Starring Cosmo Jarvis, Jo Woodcock, Lee Boardman
Written by Tom Lawes
Directed by Tom Lawes
If money truly is the root of all evil, then could I please get the opportunity to be bad for a few years or so? That’s all I’m asking! In Tom Lawes’ high-crime thriller, Monochrome we get to see just what the lure of green can (and ultimately) does to someone of the lesser moral scope – grab your cash bags, kiddies cause we’re about to get our hands mighty dirty.
Starring Jo Woodcock as Emma, a somewhat embittered lass whose life has just taken a precipitous swirl down the proverbial porcelain when her boyfriend, a high-profile millionaire banker gets locked up on fraud charges. The answer to her newly-acquired dire situation is to take jobs working as a housekeeper for land owners with some serious bankroll to their names, and when they begin to treat Emma like the low-end employee that they believe she is, they all end up in a pool of crimson – no doubt, and no wasting of time or effusion of emotion from our poor little lady. Now here’s where things get very interesting – with these bodies piling up and no answer as to who or how this is occurring, you’d think a couple of coffee-slurping detectives would be the routine choice for this case…but no – there’s a cop with a condition in the wings, waiting for his chance to snag a killer.
Gabriel Lenard (Jarvis) is the man with the golden eye…or should I say the monochromatic one? You see, Gabriel has a condition called Synesthesia which allows him to see a specific color that emits from a person, place or certain event, whereas music also plays when he sees these aforementioned colors. His ability to see these projected shades could very well be the edge that he’ll need in order to bring down a murderer – but is Emma really someone that needs to be stopped? With artistic visuals of flashbacks, we gain an intricate view of not only Gabriel’s mode of thinking, but the sheer brutality of Emma’s dark-side when the switch gets flipped – is she just a misunderstood soul that is acting out after a colossal life-altering incident, or were these murderous intentions cooped up inside of her all this time? The film does act in a dual-purpose kind of way, both highlighting what each main character is forced to endure in life and how it translates to their current situations, and also gives audiences that “good guy vs. bad girl” scheme that they’ll be waiting for a conclusion to.
Unfortunately, there are far too many sluggish spots in the film itself, and even though Woodcock and Jarvis’s performances are worthwhile, I couldn’t help but feel that they were relied upon a bit too much to ramp up the tempo at times, and it showed, yet it didn’t detract from the grand package. Overall, the film was constructed really well and I think that the meshing together of heavy dramatic elements and thriller-type overtones will appeal to the murder mystery crowd – well worth a one-time watch.
Monochrome not only works as an effective crime-thriller, but a dramatic presentation that relies heavily on the depth of its characters.