Genre a law unto it­self

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

HAT do you get when you cross a western film with a gang­ster film?

‘‘A wang­ster. It doesn’t sound good. You’re a wang­ster, not a real gang­ster,’’ Tom Hardy says of the genre nick­name sug­gested for his lat­est film, Law­less.

‘‘Let’s not use that term,’’ his Aus­tralian co-star in the film, Guy Pearce, says.

Law­less screen­writer and com­poser, Aus­tralian singer Nick Cave, came up with the ab­bre­vi­a­tion.

‘‘It’s a great name. If it’s half western film and half gang­ster film, it’s a wang­ster film,’’ Cave says.

Based on the true story of the in­fa­mous three Bon­durant broth­ers in pro­hi­bi­tion-era Vir­ginia, Law­less, which made its com­pe­ti­tion pre­miere at this year’s Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, is di­rected by an­other Aussie, John Hill­coat ( The Road, The Propo­si­tion).

For Hardy, who plays like­able hard­man For­rest Bon­durant, the film’s genre is not the only mixed fea­ture of Law­less. As the mid­dle si­b­ling and leader of the trio, For­rest falls short of the gang­ster stereo­type.

‘‘He doesn’t drink, he’s a tee­to­taller, ob­ses­sive­com­pul­sive, su­per-fas­tid­i­ous . . . very fem­i­nine. He’s a ma­tri­arch fig­ure,’’ Hardy says of For­rest.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing is counter-ma­cho. Al­though the ex­te­rior is still bearded, cigar, knuckle dusters, the en­tire in­te­rior land­scape is dif­fer­ent.’’

Hardy, 34, a stand­out in as vil­lain Bane in Christo­pher Nolan’s Bat­man film The Dark Knight Rises, says he partly mod­elled his Law­less char­ac­ter on Tom Berenger’s gruff Sgt Barnes from Pla­toon, whom he calls his favourite vil­lain.

‘‘I’d love to have made a sil­hou­ette of For­rest. I didn’t want it to be any tough guy, I wanted it to be a sil­hou­ette, like (the vi­o­lent Oliver Twist char­ac­ter) Bill Sykes,’’ Hardy says.

A vi­o­lent film not for the squea­mish, Cave in­sists the vi­o­lence in the film is de­picted re­spon­si­bly.

‘‘What we tried to do was show the con­se­quences of the vi­o­lence. Not ev­ery movie does that,’’ he says.

opens to­day.

Tom Hardy and Jes­sica Chasta in

Guy Pearce (right).

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