|SEXY BEAST (2000)|
John M. Stahl
|"But quite frankly your attitude appalls me. It's not what you're saying. It's all this stuff you're not saying."|
|Time: 89 mins.|
Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Kingsley).
Donít let the title fool you. SEXY BEAST stars Ben Kingsley as probably the cruelest, crudest and craziest character ever committed to celluloid. His transformation into Don Logan, a criminal on a mission will keep you glued to the screen and thankful he doesnít really exist. You see, Don needs help with a heist and makes it impossible for Gal (Winstone), a retired thief living a quiet existence with his wife in Spain, to refuse. Mostly because he wonít take no for an answer. Good thieves donít retire and besides, Gal owes their boss for the poshness of his retirement. Galís wife Deedee (Redman) is frightened of Don Ė with good reason Ė but more scared that Galís return to ďworkĒ will ruin the wonderful live theyíve set up for themselves. Mr. Logan is not used to being turned down and his uncontrolled anger brings danger and deceit to Galís idyllic doorstep.
Once Don Logan arrives every frame of this film vibrates with an intensity that will make most viewers very, very uncomfortable. Gal is torn between his fear of Logan, his loyalty to his wife and the excitement of his past profession. His character looks weak next to Logan, but heís merely a man trying to protect the life he loves with the least possible trouble. Thankfully, this is a short film, because thereís only so much Don Logan one can take. Kingsley is a master of transformation and youíll be amazed that a man who could embody Gandhi so beautifully could also be so convincing as an unrelenting psycho bastard. He is simply one of the best actors working today. SEXY BEAST would be a one-note flick if Winstone didnít hold his own. The role of Gal isnít exactly inspirational, but Winstone makes you root for his success, which isnít an easy thing to pull off all things considered.
This certainly isnít a film everyone will enjoy, but if youíre looking for a strange ride it wonít disappoint. Just be sure to rent the DVD so you can turn on the English subtitles. Kingsleyís cockney accent may be spot on, but unless heís yelling, itís almost impossible to understand what heís saying most of the time.