Growling, whispering, SHOUTING – Fall of the Krays (Film Review)

So, I haven’t seen the first one of these two “gems” so I didn’t write the review for that. No, that honour fell to our illustrious editor and questionable human being, Mike. It is telling that, having seen the first one, he didn’t want to take the second one. Instead, that dubious honour falls to me.

Cheers Mike. Cheers for that.

Our story takes place in London or “Lahndahn”; both “norf” and “sawf” of the “rivuh”. It is also set during the sixties. I know this because everyone there uses the word “fack” to precede most phrases. Often before someone is hit/stabbed/ or shot. An endless parade of men in nice suits, smoking and getting hit. The brothers by this point are at the peak of their powers and as the title would suggest, it probably won’t last. To be honest, I probably won’t talk too much about the plot past this point because a) surely you already know about the Krays, possibly from one of the superior films made about them and b) frankly it is garbled at best. A lurching, swaggering drunk of a film with little in the way of coherence.

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The role of Ronnie is reprised by Simon Cotton and his performance is frankly astonishing. He appears to have read a book about portraying psychopathy and taken it straight to heart. Not a good book you understand, not a book he should have read, more a book with lots of pictures in it of people glaring and with all the important words CAPITALISED; words like “SHOUTING followed by WHISPERING will suggest that you are MENTAL”. Our boy has really taken this advice to heart. Fuck you Lee Strasberg! Fuck you Stanislavski! Cotton don’t need none of that shit! Just give that boy a “shootah” and let him stick his jaw out and speak dead quietly and then really loudly! According to IMDB, he also does balloon modelling. Sadly this is not utilised in the film. Possibly because it was considered too subtle.

Should you choose to watch this film, and I really don’t recommend that you do, and you want a stand out Cotton moment, then look no further than the sequence quite close to the start where an irate Ronnie feels he has been disrespected by some American scalliwags. Then he stands up, waves his whiskey glass around and whispers first about the British Empire and then immediately launches into some major league shouting about Churchill. Terrific stuff. To be fair, he is facing off against a mobster who seems to have read a similar type of book to our balloon modelling friend. If you want to imagine what this is like, simply repeat the following sounds: “Ey, oh, ey, oh, fuggedhabowdit, mamma mia, mafia, disrespect” etc. and you are basically there.

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His brother Reggie, played by a handsome jawbone in a suit called Kevin Leslie, provides cheekbones, mainly. He seems to have decided that Cotton’s shouting is so top-drawer, so laden with power that he cannot compete. Instead, he does a lot more whispering. Reggie also provides a dramatic counterpoint to the narrative of the film; he beautifully undercuts much of the cockney slaaag punching by presenting the audience with one man’s struggle with impotence.

To reiterate, I wouldn’t bother with this film. My girlfriend nodded off about half an hour in and only some faint sensation of critical obligation powered my indignation engine through to the end. It can have a begrudging two out of five stars chiefly because I thought it looked fantastic and I enjoyed the soundtrack. Other than that, not for me and probably NOT FOR YOU EITHER!

 

2 / 5

 

Dir: Zackary Adler

Scr: Ken Brown, Sebastian Brown

Starring: Simon Cotton, Kevin Leslie, Josh Myers, Alexa Morden

Prd: Ken Brown, Sebastian Brown, Craig Tuohy

DOP: Luke Palmer

Country: UK

Year: 2015

Run time: 116 mins

 

Fall of the Krays is in cinemas and on-demand from January 1st 2016.