I first heard about the film “The Rise Of The Krays” at least a year or so ago. I think way before a single shot was even lensed. Part of me was nervous about ‘another’ film featuring Ron and Reg Kray….after all there had already been one…oh but hang on a second. The last film that featured The Krays was the wonderful 1990 Peter Medak directed film starring real life brothers Gary and Martin Kemp. A great film that I have fond memories of watching on its cinema release and a few times on VHS and DVD. So now its well over 20 years since that film and the time was perfect for a film teaching us about the rise of the brothers, and not trying to fit in their entire life in a two hour run time. It seemed that the people behind ‘The Rise Of The Krays” were going for something a bit more ambitious and detailed and that excited me.
Directed by Zackary Adler
Written by Sebastian Brown and Ken Brown
But then all seemed to go a bit quiet and the rise sort of went silent, and then Tom Hardy popped up, not once but twice, alongside the director of Mel Gibsons “Payback” Mr Brian Helgeland with the up and coming film “Legend” which features Tom Hardy playing Ronnie AND Reggie Kray
Was the rise replaced?
August 31st 2015 sees the film hit our screens in a film that I had the pleasure of watching a couple of weeks ago, following a great (but of course too short) interview style chat with Kevin Leslie and Simon Cotton. (I mean it was too short because it was such a pleasure chatting with the guys, I could have carried on for a couple of hours at least)
So where does “The Rise Of The Krays” differentiate from Legend, and from 1990s The Krays Well pretty much everywhere. The story, the acting, the look of the film. “The Rise Of The Krays” nailed it perfectly.
I went into Rise thinking that it would be one type of film, and that my anticipation levels were “im looking forward to it but not sure what I will think of it”
From the moment the film begins, on a street corner. young adults having a smoke and find themselves interrupted by a policeman. I was IN.
This film is beautiful. The camerawork takes you into the period wonderfully Taking us at first in the 50s but then into the 1960s, showing exactly what the title says. The rise of the infamous brothers. There is no Jack The Hat, There is no Cornell or Blind Beggar. This is the telling of the twins became, what they became. Taking us into just how feared and ruthless these guys were. Not just the glamour, but the insanity, the sheer off the wall violence and yet never losing the fact these guys has some charisma
The performances of Kevin Leslie (as Reggie) and Simon Cotton (as Ronnie) give a brilliant new spin (and I feel this is more a realistic portrayal of the most notorious UK crime figures – but of course thats just my opinion) Simon gets the meatier of the two roles with the mentally damaged Ronnie, his flipping from violent to scarily violent in a heartbeat must have been such a brilliant experience for the newcomer. Yes you read that right. “Ronnie” is his first film acting credit and when you see his performance, you just know that Simon has one hell of a future ahead in the acting world if this is his first outing. But thats not to take anything away from Kevin (as Reggie Kray) who has the more charismatic and level headed character to portray. These two work wonderful together in a film that has actually caused me to rethink my definitive. I always thought Gary and Martin when I thought ‘Kray” but now I think Kevin and Simon. Thats the highest compliment I can give. The fact they have replaced the image in my mind when I think of the name ‘Kray’
I watched the film twice in the same week and even on repeat viewing it still packs a hell of a punch (and there are enough punches in this movie) and Annette (my partner) sat down with me and also loved the film.
Of course overhyping a film can be a deadly game (nearly as deadly as telling a Kray that he has put on a few pounds) but this movie has gone into my top 10 films of the year and easily one of the top UK films that I have seen this year. The only down side is that I have to wait until I can see The Fall Of The Krays, which was filmed back to back with Rise and will I’m sure round out the storyline to deal with the likes of Jack McVitie and George Cornell I cant wait to watch both films back to back which will of course give a far larger storyline, but thats not to say the films dont work separately. They most certainly do and the fact that after near two hours. I wanted more. That should ring a few recommendation bells for film fans out there.
Please do check out the film and also let actors Kevin and Simon know what you thought. You can find them on Twitter at the following
Kevin Leslie https://twitter.com/KevinLeslie88
Simon Cotton https://twitter.com/SimonCotton5
I put a tweet out a few moments ago saying “Should I release my review of The Rise Of The Krays” today or save it until Monday.
Simon (bless him) replied “That depends if its a good one or not”
Well Simon. The Rise Of The Krays is and was wonderful and my huge thanks to you and the rest of the crew for giving it your all to help put together the feature.
Your rise is brilliant…..
The Rise Of The Krays is released August 31st 2015 on all platforms