The Krays are everywhere right now it seems. Tom Hardy is portraying both of them currently in cinemas (Legend), there has been a resurgence of the numerous films to have come out in the past and there is at least one other new film in the works. Amongst them all though lies The Krays: Kill Order. This documentary has been made by, and interviews many of, those who were closest to the Krays during their notorious reign of terror during the 50’s and 60’s.
What’s so compelling about this documentary is that we are hearing these stories straight from the various horses’ mouths. Whilst they often contradict each other there is a sense that we are being told how each individual sincerely believes that events played out. And who better to hear it from; we have interviews with those who cared for the twins, those who carried out their orders and those who violently opposed them. Between them we are presented with a darkly fascinating web of violence, love and fear which thrills as much as it disgusts.
What’s most pleasing here though is that although we are given a wide range of opinions and takes on the Kray family, the film never once makes the mistake that is sometimes made in celebrating them as idols and painting them glamorously. Kill Order is out to display their complexities but not to make them into heroes and it’s all the stronger for it. Intelligently presented and remarkably balanced this documentary deserves lots of praise for the material it has assembled, the portrait it paints with that and its ability to be simultaneously compelling and critical. Essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the Krays.