Monday, 21 September 2015
Week 35: Legend
Director: Brian Helgeland
Writers: Brian Helgeland
Seen: 12th September2015
Venue: IMC Galway
Legend is the story of the infamous London gangster twins of the 1960's Ronnie and Reggie Kray. For me the story of the Krays fits into the gangster genre perfectly, their story encapsulates all the elements of the rags to riches, rise and fall of a gangster narrative, except with the Krays you get two for price of one. I am sure many a script writer salivated at the richness of such a story, hence this is the third feature film produced about them.
The first in 1990 called The Krays directed by Peter Medak, The Rise of the Krays directed by Zackary Adler also released this year and of course notwithstanding Legend directed by Brian Helgeland.So does Helgeland bring anything new to the story of the Krays?
For me he doesn’t.
However, he does bring a stroke of brilliance with Legend that makes it stand out, he casts both Ronnie and Reggie to one actor - Tom Hardy.
Hardy is arguably one of the best mainstream actors presently working, always versatile he was recently seen as Max in the blockbuster Mad Max Fury Road - but he also played a lone character in a small independent film called Locke which is an interesting film that illustrates his versatility. Hardy’s performance in Legend is a masterclass in acting to a point that there were times in the film I had to remind myself he was playing both characters.
The tale of the twins is almost folklore at this stage to a point where it is hard to decipher fiction from non-fiction. Tom Hardy said at this year’s Toronto Film Festival that “it is hard to differentiate between what it is fact or fiction, truth or rumour about the Krays”. It is also hard to see what can be added to their legend and after such a brilliant portrayal by Hardy it is probably about time that their myth, in cinematic terms at least, is now laid to rest.