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Legend  : Too ordinary to be legendary
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Friday, December 4, 2015
Thriller
Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy, Colin Morgan, Christopher Eccleston, Joshua Hill

 

When you watch a film based on a book titled The Profession Of Violence, don’t complain of a queasy stomach. Settle down to torture gangs, hammer fights, guns and knives going into guts. When you’re done with gang wars and cops on their trail, there is a story here. Of the Kray twins, born gangsters who want to rule London one day.

 

But they’re different too. Ron Kray is gay, likes boys and sadism, and is a total black heart.

 

Reggie Kray is a little more suave. He falls in love with a girl and desires to go straight. He even struts around like he’s no gangster, he’s a legit nightclub owner. But two weeks and he’s back to where his heart belongs – gangster land. 

 

Reggie Kray’s heart is divided between the girl he loves and the brother whose unpredictable violence needs watching over. While he swings between lover and brother and gangster, the body count goes up. Ultimately the fall of the Kray twins is solely because of a botched-up murder within the gang. The surviving gang member turns approver and the twins spend the rest of their lives behind bars, end of their terror reign.   

 

Director Brian Helgeland may have been lauded for writing films like LA Confidential, but his direction in Legend isn’t any different from the vast repertoire of gangster films available on DVD.  The twins make a difference but Helgeland takes too long to get to the point. It also takes a while to get used to the Cockney accent. For me, the use of a voice over, that too of girlfriend Frances even from the grave, is like the director saying he didn’t know how to cinematically let his story tell itself.

 

Ultimately, Legend is more about actor Tom Hardy’s double performance as the twins than about the film. Tom Hardy does bring out the subtle differences between the two personalities but is a little labored as bad egg Ron Kray.

 

For a gangster film that does no value addition to the genre, Legend gets a 2.5* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Journalist & Author

 

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