You can't he half a gangster
I shouldn't have to label this film an "Indie Gem." Had The Revenant not been released in the same year, I imagine the studios would've been trying to ride on Hardy's performance here. But alas, they didn't and this film got zero marketing in the States. It played in 107 theaters at its highest peak, then dropped to 19 two weeks later.
Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy) are twin brothers and gangsters in 1960's London. We see them spend time in jail, own night clubs, ruin those clubs, and slowly rise to more power throughout. Reggie's relationship with Frances Shea (Emily Browning) is also heavily featured.
I never thought I'd be into gangster movies. I don't know much about the Krays, but hearing the name Meyer Lansky mentioned, as his people deal with the them gave me a bit of Boardwalk Empire nostalgia. The atmosphere in this movie is great. It's well shot, calm and steady. Then the music turns up when the Krays began to fight and we're given high energy choreography.
Tom Hardy, I can't say enough about this man. He's brilliant in this. Ronnie is the wild card, but Reggie is where he truly shines. You can tell beneath it all, he longs to be a normal guy, but he loves being a gangster even more. Emily Browning, whom I love, is our conscience in the film. Her naivety pulls us into the mess that is the Krays. Acting wise, she's not given a lot to do other than be our eyes, but she carries herself well. I just wish there was more emotion from her. I kept feeling like we were teetering on what could've been a more memorable performance, but we never quite take that dive. Tom Hardy gives it all, she should've too.
If I had another complaint, it would be that the film ends a but too abruptly, but I enjoy the rest so much I can forgive it. If you read about the Krays, you'll know what was coming anyways.