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  • Writer's pictureS.J.

'See How They Run' Review: Solving A Whodunit With Saoirse Ronan & Sam Rockwell

Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan sitting inside a blue car
Searchlight Pictures

Just remember that if you go spill secrets about shocking twists and revelations in a whodunit, you can bet good money that you'll be the first one murdered in the next one. Those are the rules, I don't make 'em. Heavily inspired by classics of said genre comes mystery comedy See How They Run, director Tom George and screenwriter Mark Chappell being the ones in charge of those secrets. Set in 1953 in London's West End, seasoned inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) gets paired up with inexperienced constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) to investigate a murder of American film director Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody) after he's found dead while attending a play he's adapting. Possible suspects include producer John Woolf (Reece Shearsmith), writer Mervyn (David Oyelowo) and actors Richard Attenborough (Harris Dickinson) and Sheila Sim (Pearl Chanda), among others.

First of all, it's important to note that your mileage may vary when it comes to the referential and self-aware approach ''SHTR'' takes in this particular genre but for what it's worth, it clearly isn't here to revolutionise genres and everyone making it very much knows it. That said, the film has some fun playing with your potential familiarity with Agatha Christie's work as the featured play is her 'The Mousetrap', before she eventually makes an appearance (portrayed by Shirley Henderson). George and his team do all the right moves, even if they aren't always spectacular, such as when introducing an endless amount of characters or establishing locations that are in the centre of the mystery. These elements keep things moving neatly and later reveal that they all played their parts in building the story.

While most of the storytelling and performances are doing what is asked, it is Ronan who makes sure that your mind isn't wandering off. There's outright joy in her performance as she gets to really display fantastic comedic timing with Chappell's dialogue, this kind of broad comedy being something that she seems to have been waiting for a long time in her short career to do. Her hitting the marks also shine because there are enough small things about the character that come through, perhaps reflecting how it's the ''small things that get you caught''. Fine editing by Gary Dollner and Peter Lambert also finds time for those character moments and quirks, often utilising split screen to get the most out of them while being perfectly in sync with Daniel Pemberton's score which similarly has a good sense of movement. All of it also makes sense for the film's finale but the less said about it, the better.

Smileys: Saoirse Ronan, editing

Frowneys: Nothing too disappointing

Constable. Inspector. Commissioner. Reader. Murderer... wait a seco........


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