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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Sexy Beast': A Ferocious and Shockingly Brazen Neo-Classic British Gangster Drama


Movie poster for the film Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone and Ben Kingsley

Sexy Beast (2000) is a ferocious British gangster film starring Ray Winstone as Gal, a former London mob lieutenant who has retired to the coast of Spain with his former porn star wife DeeDee (Amanda Redman). Living a life of luxury and comfort, Gal and Deedee’s charmed lives are soon shattered by the arrival of Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), a vicious former protégé of Gal’s.


Learning of a bank vault replete with an outrageous fortune, mob boss Teddy Bass (Ian McShane) has sent Don in search of Gal in order to recruit him for the score of a lifetime. Gal has absolutely no interest in returning to London though—steadfastly refusing Logan’s repeated attempts to badger and cajole him into taking part. The meat of the film is this extended and increasingly distressing tête-à-tête between Gal and Logan, with Kingsley putting on a monstrously fervid mad dog performance—terrifying and utterly spellbinding in equal measure.


The feature film debut of renowned video music director Jonathan Glazer (Radiohead’’s “Karma Police”, UNKLE’s “"Rabbit In Your Headlights”), Sexy Beast a wonderfully brazen re-envisioning of the classic gangster drama. Glazer deftly balances style and flair with character development and brilliant performances to deliver something altogether new and refreshing to the screen. Driven by its kinetic pacing, evocative cinematography and unforgettable dialogue, Glazer's film stands as a testament to the evolving nature of crime cinema in the 21st century.

 

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