Cast: Ely Solan, Leon Hughes, Tara Breathnach, Will O’Connell, David Ryan
Director: Vincent Lambe
Rating * * * and a half
Ignoring the court trial, director Lambe bases his 30 minute film on transcripts of police interviews of the two ten-year-old boys Jon Venables (played by Ely Solan) and Robert Thompson (Leon Hughes ) who were detained as suspects in the kidnapping and murder of two year old James Bulger in a case which shocked the world in 1993 and continues to hold the public in thrall even today. Why did they do it? In “Lord of the Flies” Nobel Prize winner William Golding shows the young can be evil.
For reasons best known to himself, the director of this film neglected to interact with the victim’s parents. Thousands have petitioned the Academy Awards Committee to ignore the film which re-enacts the harrowing trail of the abduction from a shopping center near Liverpool, to a deserted railway precinct two and a half miles away from where the baby was tortured, killed, stripped of his clothes and buried.
The parents of the two suspects get a lot of screentime and it is interesting that the director shows one of the two murderers as a sweet-faced fellow weeping and clinging to his mother. It becomes apparent he is a liar. The real-life Venables resembled an evil elf. Thompson’s is a more accurate representation. But nowhere does the movie indicate baby James was found dead with 40 injuries inflicted with bricks, stones and an iron bar.
The two murderers were held in juvenile detention until they turned 18 in 2001 when they were released on parole and given new identities. Thompson made profuse apologies to the dead child’s parents and seems to have turned a new leaf. But Venables was found in possession of a huge cache of child porn especially images of children tortured and was sent back to jail. I hope he rots in hell.