Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Legend: Gangster Twins of London

"Legend" is a new film by Brian Helgeland starring Tom Hardy as both Reggie and Ronnie Kray - the gangster twins who ruled London in the 1950s and 1960s.

Reggie meets Frances - a red-haired girl from East End. He is gorgeousely good looking and romantic - she is shy and sweet. He tells her he is not a gangster but a businessman who might have done a few things on the boarder of the law but from now on would like to live an honest life and have a family. Problems start when he tries to focus on his marriage but gets into trouble protecting his mentally ill twin Ronnie.

Surrounded by toy boys Ronnie gets into sexual contacts with some male politicians which leads into a scandal. Essentially sweet and volnurable - he turns into a dangerous man because of his illness and can't cope on his own. He needs his brother to take care of him. But how is that going to work if Reggie has a new wife and wants more "me" time to enjoy other aspects of life than harrassement, fraud, beating people up and killing them if necessary?

The film is a masterpiece within its own rights. Tom Hardy does such a great job playing two different characters that it is hard to believe it is really the same guy. There are also plenty of scenes where both Reggie and Ronnie are together in. Technology and effects involved in that are remarkable. The film lacks some historical accuracy though. "Legend" sells the London equvalent of Al Capone to the American  and gey audience perfectly well but it falls into a bit of a cliche in the way of describing their lives.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were gangsters who managed to cross over from the world of crime to the world of celebrities. They started as professional boxers and used their skills when providing "protection" for London businesses in their early career. Although cruel and ruthless - they were also quite likeable. They mixed with aristocrats and artists. Their lives have been photographed by David Bailey. Ronnie - pictured as gey in the film - was essentially bisexual. Although he had  sexual relationships with men - he also got married twice in his life and had some very strong feelings for women. Reggie's first wife - Frances - presented as a victim in the film - was actually a glamorous young lady who outshone Barbara Windsor and some other female stars Reggie had been seeing back in the days.