A new film about the Krays staring Tom Hardy both as Ron and Reg. Directed by Brian Helgeland. Ultra-violent, and ultra-glamorous, is how they were portrayed in the 60s tabloids and ultra-violent, and ultra-glamorous is how they are portrayed here. True or exaggerated, the story unfolds like Shakespearean tragedy, and leaves judgement of the dubious morality to the viewer.
Brian Helgeland best known for writing the screenplays, (L.A. Confidential) (Mystic River) does a fine job directing Hardy, Hardy and Emily Browning. Browing plays Frances Shea and the story revolves about her relationship with primarily with Reg, but more subtly with Ron.
As the film progresses it becomes clear that Reg and Ron are not individuals, but instead are tied together by a brotherly bond only found in the closest of twins. Twin yes, but they are very different. Reg is calculating and calm and charming. Ron is a paranoid schizophrenic, but has moments of pure childlike clarity. Neither fear anything (not even each other) and both are extremely violent.
There are quality performances by much of the cast, including John Sessions as ‘Lord Boothby’, Christopher Eccelston as ‘Nipper Read’ and, Tara Fitzgerald as ‘Mrs Shea’ to mention only three, but Hardy’s performances are truly magnificent. You quickly forget that you are watching only one actor.
Browning looks lovely and plays her role to perfection. She provides a slightly fragile and very gentle human perspective to the whole piece. She even act as narrator, which somehow (unusually) is not intrusive or annoying. Through her eyes, and through her aspirations and disappointment we witness the inevitable demise of the monster that is ‘Reg and Ron’.
I don’t like violence on film, it is usually gratuitous, but not here. Some scenes are graphic and disturbing and cause nervous laughter, but all are intrinsic to the story. This is a story leaves you feeling ambiguous. It is an interesting story – well told! Movie of the month for me. Go see it if you get the chance.
Guest review by ManInTheBlackHat. Star Rating 5
iCare Rating (Out of 9): 9
iEnjoy Rating (10+ is good): 15
Overall (Out of 10): 9.5
Take three leading characters and decide if you care about what happens to them. It does not matter if you want them to live happily ever after, or if you want them to die a horrible death. All that matters is that you care. Add the three scores together to get the rating.
0= I couldn’t care less.
1= I care somewhat.
2= I care.
3= I care a lot.
+2 for every time I jumped.
+1 for every time I smiled.
+2 for every time I laughed.
+3 for every time I cried.
+5 for every surprise.
-1 for every time I looked at my watch (or thought about leaving).