MONOCHROME ** UK 2018 Dir: Thomas Lawes 110 mins
Unspooling like an over-extended TV pilot, this pedestrian would-be “thriller” has an impressive performance by Jo Woodcock as the young girlfriend of the guy who has just been arrested for the biggest pension fraud since Robert Maxwell. Taking refuge in a series of well-to-do households around the UK, she becomes a murderous home-help, performing menial tasks for the wealthy in exchange for food and board before killing them and moving on to the next.
In charge of the investigation to track down what is eventually dubbed “The Countryside Killer” is an agent from the UK’s newly launched equivalent of the FBI, sporting a medical condition that gives him unique detecting skills. Violently taking her contempt for the filthy rich to its natural zenith, Woodcock is the most engaging aspect of this creaking, cliched police procedural drama, and the film has a feint pulse during the darkly comic tableau left in the wake of her brutal game of Spin The Bottle. James Cosmo also has fun with his short-lived turn as a grumpy rich artist in the Cotswolds, but the duff voiceover narration from the two opposing leads is so lame (sample profundity: “Hatred is like a bacterial disease…”) and the pace so slack, that genuine interest flags pretty early on.
Review by Steven West