Despite - or perhaps because of - being directed by the daughter of the central gangland figure in the film, The End seems torn between supposedly telling it like it is and falling back on old sentimental legends of the 'good old days' of East End crime when things were so much better. Well, better for the assorted criminals waxing nostalgic here in lovingly rendered black and white images, but only because they were still young enough to make a living out of fear. At times the film does give them enough rope to hang themselves as they unapologetically - and often with loving enthusiasm - gleefully talk about the violent acts they've witnessed (but not those they committed themselves, which are left deliberately vague) or bemoan the loss of respect in their old age now that they've lost the ability to get what they want through fear and violence or that the East End "isn't the East End anymore" now that it's no longer a predominantly white area. Yet you're never sure if this is the point or simply accidental as they continually respond to the soft questioning with cliched soundbites that say nothing, and for all its artistic pretensions (doctored black and white, needless subtitling and a lot of stylised 'Brakhaging' in the editing), there's always the feeling that Danny Dyer is going to pop up onscreen as presenter and the Channel 5 logo appear in the corner of the screen.
Interesting for crime historians who need to bone up on their East End cliches, but there's a lack of perspective or context that ultimately gives it the feel of an old lag's tell-all tabloid expose that ends up more self-aggrandizing than enlightening. No surprise to find in the film festival diary that, along with the trailer is the only extra, that the interviewees all thought the film was great: the feeling's clearly mutual.