The Godfather but is not operatic, rather with a grunge punk vibe -- it whines and bangs like the machines of industrial Birmingham, made immediate with its score of plaintive blues and metallic hard and boogie rock. Prolific screen-writer/novelist/director Steven Knight (below, of Dirty Pretty Things, Locke and many more) describes the Birmingham of the period as the workshop of the world, filled with weapons, cars, metal parts, liquor, and other goods for export -- a melting pot of hard men that drew workers from all over the UK. It was Knight's birthplace and the story of his parents' world.
Paul Anderson, below, and Joe Cole) were at war; she is the family glue -- acted by marvelous Helen McGrory (above, from Harry Potter, Skyfall). Aunt Polly mothers rebellious niece Ada (Sophie Rundle) and the brothers; she's part matriarch, part floozy, part business woman, a deadly shot, disgusted at the violence of her nephews but quick to defend her bad men. (How's this for a power couple: McGrory and real-life spouse Damian Lewis.)
Annabelle Wallace, below) betrays him by falling in love with Tommy. Campbell seethes: Tommy Shelby is a "murdering, cut-throat, mongrel gangster...a worm who crawls in through your ear..." No wonder. Tommy relentlessly goads Campbell over who dodged the war, who was the war hero, and whom Grace loves.
Warren Beatty's 1990 Dick Tracy vs arch-enemy 'Big Boy' Caprice (Al Pacino). The treacherous Campbell and other characters are over-blown just enough to cut the violence with the comic edge of something approaching camp. But they are still emotionally real -- Knight understands how people talk to each other. "People often say the opposite of what they mean, they repeat themselves constantly," he said in an interview. Knight's ear for real conversation makes his characters stick in your head.
Snoop Dog is reported saying that gangs are copying the clothes, and I see Peaky Blinders haircuts on the street. Series 1 and 2 (6 episodes each) are streaming on Netflix now; Series 3 will debut fall, 2015.