Based on true events the film ‘Lawless’ depicts the lives of three brothers played by actors Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke whose lives are intervened by a leading gang threatening to cut their profits of selling illicit ‘moonshine’ whiskey. This Crime Drama includes an indulgent form of violence and intrigue in the way the narrative has been constructed.

The’ actors were successful in the portrayal of the characters through the use of emotions and western accents, which was a major influential factor in making the film convincing; in the creation of a realistic setting of the 1930s society. I felt a real connection with the character Jack Bondurant the nervous and more softhearted youngster of the brothers, when he brutally gets beaten by Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) leading him to breaking point where he begs for mercy, the acting was phenomenal. Not to mention the unexpected turn of events when Forest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) gets savagely attacked at night, creating a gripping; nail biting experience to see whether he survives; as he rummages in his own pool of blood.

The use of cinematography was successful in the films attempt to get a more personal connection with the characters, it helped to create a dramatic effect, the use of close-ups and shot reverse shots reflected the cliché of western spaghetti films but which was used in an contemporary way. The consistent close-ups of the cold stares that were emoted by Forest kept me guessing what he was thinking and added a sense of anticipation to what his actions would be, I especially enjoyed it  when he would conclude a tense situation with a humorous grunt. The character Charlie Rakes is definitely the most terrible and most hated character of the film, who delivers a truly brutal performance of being a villain, creating the clash between what is sleazy and horrific.

I felt that the film didn’t fail to deliver its best in performance and acting, it was a film I hadn’t seen in ages and which made me want to watch it again, It is not advisable to watch if you are queasy and do not like blood and violence, the film does touch on the elements of race, gender and class in a subtle way, which was present during the Great Depression however; a highly recommended film which succeeds in delivering the truthful yet disturbing outlook on the lives of the Bondurant Brothers. Simply a masterpiece of a film.


1 thought on “Lawless”

  1. I agree with your review, especially your thoughts on how good the acting was throughout the movie. I think Tom Hardy’s role was played to perfection, such a calm, collected character with so little to say. The other roles, especially Guy Pierce’s role, were all done extremly well.

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