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Hatton Garden jewellery heist flops

A new film depicting the crimes of the Hatton Garden burglars was released last week, much to the chagrin of the jewellery industry.

King of Thieves hit the big screen in its initial 14 September UK release, but while it boasts a star-studded cast, some in the jewellery industry are up in arms, claiming the film “glorifies” the £14m (AU$25m) theft.

Sir Michael Caine was cast as the famed “Dad’s army” ringleader and appears alongside Tom Courtenay and Ray Winstone in the feature length film chronicling the 2015 “biggest robbery in British history”.

While the film does cover the arrests of the six thieves later in 2016, the diamond community affected by the robberies have spoken out in anger, saying the film is “disrespectful” in making comedic light of the event.

David Joffe, treasurer of the London Diamond Bourse told The Telegraph that much of the stolen items are yet to have been recovered and the film depiction of the robbers paints them as heroes rather than blatant criminals.

“I don’t think there are any gentleman robbers, and I certainly wouldn’t call any robbers heroes. Unfortunately, these films glorify such things. I wouldn’t want them made in the first place - it gives robbers credence. The victims are very annoyed about it,” he said.

“Some of the stuff stolen wasn’t insured and there have been serious problems getting the money back. A lot of people have been left badly out of pocket and serious amounts of stolen property is still missing.”

Joffe stressed the light-hearted nature of the film only added insult to injury: “To make a comedy about it is even worse. I don’t think it’s funny at all. People lost their livelihoods and went out of business.”

Fortunately for Joffe and the Hatton Garden heist victims, the film has failed to rate well among critics, and in its opening weekend only achieved a 33 per cent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, averaging 4.9/10 with the critics.

Simran Hans of the Observer stated: “There is one joke in King of Thieves, and it's that the thieves are old. That's it - that's the whole movie,” and gave the film a 2/5.

The Times (UK) critic Ed Potton was more forgiving, offering the film a 4/5 rating, but stressed the thieves should not be admired for their crimes.

“This is a risky device, but it works, the postmodern playfulness sending an implicit message: it's okay to like Caine and company, but be repelled by the men they're playing,” he said.

The release date for Australia has not yet been confirmed.



More reading
Hatton Garden jewellery thieves jailed
‘Dad’s army’ charged for Hatton Garden jewellery raid
Hollywood-style jewellery heist still baffles

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