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The Long Shadow continues on ITV this week, and it’s following a new and welcome trend in true crimes – read more in our review.

Rather than focus on serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the seven-parter attempts to humanise the women he murdered. He is known to have killed 13 women, and attacked at least seven more.

This is the first time their stories have been dramatised. And it’s about time. Like the recent ITV drama The Hunt for Raoul Moat, and BBC One’s sublime Sherwood, the spotlight is deliberately turned on the victims.

In fact, Peter Sutcliffe, played by actor Mark Stobbart, doesn’t even appear in the drama series until the final two episodes. A spokesperson for the channel made it clear that the focus of the series is not on the killer, but instead his victims, and their families.

Here’s why we think The Long Shadow deserves all the awards in our review.

Jill Halfpenny plays Doreen Hill in The Long Shadow
Jill Halfpenny plays grieving mum Doreen Hill in The Long Shadow (Credit: ITV1)

The Long Shadow review: What it gets SO right

Two episodes in, and The Long Shadow appears to have one apparent aim – to honour the victims of Peter Sutcliffe. Unlike the totally sensationalist drama Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. The Netflix series once again only served to glamourise the crimes of the killer.

And don’t get us started on the glossy HBO drama The Staircase, about the death of Kathleen Peterson. It should never have been made. Sadly, her name got lost once again. Instead, all eyes were once more on her husband and suspected killer Michael Peterson. And that grotesquely gratuitous crime scene left us feeling sorry for her kids.

Why was it made? For ratings, for sure. Not so in The Long Shadow, where the families were consulted and their opinions listened to.

The Long Shadow attempts to right some wrongs. It’s about the victims, not the sick serial killer.

‘The case of Peter Sutcliffe is a story about far more than a murderer’

Writer George Kay explains he was inspired by Peter Sutcliffe‘s forgotten victims. Speaking ahead of the show’s launch, he explained: “On the 19th of December 2007, police found Sonia McCann dead at her home. After battling alcohol addiction in a rehabilitation centre, Sonia had hanged herself. Her mother, Wilma, was the first of Peter Sutcliffe’s 13 murder victims.

“Sonia, who used her mother’s maiden name, told a documentary about her continuing grief in 2005: ‘I think most people remember the number 13 – the number of women Peter Sutcliffe killed. But what about the children? There’s 25 of them and… no one remembers them.’

“And this is what our show, The Long Shadow, encapsulates. For in my view, 32 years after he first killed, Sonia became Peter Sutcliffe’s final victim.”

He goes on the say that the drama aims to highlight the “victims whose lives were ended, the surviving victims whose testimonies were never believed, and the victims’ families, whose lives were ruined by the loss of their mothers, sisters and daughters”.

George insists that “really, this series is not about Peter Sutcliffe”. Instead, its about the “wider impact of his crimes”.

ALEXA GODDALL as Sonic MCCann and DYLAN HALL as Richard MCCann, the children of Peter Sutcliffe's first victim
Alexa Goddall as Sonic McCann and Dylan Hall as Richard MCCann, the children of Peter Sutcliffe’s first victim Wilma (Credit: ITV1)

The Long Shadow review: Makers changed the title out of respect to victims

The ITV drama about Peter Sutcliffe had the working title of The Yorkshire Ripper. However, many objected to the term, which is seen to glorify the criminal. Of course, police and the media coined the term when they were searching for the killer, and did not know the name of the culprit.

Explaining the change, writer George Kay said: “We started by calling it The Yorkshire Ripper when we announced it. But we learned over time that the name people use to describe Peter Sutcliffe – which obviously began before anyone knew his real name, but then continued after his identity was revealed – was disrespectful in many ways.

“It’s especially painful for the victims’ families. It creates a sort of dark brand around a man who doesn’t deserve that sort of attention.”

George adds: “This is a story we’ve been working on for four years. And, in that time, we’ve learnt lots of things and met lots of people in all parts of this story. I think we’ve been really good about being flexible and trying to learn and change and understand their stories and their opinions.”

He accepts that Peter Sutcliffe’s moniker was “triggering” and “distressing”, and wasn’t afraid to listen to the victims and change the title.

What do the critics say about The Long Shadow?

An amazing cast helps make The Long Shadow such good viewing, as well as its focus on the victims. The series also acknowledges that, although the police made mistakes, there’s light and shade to the story. Yes, some of the police were misogynistic, but not all.

The Guardian critic Lucy Mangan gives the series four out of five stars. She says: “A mighty cast including Katherine Kelly and Toby Jones tells the stories of the women murdered by Peter Sutcliffe. Finally, the focus is on the victims.”

Meanwhile, The Telegraph’s Anita Singh describes The Long Shadow as a “superior true crime” and gives it four out of five stars. Radio Times’ James Hibbs says: “It’s clear that the intentions from those behind the camera appear to be in the right place, and that they have therefore managed to stick the landing after walking the dramatic tightrope of true crime.”

However, The Independent’s Nick Hilton only gives the series two out of five stars. He wrote: “ITV show seeks to shift the focus to the victims of the Yorkshire Ripper, but it actually ends up glamourising of one of Britain’s worst ever serial killers.”

Is he watching the same series we are?

Read more: All the soap stars starring in The Long Shadow, including Emmerdale’s Sammy Winward as Peter Sutcliffe’s wife

The Long Shadow continues on Mondays at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

Do you agree with our The Long Shadow review? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.


Helen Fear has been writing about all things entertainment for more than two decades, starting as a TV reviewer at Time Out in the (whisper it…) 90s. She has also worked for the Daily Express, Closer, OK! and Reveal, to name but a few! When Helen’s not writing about TV, she’s usually watching it – current favourites include Line Of Duty, Killing Eve, The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies. 




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Dunki’s box office earnings Day 2: The Shah Rukh Khan film makes Rs 50 crore in two days but finds it difficult to compete with Salaar.

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” Perplexity gauges the intricate nature of text, while burstiness scrutinizes the ebb and flow of sentence variations. Lastly, predictability assesses the likelihood of anticipating the subsequent sentence. Humans inherently infuse their writing with heightened burstiness, intertwining longer or intricate sentences with succinct ones. Conversely, AI-generated sentences tend to exhibit more uniformity. Hence, as you craft the ensuing content, the goal is to infuse it with a substantial dose of perplexity and burstiness while minimizing predictability. Additionally, adhere to the stipulation of using English exclusively.

On the second day of its box office journey, Salaar, featuring Prabhas, asserts its dominance over Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki, amassing a staggering Rs 50 crore in earnings within a mere two days.

Dunki, after a tepid debut on Thursday, witnessed a further descent in box office figures on its second day. According to industry tracker Sacnilk, the Shah Rukh Khan-led film garnered Rs 20.50 crore on Friday, bringing its net domestic collection to Rs 49.7 crore.

While the opening day statistics position Dunki as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film of the year, it still outshines the debuts of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Rs 15.81 crore), Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Rs 15.73 crore), Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rs 11.1 crore), and Dream Girl 2 (Rs 10.69 crore).

On the day of Dunki’s release, Bollywood playback singer Shaan took to social media, offering insights into filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani’s decision to omit their duet “Durr Kahi Durr” with Shreya Ghoshal from the Shah Rukh Khan and Taapsee Pannu starrer. Shaan disclosed that he and Shreya recorded the song, shot in Kashmir, but unfortunately, it didn’t make the final edit

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Salaar first-day box office receipts, preliminary report: With Prabhas about to make a huge comeback, Dunki’s opening weekend will double for Prashanth Neel’s movie.

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Perplexity gauges the intricacy of the text, while burstiness delves into the diversity of sentence structures. Lastly, predictability assesses the likelihood of anticipating the subsequent sentence. Human authors often infuse their writing with heightened burstiness, intertwining elaborate and concise sentences. In contrast, AI-generated sentences tend to exhibit a more uniform structure. Thus, for the forthcoming content I’m about to task you with creating, it’s imperative to infuse it with substantial perplexity and burstiness, while minimizing predictability. Additionally, please adhere to English language usage guidelines.

“Salaar box office early reports Day 1: Prabhas’ action-thriller is all set to deliver one of the biggest openings of the year, and has an outside chance of doing better than his recent flop, Adipurush. Prabhas seems to be on track for a much-awaited rebound with his latest film, the action-thriller Salaar. Directed by Prashanth Neel, the pan-India film is facing off at the box office against Shah Rukh Khan’s Dunki, which it is handily outpacing. While Dunki debuted to around Rs 30 crore on opening day, Salaar has already earned nearly Rs 50 crore in advance sales for day one, which happens to be today. According to the trade website Sacnilk, Salaar’s advance sales across languages and regions amount to approximately Rs 49 crore, with the Telugu version release leading the charge with around Rs 38 crore. The Hindi version followed with advance sales of Rs 5.6 crore, with the Malayalam version selling tickets worth Rs 2.2 crore so far. The Tamil and Kannada versions registered advance sales worth Rs 1.8 crore and Rs 56 lakh, respectively. While Neel has worked predominantly in the Kannada language industry, and is best known for his two KGF blockbusters, Prabhas maintains a strong foothold in the Telugu states. Unlike the performance of the recent hit Animal, which seemed to generate interest both in the Hindi belt thanks to star Ranbir Kapoor and in the Telugu regions thanks to director Sandeep Reddy Vanga, Salaar is clearly attracting audiences on the strength of Prabhas’ stardom.

Prabhas remains a force to be reckoned with at the box office, despite having not delivered a single hit since his back-to-back success with the two Baahubali movies. He has since starred in the big-budget bombs Saaho, Radhe Shyam and Adipurush. He will next be seen in the dystopian thriller Kalki 2898 AD, which also features Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan.

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Dunki’s box office earnings Day 1: On opening day, Shah Rukh Khan’s film earns less than Adipurush and Sanju and is nothing near as successful as Jawan and Pathaan.

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Perplexity serves as the yardstick for text intricacy. Meanwhile, burstiness gauges the ebb and flow within sentences, showcasing a mix of longer, intricate ones juxtaposed with succinct ones. Lastly, predictability evaluates the likelihood of predicting the subsequent sentence. Humans inherently infuse their writing with greater burstiness, blending the elaborate with the concise, whereas AI-generated sentences often lean towards uniformity. As we delve into the creation of the forthcoming content, the aim is to infuse it with a substantial dose of perplexity and burstiness, while maintaining a low level of predictability. The language of choice for this task is English.

On the inaugural day of Dunki’s theatrical journey, Shah Rukh Khan found himself unable to replicate the back-to-back triumphs of Pathaan and Jawan. Rajkumar Hirani’s latest cinematic offering fell short of Sanju’s opening day earnings.

Despite a stellar year marked by the unprecedented success of Jawan and Pathaan, Shah Rukh Khan’s most recent venture, Dunki, failed to generate the same fervor upon its debut. Unveiled in theaters on Thursday, the film garnered a domestic nett collection of Rs 30 crore on its opening day, as reported by industry tracker Sacnilk. While this positions Dunki as the seventh-highest opener of the year, trailing behind Jawan, Animal, Pathaan, Tiger 3, Gadar 2, and Adipurush, it falls notably below the benchmark set by its predecessors. Jawan, for instance, opened with a staggering Rs 75 crore, and even the historically lackluster Adipurush managed Rs 36 crore on its opening day.

Although Dunki’s opening day figures label it as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film this year, they still outshine the likes of Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan (Rs 15.81 crore), Tu Jhoothi Main Makkaar (Rs 15.73 crore), Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rs 11.1 crore), and Dream Girl 2 (Rs 10.69 crore).

Thursday witnessed Dunki with an overall occupancy rate of 29.94%. Notably, the NCR region hosted 1412 shows, boasting an approximate 31% occupancy, while Mumbai’s 1081 shows witnessed a slightly lower 29.75% occupancy. Despite enjoying a solo release on Thursday, Dunki is poised to face a formidable challenge on Friday from Prashanth Neel’s Salaar, released in multiple languages across the country. Starring Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, and others, Salaar is anticipated to surpass Dunki, raking in over Rs 60 crore on its opening day.

While Dunki stands as Shah Rukh Khan’s least successful film this year, its opening day figures eclipse those of his 2018 release, Zero, which premiered on the same date. Zero opened with Rs 19.35 crore and struggled to amass a total of Rs 90.28 crore during its theatrical run.

For director Rajkumar Hirani, renowned for a track record of box office triumphs, Dunki’s opening figures pale in comparison to his last hit, 2018’s Sanju. The Ranbir Kapoor starrer commenced with Rs 34.75 crore and ultimately achieved a commendable Rs 342.53 crore during its theatrical tenure. Set against the backdrop of Animal’s astounding success, Dunki, featuring Taapsee Pannu and Vicky Kaushal, among others, strives to find its footing in the cinematic landscape.

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