Wicked Little Letters Review

Wicked Little Letters Review
Wicked Little Letters Review
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At the beginning of Wicked Little Letters, there is a title card that winks at us with this phrase: “The story is more true than you’d think.” In reality, during the 1920s, a small town in Sussex called Littlehampton was disturbed by anonymous letters’ poison. This film is a hymn to British eccentricity like no other; it captures the national love affair for swearing and cussing each other out (if possible) among other things. This also shows how much the country was changing after First World War had terrified it so much while women were still fighting for voting rights.

Olivia Colman features as Edith Swan who lives with her old parents and spends time in church. Olivia Colman’s character Edith Swan is that woman who still goes to church where she used to worship with her parents and would never think about leaving them alone during nighttime without coming back home on time. Only recently arrived from Ireland, Rose Gooding (Jessie Buckley), Edith’s neighbor happens to be fond of cursing, and drinking heavily but loves her mother too. When Rose accuses her of having written several anonymous letters full of insults against her, one of which calls Edith an ‘old whore with foxy arse’, she becomes another subject in a sensational news story on national television.

While some are nearly poetic and flowery, others are practical jokes or puns meant to make people laugh as they read them because the writer has placed more emphasis on these letters even before it all begins. Sometimes lighter moments tend to go overboard in an effort to be too quirky like Paddington but with worse language or an Ealing comedy that doesn’t work well enough.

There are also appearances from a number of well-known comic actors including Joanna Scanlan as well as Lolly Adefope together with Hugh Skinner amongst others but their weak gags do not bring out any laughter whatsoever. Anjana Vasan as a police woman who suspects Rose is being set up tries her best but spends much of the film rolling her eyes at the idiocy of her constables.

And in fact, it’s stronger when it becomes more like drama and social comment than comedy. Edith’s father is believably monstrous (Timothy Spall) being someone who sees red when he realizes that his little world has changed into something completely different. It’s a less interesting part for Buckley but she does a pretty good job of playing an impudent, carnal, and imperfect girl. “She looks terrible,” adds Edith, “and she’s what we thought would come after all this.”

No wonder then that Olivia Colman can make even the weakest script seem better by reminding us about how her breakthrough came with sitcoms such as Green Wing or Peep Show. She has a natural humorousness and as Edith she manages to be vulnerable yet vengeful, shrinking back but snobbish, self-loving martyr with new-found fame.

Read Wicked Little Letters on Fmovies

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