At the onset, let’s get it out there immediately that this is an epic story with some pretty major affairs to resolve, all of which are mafia and family related. The Fall of the Krays is the second film which charts the Kray brothers rise and fall within a 1950’s and 1960’s English backdrop.
As I hadn’t seen the first one (The Rise of the Krays) I worried that I might lose some of the storyline. For me, this type of movie isn’t the sort of thing I would rush to see at the cinema. But I had heard about a few of the actors and was keen to see their performances on the big screen. Luckily seeing it without having watched its prequel didn’t detract from the film, and the performances certainly didn’t disappoint.
Fall of the Krays follows two brothers who are at the height of their careers. If you can call being mafia bosses an actual career choice. I guess they have minions who do their dirty work so there’s an element of management skill involved. But I digress. As you watch the story unfold, the elder brother, Ronnie Kray (played by Simon Cotton) becomes less able to make sensible unbiased choices, which will later be to his and his bother, Reggie Kray’s (played by Kevin Leslie), detriment. I almost willed this to happen, as while there is part of me that likes the elder brother and appreciates his slightly twisted brain, there’s also no denying that he is losing his sensibility and taking down all those who matter in the process.
These two English thugs are distracted by their business so much that they lose perspective about their respective families, friends and loved ones. This also leads to a very sad decline in the relationship Reggie has with his newly wed.
Overall the story was very easy to follow and really played on all the elements you’d want to see in a gangster movie. Two feuding groups, lots of blood, guns, money and mafia moments, coupled with an ambitious police officer and a prisoner who’s not the sharpest henchman in a group of thugs.
As I mentioned, I’m not one to typically venture into gangster world, but I did enjoy this, mostly due to strong performances and the director’s choice to show us the effects of a man losing his edge, and its impact on his sibling. Watching Ronnie’s decline is very moving and the director’s choices managed to catch my breath a few times.
Truth be told it did lag in a few spots and could have been tightened but I don’t think this massively detracted from the movie. It is an independent film, and by all accounts they have done a sensational job to capture the era, and to attract this level of performance from literally the whole cast. Standouts for me personally were Phil Dunster (playing Dickie) and the two leading Kray brothers played by Simon Cotton and Kevin Leslie.
This is an action packed gangster film that gets 3 stars from me! See it in cinemas now and support independent British films.