The film “Legend”, filmed in 2015 by B. Helgeland based on the book by J. Pearson, tells the unusual story of two gangsters who were brothers and terrorized London in the 60s of the last century. Heading the influential gangster group “Firm”, the Cray twins became a symbol of the legendary East End, known from the works of Dickens as one of the most disadvantaged areas of the British capital, where beggars and robbers of all stripes hunted. The dizzying ups and downs of two English mafiosi, the problem of intra-family relations, love, attitude to the law, life and death – all this the viewer will find in the film “Legend”.
The meaning of the film “Legend”
Can a mentally healthy person step onto the path of crime? And if so, will he retain his sanity? The director of the film himself repeatedly said that the main goal was not only to show the life of a criminal group and its leaders from the inside, but also to demonstrate the endlessly repeated attempts of one of the main characters to control the psychopathic tendencies of his younger twin.
The criminal world was headed by two opposites. On the one hand, this is the older brother, Reggie, seemingly calm, intelligent and balanced, handsome gentleman, in whom few people can recognize a criminal authority. On the other hand, the “Firm” is also headed by his brother, the mentally ill Ronnie, an aggressive and cruel psychopath who does not even try to hide it. Reggie’s affection and kind of dependence on her sick brother completely turns the fate of the crime legend.
The story is told from the perspective of another iconic character, Reggie’s wife, Frances, who is addicted to pills, her husband, and his brother. It is she who allows the viewer to objectively look at both brothers from the side. The fate of the girl is in many ways tragic. First – love and rebellion against a conservative-minded mother, then – awareness and fear of what trouble she got into. Through her eyes, the viewer sees the war of two influential clans, the victory of the Kray brothers and its consequences. Through her eyes, the viewer observes the painful relationship between the brothers, one of whom is losing the mafia empire he built before his eyes through the fault of his brother, who, being an open homosexual with sadistic inclinations, organizes a private club for men. The issue of same-sex relationships is also illuminated through the prism of several points of view: Reggie’s wife and Cray’s business partners.
Despite the fact that Ronnie, who suffers from schizophrenia, is more quick-tempered and aggressive, Reggie seems to be more dangerous and cruel, since everything he does is done in a sober mind, being fully aware of what is happening. The very concept of “madness” is blurred when completely healthy people become involved in it. The constant choice between family happiness, love, business and brother became the main leitmotif of the film. A person is shown as nothing more than a problem that is increasingly dragging everyone who is nearby into a whirlpool, and which, nevertheless, cannot be abandoned due to a number of reasons, ranging from banal brotherly love to a deep sense of humanity that bestows the right to correct mistakes hidden in absolutely every heart.
An important topic was the reflection on the boundaries of what is permitted. Starting with financial fraud and fights, the brothers go further and further, crossing the line not only of the law, but also of morality. Murders flow into a number of crimes absolutely naturally and do not cause either rejection or horror, becoming just one of the problems that should be competently solved with the help of lawyers.
The very name of the film can be interpreted in different ways. On the one hand, this is a story about real people who terrified London in the 60s of the last century, and on the other hand, this is a whole legend in which a clear line between black and white will never be drawn and whose characters can serve as prototypes for many similar plots: the need for a difficult choice, the duality of the human soul (which is shown in this case with the help of twin brothers), the possibility of going beyond the boundaries of the mind.
The meaning of the finale of the movie Legend
Any, even the most ingenious and daring crime, sooner or later will entail punishment. The need to stop in time, realize mistakes and correct them sometimes turns out to be too difficult a task, given the mass of circumstances that haunt the perpetrators of atrocities.
Power and money are not always able to save love, just as brute force cannot always become a shield from the law. Even in madness, it is not always possible to hide from the cruel reality, of which each of the living is a part, whether he wants it or not. The main question lies in the price: what is a person ready to sacrifice for the sake of people close to him and will this sacrifice always be able to pay for itself in the final?