Lovers of bright, airy, farcical British humor are apparently not Jonathan Glazer's target audience. If you enjoy the occasional foray into the dank, dark underbelly of grimy black comedy, however, this should be right up your alley. 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. The funniest thing I've heard for a while is the statement made by Kingsley that he based his character of Don Logan on his grandmother. She must have been quite a lady! I've also discovered, via IMDB, that there may be a link between the guy in the bunny suit and the anti-Harvey in Donnie Darko. BEK
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