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Directed by Brian Helgeland

UK, 2015

HOME, 12 September 2015


A gangster film with a difference, Tom Hardy playing both Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie.

It’s a little cumbersome when the twins are on screen together, but not overly so. Ronnie is the one with the glasses.

An interesting effect is that in later scenes, like at the party where Reggie goes haywire and does in McVitie, Ronnie is bigger and bulkier (or, another way to put it: Reggie is diminished, looks drained). Surely this is a deliberate cinematic choice by the director. Anyway, the difference in size reflects the status of the power struggle between the two.

The film is based on The Profession of Violence and in John Pearson’s two books on the Krays (curiously, the film references but the one) he gets to the heart of the matter: Reggie’s love for, and consequently his reluctance to deal adequately with Ronnie, that’s what makes this an elemental story, one to be forever told. In part, it justifies the title of Legend. You might call it contra-Shakespeare: the tragedy here is that one brother does not murder the other.

Another thing: if it took courage (and it did) for an upper class someone like Kit Lambert, manager of The Who, to be openly gay in ’60s London, think what it must have cost Ronnie Kray, a working class lad ensconced in the East End.

A fine film.