Legend is a crime thriller film released in 2015, directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Tom Hardy in the lead role. The movie is based on the real-life story of the notorious Kray twins who ruled the London underworld in the 1960s.
The film follows the story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray, identical twin brothers who rose to power as gangsters in East London during the Swinging Sixties. Reggie is portrayed as the smooth-talking businessman while Ronnie is depicted as a psychotic enforcer with a love for violence. The film explores their rise to power and eventual downfall through their relationships with each other, their women, and rival gang members. It also delves into their complicated family dynamics and their interactions with corrupt police officers.
Legend has received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising it for its strong performances and stylish cinematography while others criticising it for its lack of depth and portrayal of violence. In this article, we will examine Legend’s strengths and weaknesses as a crime thriller film and analyse its impact on audiences.
The Story Of The Kray Twins
The story of the Kray Twins’ infamy has been a subject of fascination for many years. Their lives as gangsters in the East End of London during the 1950s and 1960s have been portrayed in various forms of media, including books, documentaries, and movies.
The latest addition to this collection is the movie ‘Legend,’ which tells the story of the notorious twins, Reggie and Ronnie Kray. The movie claims to be based on true events and aims to offer historical accuracy.
It covers various aspects of the Kray Twins’ lives, including their rise to power, their clashes with rival gangs, their relationships with family members and associates, and their eventual downfall. However, some critics have raised concerns about the movie’s authenticity and how it portrays certain characters.
Nonetheless, ‘Legend’ offers an intriguing insight into one of Britain’s most infamous criminals and his twin brother.
Characterization And Performances
The story of the Kray Twins in Legend serves as a fascinating backdrop for the film’s exploration of the criminal underworld in 1960s London. The film delves into the twins’ rise to power and eventual downfall, capturing the gritty realities of their violent lifestyle while also humanizing them through their relationships with each other and those around them. This aspect of the film sets it apart from other gangster movies, as it focuses not only on the action but also on character development.
One of the strengths of Legend lies in its acting skills, particularly from Tom Hardy who portrays both Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Hardy’s ability to differentiate between the two characters is impressive, with subtle changes in his physicality and vocal delivery setting them apart.
Emily Browning also delivers a standout performance as Frances Shea, Reggie’s love interest, bringing depth to her character beyond just being a love interest. Overall, the cast elevates the material through their nuanced portrayals of complex characters.
Cinematography And Style
The cinematography and style in Legend is one of the film’s strongest points. The use of lighting throughout the movie creates a mood that fits perfectly with the story’s gangster theme.
The contrast between the bright lights and dark shadows in different scenes emphasizes the characters’ personalities, especially those of the two Kray brothers. Ronnie, the more violent and unstable of the two, appears in darker settings, while Reggie is often depicted in well-lit areas to highlight his charm and charisma.
The camera angles used in Legend also contribute to its overall sense of style. Close-ups are effectively used to show facial expressions during dialogue-heavy scenes, allowing viewers to better understand each character’s emotions.
Meanwhile, wide shots capture the grandeur of London’s architecture and provide context for where the events are taking place. The use of slow-motion shots adds a cinematic quality to some of the more intense scenes, making them all the more memorable.
Overall, Legend’s cinematography and style offer an immersive experience that complements its compelling narrative.
Violence And Depth
The violence in Legend is graphic and brutal, leaving a lasting impact on its viewers. The film explores morality in the world of organized crime, as the Kray twins navigate their rise to power through violence and manipulation.
The psychological effects of this lifestyle are evident in both Ronnie and Reggie, as they struggle with their own demons and the consequences of their actions. One scene, in particular, stands out as a disturbing portrayal of the twins’ violent tendencies.
As they confront a rival gang member, Ronnie savagely attacks him with a metal pipe while Reggie calmly watches. This juxtaposition highlights the different personalities of the two brothers and adds depth to their characters. However, it also serves as a reminder of the brutal reality of organized crime and the devastating consequences that come with it.
Exploring morality in such a violent world can lead to uncomfortable viewing experiences for some audiences. Yet, Legend manages to do so in a way that is both thought-provoking and impactful. The psychological effects showcased throughout the film highlight the toll that this lifestyle takes on individuals involved in organized crime.
Legend is not just a story about two infamous gangsters; it is an examination of human nature and how far one will go for power and control.
Impact On Audiences
The impact of Legend on its audience is undeniable.
The film’s portrayal of the Kray twins and their criminal empire has left an indelible mark on popular culture.
Audience reception was largely positive, with many praising Tom Hardy’s dual performance as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
Hardy’s ability to capture the distinct personalities of each brother only adds to the film’s appeal.
Beyond its entertainment value, Legend also holds cultural significance.
The Krays were notorious figures in 1960s London, and their story has become a part of British folklore.
While some may argue that glorifying their violent acts is inappropriate, others see it as a necessary exploration of a dark period in British history.
Regardless of one’s stance on the matter, there is no denying that Legend has sparked conversation and debate about the Krays’ legacy and their place in modern society.
The Legend movie is a biographical crime thriller based on the Kray twins, notorious gangsters who dominated London’s criminal underworld in the 1960s. The film explores their rise to power and the eventual downfall of their criminal empire.
The movie’s plot is engaging and well-paced, with great attention to detail in recreating the era’s atmosphere. The characterization and performances by Tom Hardy, who plays both Ronnie and Reggie Kray, are exceptional. He brings nuance to each character, displaying their differences while maintaining a sense of authenticity.
Director Brian Helgeland’s use of cinematography and style adds depth to the story without compromising its pace. The film also portrays violence realistically, making it all the more impactful.
Overall, Legend is an excellent movie that provides an intimate portrayal of one of Britain’s most notorious criminal gangs. It offers a glimpse into a time when organized crime was rampant in London, and how two brothers rose to become its leaders.
With strong performances and excellent cinematography, Legend is a must-watch for fans of crime thrillers.