In 1931, in Franklyn County, Virginia, Forrest Bondurant is a legend as immortal after surviving the war. Together with his brothers Howard and the coward Jack, the Bondurant family has a distillery and bootlegging business. When the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell arrives in Franklyn with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursuits the brothers and unsuccessfully tries to find their distillery. Meanwhile Forrest hires the waitress Maggie, a woman with a hidden past in Chicago, and they fall in love with each other. Jack courts the preacher's daughter Bertha Minnix and deals a great load of alcoholic liquor with the powerful gangster Floyd Banner. Jack shows off in Franklyn attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pate, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lawless...ruthless...relentless...rancorous and savage all at once.
John Hillcoat has a penchant for westerns, it's quite obvious from his earlier ventures and with Lawless he shows how dedicated he is to the genre. I am not sure whether this movie would qualify for a western or not but the brutishness, savagery and rawness of the characters are indeed offshoots of revisionist westerns.
The crudeness of the movie and its character specially Tom Hardy is a treat, he has put in a great performance. Tom hardy gives himself to the role and he has done it time and again. Shia Labeof did have his moments but with Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke it's hard for an actor of his experience to shine. Another scrumptious treat was Guy Pierce, with his eyebrows missing he was out right menacing. The acting of the leads overshadows whatever holes might have been left.
The execution of the movie was good, it was very easy to be carried away making it just another violent and gore fest or another gun-slinger movie with no substance but director stayed firm. The characterization was given ample space to blossom and each character did bring an essence of its own to the story, nothing was wasted. The sound track and the visuals were other such valuables.
To me Lawless gives a kind of freshness to the crime, gangster genre executed in a western-esque style, nobody would count it among-st the greatest gangster movies but this does leave a mark of its own.
I'd give it a 8/10 and would strongly recommend.
Addendum: If violence and barbarity are not your flavour, this movie might offend you and if it's, then it does have the offbeat punctuation with no holds barred.
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