Watched Jul 18, 2012
Adam Cook’s review:
London River follows two very different parents searching for their missing children after the London terrorist attacks of 2005. Rather than exploring the wider story this is a very intimate and small film about a desperate determination and challenging racial prejudices.
Brenda Blethyn plays a widow looking for her daughter who she believes has been caught up in the attacks. Blethyn is always brilliant at playing women desperately trying to hold onto their emotions and her performance here is predictably brilliant. Although the film is a two-hander it still feels very much her story, not least because it is her anti-Muslim attitude that is most directly challenged. Sotigui Kouyaté ably supports her with a sensitive turn as an African Muslim searching for his estranged son.
By a quirk of fate (and a twist that slightly undermines the more realistic tone of the film) they discover their children have a close connection. The relationship between the two parents (one blindly holding onto hope the other stoic and resigned) is beautifully understated and natural. Whilst the film may well have a message about tolerance and community it is sensitively handled and never beats the audience over the head.