I recall being sort of excited about Legend before but the novelty of Double Tom Hardy wore off around the time the movie came out. Probably because I remembered why I don’t really fangirl over any of these people anymore. There are a myriad of reasons why I never made an attempt to see it, but I won’t even go into it. Actors are actors and real people who suck as much as the rest of us. It would be really great if society didn’t pretend that wasn’t the case, but what can you do? All I can do personally is take everything and everyone at face value and judge them by what’s on the screen because the only thing ‘real’ about most actors is the fact that they’re acting.
Anyway, soapbox aside, I wasn’t very sold on the concept of this movie for several reasons. The first being that The Krays story has been told many, many times and it isn’t even an interesting story. They were gangsters. They did gangster stuff. One was a little bit ‘off his rocker’ and they both ended up in jail. And as I suspected, the writer did his best to ‘humanize’ at least one of them, to the point where it was almost kind of jarring when he went kind of crazy. Perhaps that was the point, but again, I was really just wondering what the story was here.
The Krays were two brothers who ‘ran the streets’ of East London. They were in and out of prison. They used fear to intimidate people and keep their businesses running. They killed some people along the way. One was gay and unpredictable while the other one was the more competent gangster who apparently only ever fell in love with one woman, married her, watched as she became addicted to pills, abused her and then tried to make her come back to him when she left him, eventually driving her to commit suicide. And then, they both ended up in prison for good until they died. It was the film equivalent of a Wikipedia page, with some romance thrown in. It wasn’t particularly interesting and it was too long for my taste.
That being said, none of the blame lies with the acting. They were all very good and convincing, which is why I kept watching. Tom is particularly good as Ronnie Kray, the one who was ‘off his rocker’. Even though he was absolutely bonkers, there was something kind of charming about his random tangents and actions. I particularly liked the scene where Ronnie and the other brother, Reggie, get into a pretty intense fight. If anything, perhaps the film could have focused more on the conflict the brothers had because that was the interesting part. The murder that confined Reggie to jail was depicted in the movie as being directly caused by Ronnie’s actions, and when Ronnie asks him why he did it, he says ‘because I can’t kill you’. And all throughout the movie, we see that there’s some tension and resentment there but it’s not really touched on. It’s just there.
After the movie was over, my reaction was basically, ‘well that was all rather pointless’. It doesn’t help that it was narrated by Frankie, Reggie’s wife, who is definitely not the appropriate narrator – it was a bit random really.
Regardless, it’s watchable and mildly entertaining and looks authentic. I loved some of the cars that they used and the layout of the casino the brothers’ owned. And it was a good performance from Tom. I took the liberty of just using the subtitles because I am one of those people who can barely hear a word he says (and he was fine as Reggie, but Ronnie was 50% audible and 50% grunt).
Tom’s enunciation issues are hilarious to me mostly because the people that can hear him really don’t see how it’s plausible that others can’t, and almost every comment section I see has an argument stemmed from this topic. I think it’s mostly an accent issue. When he’s speaking in an American accent, I hear nothing but grunts. Warrior and Lawless have to be the worst case, especially Warrior which I watched and liked the first time around, less so when I rewatched with subtitles. It was particularly bad because Nick Nolte was in a good chunk of the movie, and he was also intelligible so their scenes together were an auditory nightmare.
Anyway, yeah. When in doubt – subtitles. 🙂