With a story set in the subconscious, A Little Place Off The Edgware Road is a haunting take on the platitude ‘dazed and confused’. The film follows James Craven (Paul McGann), a fiction crime writer who is struggling to distinguish the line between fiction and reality. Craven confides to his therapist (Owen Brenman), reflecting on his writers block, a murder that occurred outside his flat, and a disturbing encounter he had at the cinema.
As Craven reveals his insecurities and paranoia, the audience must decipher if he is the hero or the villain of this story. On the surface he appears to be a hermit devoted to his writing. With further investigation, its clear that there is an inner conflict that haunts his demeanor. Possibly guilt, vengence, or a simple wistfulness. The cause of his anguish is never uncovered, leaving the audience with an unfinished story. A past incident with a wife (Natasha O’Keeffe) and child (Jessica Benaglio) is briefly hinted at, but no concrete information is given for the audience to be fully satisfied with the conclusion.
The slow and eerie camera movements (Luke Palmer) paired with the discordant music (Graeme Rawson) build a disquieting atmosphere that is further heightened by the setting. A portion of the film takes place in a cinema. This use of a dark, voyeuristic and intimate environement emphasizes the chilling effect of the unsettling events that take place there. With shots that are drained of its color, A Little Place Off The Edgware Road resembles the look of a film made in the late 90s/early 2000s. It’s difficult to get a grasp on the timeline of the film, which only contributes to the disorienting feel that the plot already creates.
This film is a prime example of well-executed and creative character development. While we know very little about Craven and his past, his dialogue and mannerisms tell us more than enough about the ominous darkness that casts a shadow over his life. He is a man who is out of touch with the world, causing his writing to become his reality. While Craven is dragged into his own fiction, the audience is left with an uneasy desire to know more about this troubled man.