Legend, written- based on the book by John Pearson- and directed by Brian Helgeland
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
Legend is a film to remember.
The actor in the leading role should have been nominated for an Academy Award –and he was, but not for this part.
Tom Hardy deserves an Academy Award, for his performances have proved he is a wonderful actor in different types of character.
- John Fitzgerald in The Revenant
- Max Rockatansky in Mad Max
- Ivan Locke in Locke- a very interesting proposal that is carried all along by Tom Hardy
In Legend, he has a serious challenge in coping with two different roles, even if these are twin brothers:
- Reggie and Ron Kray
They are both mobsters, leaders of an “organized crime group”
But they could not be any different.
It is not just in sexual orientation, where Ronnie is homosexual- active, “giving it” as he likes to emphasize- and Reggie is heterosexual.
Their views of the business, partners and pretty much else are often clashing.
Reggie is attracted to Frances Shea, whose brother is also a criminal, but she is as nice, honest and against crime as anyone can be.
The brothers have a fight over her.
As mentioned, not because Ronnie would have any inclination towards her- as was the case in say, East of Eden.
On the contrary, this very outré and outrageous gangster is insulting the woman that his brother loves…
- Well, that loving part is more complicated
- Thomas Mann has this character that casts a shadow over the issue
- And there is also Charlie, played by Jack Nicholson in Prizzi’s Honor who says:
- “In love is temporary”
As is familiar, gangster groups clash over territory, money, rivalry and so much more.
One particular fight is very violent and both Krays take part. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with about ten enemies.
Ronnie is the wild card and he interferes in the life of the club that they manage- a façade in some ways.
Much more cerebral and wise- when compared with his twin brother, for he is otherwise a mobster- Reggie is the preferred partner.
When the American Goodfellas come to London to see how they can cooperate with the Krays, there is a funny scene.
Well, perhaps humorous, but also embarrassing, retrograde and paradoxical.
The Mafiosi have been- I guess they still are- not just conservative, but fundamentalists and racist, sexist in their attitude.
They thought that killing people is just about acceptable, together with stealing, philandering, lying and all the other sins from the Bible.
- But when it came to homosexuality, oh, no!
- That was a capital sin, outrageous and unacceptable- at least in the portraits we have of these wise guys
So when the Italian American gangsters are told by the outlandish Ronnie that he prefers boys over girls they are shocked.
- Well, Angelo Bruno that is, portrayed by Chazz Palminteri
The mob from across the nation is unhappy with what it learns about the unpredictable and strange Ronnie.
And they ask his brother to act upon this.
- Love, fight, live, rule like a legend
This is the appropriate tagline for this good film, with a fabulous actor in the lead role and an equally excellent supporting cast.