackroyd’s novel ‘Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem’. Dogged Scotland Yard detective Bill Nighy decides a notorious Thomas De Quincey essay borrowed from the British Library is a vital clue to the mystery: suddenly, cross-dressing music hall star Dan Leno (a revelatory Douglas Booth) is in the frame, along with socially aware novelist George Gissing and a certain emigré political theorist called Karl Marx.
This classier-than-average shocker leaves you with renewed appreciation of east London as a historical melting-pot, but ‘Kick-Ass’ screenwriter Jane Goldman also underlines the suffering endured by the likes of Olivia Cooke’s music hall performer, for whom the footlights help blank out grim memories of childhood poverty.
With so many threads to unpack, Juan Carlos Medina’s modestly budgeted affair occasionally labours to get through everything, but the dizzying plot always intrigues. Nighy gives another suave masterclass, and the whole thing positively burns with passionate advocacy for the artists, free-thinkers and social outsiders who’ve been the making of modern London.
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
2.4 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:1
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- 1 star:1
This is an appalling piece of film making.A complete mess.Everyone is mis-cast making for rather poor acting.Each scene is about 30 seconds short and any narrative has music in the background.The story line gets sillier and sillier as the film progresses.Scenes with Marx and Gissing are ludicrous.It is at times Victorian gothic and at other times a Brian Rix farce through to a Carry On film..Not for the discerning,one purely for the masses.2 stars