Data Processing Typesetting Printing Mailing FUTUM COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 512-389-1500 FAX 512-389-0867 3019 Alvin DeVane, Suite 500 Austin, Texas 78741 the European aristocrat, the defense attorney also represents the defendant in ways neither would want to admit. “In America, it’s fame rather than class,” notes Claus, who is the equal of Alan in the nobility of celebrity. and lover whom Dershowit woos back merely to work on the case, comments on how time erodes relationships, and the film suggests some parallels between the deterioration of the von Bulow marriage and the alienation of Alan and Sarah. “It’s very hard to trust someone you don’t understand,” says Dershowitz to von Bulow, whom neither he nor we ever fathom. In Jeremy Irons’s splendidly elusive performance, Claus is mum even over the rumor that he had murdered his mother. By contrast, Ron Silver’s Dershowitz, clearly propelled by the thrill of the game, is more trustworthy and less haunting. “Legally, this was an important victory,” he tells von Bulow when the final verdict is announced. But he rejects the elated victor’s overtures of friendship. “Morally, you’re on your own,” insists Dershowitz, the shyster as Biblical prophet. Reversal of Fortune is richly layered with flashbacks and hypothetical scenes about what may have caused Sunny to fall into an irreversible coma. Though Claus remains an enigma, the version that emerges is what we see on the screen a self-indulgent, lonely woman who probably drugged herself into oblivion, though her son attempted to organize evidence to inculpate his adulterous stepfather. However, Reversal of Fortune, based on a book by Alan Dershowitz and co-produced by his son Elon, never enters the mind of Alexander von Auersberg, Claus’s stepson and principal accuser, or even of Claus himself. This is no epistemologically pluralistic Rashomon, merely one uncertain fix on a broken human life. The guilt of Ron and Reg Kray is as unambiguous as the blood that gushes onto Reg’s face as his pokes a knife into a rival’s eyes. \(TIARt il l “Best Lodging Location for Fishermen & Beachgoers” Group Discounts P.O. Box 8 Port Aransas, TX 78373 Send for Free Gulf & Bay Fishing Information “Glamour is fear,” declares Ron to the captains of “The Firm,” the gang that ruled the London underworld during the 1960s. “If people are afraid of you, you can do anything.” Absolutely uninhibited in the use of violence, Ron and his twin brother Reg did almost anything they wanted during the years in which they basked in the glamour of English affluence. Philip Ridley’s screenplay recounts the rise and fall of two schoolyard bullies whose actual name, the Krays, is an accurate diagnosis. The Krays begins, as it concludes, with the an image of the beautiful white swan she dreamt she was. From the creature’s egg will emerge two cygnets that the proud mama fails to recognize as ugly ducklings. They will later adopt crocodiles as their signature image. “Men are born children,” declares Violet’s mother more than once, “and they stay children … They think they are in control, and they don’t know the half of it.” Pampered by four misandrous women Violet, her two sisters, and their mother Ronald and Reginald Kray \(played by brothers Gary and Martin Kemp, of the rock group long before they are arrested for murder. Their feckless father Charlie is as inconsequential in this woman’s world as the doctor Violet assaults when she liberates young Ron from the hospital that has been treating him for diphtheria. “No one takes my boys away from me,” insists Violet, who will always regard her psychopathic progeny as mama’s boys. Oblivious to their brutal business, she dotes over The Firm when it meets at her house and serves them trays of tea. After time in the brig for punching out their tyrant sergeant, Ron and Reg return to civilian life and an uncivil career of intimidation and mayhem. When the smirk on someone’s face offends him, Ron pulls a sword and cuts out the man’s tongue. The brothers soon acquire an impeccable taste for fancy clothing and a prosperous empire of fashionable nightclubs. Judy Garland is not embarrassed to be seen in their club or their company, and a Mafia chief from the United States journeys across the Atlantic to cultivate their friendship. The boyishly handsome Krays think they are in control, but we know the other half of it, that they are compulsive braggarts and brutes. The Krays suggests the synergy of twinship, of two men so mystically attuned to each other’s feelings that no outsider can stand against the formidable tandem. Reg does marry, but his sweet young bride lacks Violet’s mettle, and, smothered by Reg’s takes her own life. Ron’s male lover is no substitute for the twin he narcissistically adores more than anyone else, and he is relieved by Frances’s death to recover his brother. Reg, however, is the better half of the pair \(in director Peter Medak’s algebra that means heterosexual and civilized in contrast to his savage, homosexual doploss of his wife. “You’ve got to make him fight this,” says Violet to Ron, anxious that her beloved Reg snap out of debilitating depression. A particularly crazy, bloody caper restores Reg to Ron and to the childish delusion they are in control of the Krays. The final frames of The Krays are an aerial pullback from a wreath worded MOTHER. The year is 1982, and the two boys stare at a newly dug grave. Surrounded by what appears to be their retinue, Ron and Reg seem to be in control, even of death, until we notice that they are handcuffed to the people standing beside them, the police. This is a bumper year for bumping off. The Krays joins The Godfather III, GoodFellas, Miller’s Crossing, and State of Grace in a season of exceptional, and exceptionally sanguinary, gangster films. What distinguishes it from the others is its English setting and the theme of a divided personality projected onto twisted twins. They all emit a certain glamour from a universe so carefully coded that crime seems organized though it really is random. If, as Ron Kray contends, glamour is fear, their appeal might be in the fear that that world is our own. 30 NOVEMBER 22, 1990
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