Wicked Little Letters Review – IGN

Based on a true story of anonymous hate-mail, Wicked Little Letters tells a tale that resonates with the issue of online harassment. However, the 1920s period comedy falls short in terms of energy and meaning, with the exception of Olivia Colman’s captivating performance as the lead character.

Colman portrays Edith Swan, a devout woman residing in the coastal town of Littlehampton with her parents. The family becomes embroiled in a situation involving nasty anonymous letters, leading to suspicions falling on their neighbor, Rose Goodling.

Director Thea Sharrock sets up a clear moral dichotomy in the film, as traditional values clash with societal norms represented by Rose. The narrative explores themes of love, vengeance, and societal expectations, with Colman delivering a nuanced performance that grapples with these conflicting ideas.

It’s incredibly funny to watch Colman wrestle with these dueling ideas.

Despite its potential, Wicked Little Letters fails to fully explore the complexities of its characters and themes. The comedic elements often fall flat, lacking the necessary punch to land with the audience. The film’s editing and cinematography also do little to enhance the humor, resulting in scenes that feel stagnant.

The central theme of the film, revolving around anonymous letters and societal norms, offers rich storytelling opportunities. However, the narrative struggles to delve deep into issues of race and gender, with missed opportunities to fully explore the characters’ backgrounds and motivations.

The casting choices in the film raise questions about representation, particularly in the case of Anjana Vasan’s character, whose racial identity is seemingly overlooked in the storytelling. The film touches on themes of colonialism and racism, but fails to address them adequately within the narrative.

Wicked Little Letters needn’t be a screed against racism in order to work.

While the performances by Buckley, Vasan, and Colman inject some life into the film, Wicked Little Letters ultimately falls short in delivering a compelling and dynamic narrative. Colman’s portrayal of Edith shines in moments of introspection, but the film as a whole lacks the enthusiasm needed to engage viewers.