There’s something oddly satisfying about watching a good gangster film. Challenging yourself to a moral tug-of-war between rooting for the bad guys and wanting not to is an experience by itself. Unfortunately, very few films are able to create that impact. Fortunately, Legend is one of the chosen few.
Legend takes us back to London in the swinging ’60s, where gangsters were public figures. The film traces the rise and eventual fall of Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy), twin brothers and two of the most notorious gangsters of their time. It takes us beyond the infamy and shows us the story of two brothers who are battling their demons, both internal and external. The film also sheds light on Reggie’s turbulent relationship with Frances Shea, which has been the subject of much speculation. To say that Legend is anything less than a Tom Hardy show would be a gross understatement. Director Brian Helgeland knows that he’s working with a great actor, and he isn’t afraid to push him to the limit. Hardy has come a long way since he played an unwitting participant in the world of crime in The Drop. In fact, his depiction of the Kray brothers is certainly going to go down as "legend"ary. The star is backed by a strong supporting cast, including the likes of Christopher Eccleston, Emily Browning, and Paul Anderson. However, they are criminally underutilized, and we would’ve loved to see them get more screen time.
The film is stylish, well-made, and gritty. However, Legend isn’t quite the Kray brothers biopic it was cracked up to be. It tells us about the life and times of Reggie and Ronnie, but only as much as a quick Google search would have. We would’ve loved some more insight into the minds of these iconic gangsters, but sadly, the film offers very little. Despite this, Legend has its merits that make the flaws easy to ignore. Brilliant acting, wonderful yet flawed protagonists and a tried-and-tested premise. What more could we ask for?
Why You Should Watch this Movie:
Legend might not be an instant classic. However, it is still worthy of a watch. The film shows us the lives of Reggie and Ronnie Kray, beyond their criminal exploits. It features an engaging story with a few brilliant comic moments, and a brilliant performance by Tom Hardy. If you’re a fan of the genre, then you must watch Legend.