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No plot spoilers here, but would say that there are certain parallels between what befalls the evil, soul-chomping antagonist, Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) and what eventually happens to the equally insensitive British mobster, Albert Spica (Michael Gambon) in Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. Kingsley is definitely the menacing lynchpin holding this movie together, though Ian McShane is not far behind him in his portrayal of a believably evil crime lord. Ray Winstone is an inspiration to middle-aged, beer-bellied Buddhas everywhere. Amanda Redman is a revelation as Gal's ex-porn star spouse. She plays the slow boil to perfection. Julian White is also superb playing the wife of Gal's slightly dim buddy, Aitch.
Which brings us to one of the minor qualifiers I have to warn viewers about. Unless you've grown up in one of the grubbier, East End sections of London, a lot of the dialogue is going to be incomprehensible to you. This is particularly true of Aitch (Cavan Kendall, Kay Kendall's brother). I would definitely recommend the DVD, as opposed to the VHS purchase, as the DVD has a subtitle feature. I can honestly say I was lost without it, before I utilized the function. Kendall also mumbles his lines, as do several other characters. Mumbling and thick, cockney accents do not make for easy comprehension on the part of American viewers.
This film has a workmanlike plot, with strong performances from all hands. It's great, gritty, black comedy.Read more ›
The scenes between Gal and Don in this script by Louis Mellis and David Scinto strike me as what Harold Pinter would produce if he was writing about gangsters and went overboard on the profanity. A conversation with Don is taking your life into your hands and Gal knows it, quietly dancing around the fatal rejection for as long as he can. Kingsley's Don is one of the scariest men ever to appear in a film, although I am not sure how much of that has to be the sheer shock at the idea that it is "Gandhi" on the screen who is launching into foul-mouthed tirades and radiating danger with every look and action (all without ever having a gun in his hand, I should add). This performance is astounding, and if it is unexpected that is only because we have taken Sir Ben for granted for a long time.Read more ›
In a movie where much of the first half consists of conflict through dialogue (it's almost a stage play in set-up), the performances are key, and "Sexy Beast" has no weak links. Ray Winstone has the unenviable task of holding his own against Ben Kingsley, and succeeds uncannily without resorting to caricature. His fear is palpable--you can almost smell the sweat at his being cornered like a rabbit with no way to break out. Even perennial TV guest star Ian McShane excels in the role of a slick and cunning criminal boss, a performance that breaks out of his usual pattern and won't remind you in the least of Lovejoy (McShane's most famous character, the genial art forger/detective).
But the standout performance is, of course, Ben Kingsley.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Enjoyable movie, love all the actors in the movie and awesome performance by them all.Published 8 months ago by greener
This is such a great flick! BK is super as well as the entire cast. A must see!Published 9 months ago by Sam Hill
I purchased this DVD after hearing a glowing review on TV. I should have known what to expect- the reviewer spoke endlessly about the great performance given by Ben Kingsley. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by with a K
The performances of all the actors phenomenial!!!! Ben Kingsleys' finest....crazy....bizarre.....FINEST!!!! Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by Mary Singh
This is a good, solid British gangster film, with three great actors who do their best (or worst, depending of point of view). Read morePublished on November 26, 2013 by Maciej