Guy Ritchie’s new gangster pop hop “RocknRolla” is a film of complex cause and effect. Every twitch at the bottom in the thread of interwoven criminal conspiracies causes a ripple of reaction at the top. But sometimes a willing suspension of audience disbelief just isn’t enough. Too many twitches, too many coincidences and too many ‘huh?’ reaction moments unravel the film. And who knew schools of angry crawfish were the chosen weapon of torture in London’s creative but dated underworld?
Tom Wilkinson’s Lenny is a London gangster don of the old school, a paunchy, balding, patois-spitting hooligan who owns the city. But Lenny is incapable of changing with the times and the times they are a-changin’. Enter Karel Roden’s Uri, an immigrant Russian mafioso with a smooth manner and big plans for building an illegal luxury housing development on land reserved for the city. He needs Lenny’s help to get planning permission. Lenny, who owns a city councilor (‘The Guru’s’ Jimi Mistry), sees a way to make a financial killing. Stella, Uri’s thrill-hungry financial advisor played by Thandie Newton, has the same idea. Financial killings clash and real killings happen, although, mercifully, most of them take place off-screen.