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The Krays - ITV4

Kate Hardie, Gary and Martin Kemp chat during dinner at a restaurent

A grim and gripping biopic of the East End gangster brothers. 4/5 stars

Spandau Ballet band members Gary and Martin Kemp confounded expectations when they proved to be perfectly cast as Britain's most notorious twin gangsters.

Gary wears glasses as Ronnie, Martin plays Reg and marries Kate Hardie, Billie Whitelaw is their strong-willed mum and Steven Berkoff and Tom Bell are two of their victims.

The combination of Philip Ridley's script and Peter Medak's direction brims with confidence and the story balances the graphically portrayed violence with other, more reflective, moments that place the twins' vicious lifestyle into an almost surreal, dreamlike perspective.

Among the more subtle things in this brutal but never glamourised true story are the contrast between the brothers' huge black cars and their mother's cramped terraced house, mum organising tea during a gang meeting and Stephen Lewis turning up as a wartime copper hunting their dad. Compulsive viewing.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.