Tom Hardy steals the show in this not-so Gangster biopic of the Kray Twins. Playing a paranoid schizophrenic in one moment, and a witty gentleman in the next, the 37 year old is enough of a reason to see this film.
Set in the East End of London in the 1960s, the film sees the notorious criminal antics that Ronnie and Reggie Kray got themselves into. However, their crimes and dodgy deals seem far too tame compared to the real life Kraysâ€™ – apart from the scene where Reggie stabs a man to death. This is believed to be a true experience, except Ronnie allegedly did the stabbing of the man after luring him into a basement, whilst Reggie held him down. Nice.
Viewers only see a couple of moments of utter violence whilst the rest of the film focuses on the brothersâ€™ strained relationship and Reggieâ€™s love for his â€œdelicateâ€ wife, Frances. After eliminating their rival gang, the brothers set to take over Londonâ€™s nightlife and through sheer intimidation and blackmail, they are very successful in doing so. Ronnie has other ideas, though and whilst having his heart set on opening a childrenâ€™s school in Nigeria, manages to run their popular club into the ground when his brother is on a short stint in prison.
Ronnie strives for the typical, violent gangster ways, whilst Reggie is focused on owning half of Londonâ€™s nightlife. Their blurred objectives repeatedly cause the pair to get into difficult situations and continue to frustrate Frances who just wants her husband â€œon the straightâ€.
The film is narrated by Frances who at first is besotted by her â€œbeautifulâ€ Reggie and then grows to fear his aggressive and intimidating ways. She is played by the stunning Emily Browning, known for her role as Violet in Lemony Snicketâ€™s A Series of Unfortunate Events. She is depicted as sensitive and fragile, and her characterâ€™s vast contrast to her husbandâ€™s ways make you feel sorry for her, but it is her strive for a life with Reggie on the straight and narrow which frames the movie.
Tom Hardy puts on an incredible performance, but without him it wouldnâ€™t be such an enjoyable watch. 3.5 stars.