2015’s ‘Legend’ is based on a biography of the Kray brothers in 1960s East End, London. The film is full of violence, fraud and more violence. To put across this danger of the Kray brothers, violence is specifically used, but not as in the use of guns, which is still involved, but more aggressive, punch fights, or the use of hammers etc. There is also the sound of breaking bones and there is lot of vision of blood. It’s a tense film to say the least. It’s not a pretty film, one rather the opposite. But then again, it is a film meant to show the truth of the Kray brothers that were around in the 1960s.
In my eyes, it is Tom Hardy that makes this film so brilliant. I believe that without him, it wouldn’t have been as near as good as it was. Hardy plays both of the main characters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray. And just to prove how great of an actor he is, they are both parallel characters, yet played excellently. Reggie is more calm and collected than Ronnie, however to say he is calm is not true, I just meant more than Ronnie. Reggie is more of a think out a plan and succeed, he threatens in a subtle way, if there’s such a thing. He is the one that finds his love and even plans a marriage. Whereas, Ronnie is wanting the full gangster life, just wanting him and his brother to conquer London. Ronnie is more aggressive, he’s unstable, crazy, quite scary, and he’s schizophrenic. It’s Ronnie that adds an uncertainty to the film and makes it tenser, Ronnie does as well, as the audience are unknown to when he might lash out, but Reggie’s schizophrenia is uncalming. As Tom Hardy plays both the brothers, they have to look slightly different in order for the audience to know who is who, this is brilliantly done, and it is noticeable to which is which.
The Kray brothers carry a tense element around London, this also is put across to the audience. The audience are uneasy around them even though they are the main characters. The violence is excellently played it seems real, when it’s obviously not. But then things aren’t fully violent, but still unsettling, for example the unknown reason to Reggie bringing a cup of tea to the police outside his house who are following and tracking him and his brother.
There is a drama aspect to the film, so it’s not all crime and thriller. This is between Reggie and Frances (Emily Browning – Violet from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by the way). It’s a relationship where Frances is hopeful at the beginning, yet things get incredibly worse, it’s definitely not a happy relationship nor a happy ending to it. Frances is a character who the audience feel sympathetic towards, that Frances hopes for the best in Reggie but that’s not always there. This relationship adds a freedom from all the crime of the gangsters in the film, but changes to a heart-breaking love. There isn’t really any moments in the film where you feel happy, but then again why would you in a gangster film?
In ‘Legend’, there is a narrator that speaks to the audience, this is from Frances. The view from her is bias towards Reggie as she loves him, but it doesn’t change how the audience sees the Kray brothers, but yet exaggerates the drama element between Reggie and Frances making it more sad.
The rating of this film is an 18 and that is understandable and should be obeyed. For many reasons, but mainly because of the scale of the violence and also there’s unsuitable language. So definitely not appropriate for younger ages.
I would say that this is a good film, and I would recommend it if you like the gangster movies. Be warned it is a crime movie, so there is definitely an unsettling, tense feel to the film, especially that is based upon a true story. Overall, I would say that Tom Hardy makes ‘Legend’ a film to watch.