Tom Hardy here takes on roles as both of the Kray twins in his most ambitious roles yet. Here we get their full story: rise and fall all sort of told through the eyes of Francis Shea (Emily Browning) the wife of Reggie Kray. But does this ambition pay off? For Hardy it sure does.
Where else could we start but with Hardy. He is better than he has ever been here. For me this even tops his performance in Bronson. He plays two sides of one coin insanely well. And the more I think about it the more I realise how difficult this must have been. For one he is having to interact with himself, and at the same time attempting to play essentially the same person only with severe differences in the way each of them portray this. He is having to both love and loathe himself on screen. And it really pays off, in fact Hardy is so brilliant you often forget about the flaws in the rest of the film.
And there are flaws. For me it could really have done with less narration. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the use of narration in movies. It can work but if done wrong it can be irritating and oversimplify things. Here it doesn’t quite go that far, but it is certainly verging on it. And in with that comes my other criticism: the character of Francis or lack thereof. She hasn’t really been written into this story, which is odd considering that it feels like it’s meant to be told from her eyes. Emily Browning is as good as she could have been, but she doesn’t really have a lot to work with unfortunately. Elsewhere I found the music scoring and choice to sometimes be uninspiring, although it was effective half of the time (the highlight being the use of cissy strut).
But while that all sounds quite negative, I cannot stress enough how much Hardy adds to this film. He is the film, and honestly nothing around him seems to matter. Thankfully he is pretty much always on screen, because when he isn’t you start to notice the problems.
Overall, without Tom Hardy this is not a film you’d really strive to go and see, and there’d be no point really. But Tom Hardy is in it. So go and see it.