Once Upon a Time in London | Movie Review and Cast

Once Upon a Time in London | Movie Review and Cast

Well, it states that the cinematic canon of gangster epics are being overflowed more than any other thing. Therefore, how it’s possible that one may make a movie the stands out in a crowded genre? If we capitalize on the recent success of British crime saga’s like Legend (2015), Once Upon a Time in London; Peaky Blinders (2013-), Billy Hill and what not! There are so much more to cover the movie that comes into the era of the 40s & 50s, but, somehow, falls quite a bit short of being the answer to the British like Hollywood classic Once Upon a Time in America, and, De Niro-led 1984.

With the familiar familia trope of being so warring, many gangster epics notably shown in the movie is power, It’s pronely of greed, betrayal, lust, charming, and jealousy dominating every single scene. Friends turn foes & foes turn friends as Spot & Bill Hill vie for the heavyweight title of King of the ‘London Underworld’.

Also, perpetually shifting power balances are illuminated beautifully by cinematographic changes in light & color. As, spot climbs ranks the palette of colors framing the screen becomes opulent & rich, thus, making characters gilded with an almost golden hue, wherein making their world drenched in the champagne enjoyable. Nobody’s character captures better than this looming tension than Stone’s & the performance of an actor capably embodies the twin pillars of tragic pathos, and hubris that support the weighty architecture of every second gangster drama. Not to miss, Gregory also, as cocksure Billy Hill do has some good moments, especially when directly confronting his ‘Old Boss’. Furthermore, to the supporting cast, there is not so much to talk about, but the movie itself says a lot.

The director ‘Simon Rumley’ has built-in his reputation on intricate horror movies that juxtapose physical, as well as, psychological torment. But, through his very first voyage into the crime genre again all the highlights his incredible command of the Audio-visual language of violence, the lexicon of despair, mastery of emotional brutality and much more. The famous Once upon a Time in London sets itself as an impossible task aiming to mythologize Spot & Billy as underworld kings  at the similar time as attempting to de-construct them as historical figures. Also, the former requires an incredible breadth of events and characters, hence, a bloody narrative stretching more than 20 years, thus, making each appear larger than life, whilst the latter requires a certain level of psychological depth seemingly at odds with a grand frame. Indeed, the film suffers; never quite reaching deep down enough into the character’s psyches, also, something that holds onto for an ancillary case whole roles & lines often feel perfunctory, other important topics such as pregnancy glossed over hastily in a ticking of the boxes affair.

Summing up, there is a certain reason that Italian director Sergio Leone’s ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ clocked-in at nearly four hours. Also, it’s British counterpart attempts to cover almost the same amount of ground in roughly half-time. But, due to rush, it mostly forgets the key ingredients at the Sicilian grocery.

Maria Fernsby

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