Sexy Beast Review

Experimental, violent and a cast to die for; Jonathan Glazer enters his directing career with a break-through crime drama, broken up with comedy. Sexy Beast has had a great reception over the years, and even as a modern viewer I was not disappointed with the intriguing storyline, as well as the amazing cast performances. The film starred many well-known faces especially Ray Winstone, who played the lead character of Gal, and Ben Kingsley.

The film revolves around a retired gang member named Gal, who decides to move to Spain along with his wife Deedee, played by Amanda Redman, and his friends Aitch and Jackie, played by Caven Kendall and Julianne White. The seemingly peaceful storyline soon takes a huge twist when Don Logan, a humorously aggressive troublemaker played by Ben Kingsley, comes onto the scene. It was your typical crime drama film, which also had more artistic twists to ensure it was different from the rest. Winstone played his usual ‘hard man’ character, and there’s no denying that he did it well, but he was definitely outshone by Kingsley. To an extent, for me, Kingsley made the film, through his quick wit, perfect lines as well as his memorable change to his usual type of character. The casting for this film was flawless, although, I do feel as though the film may not be as funny to a modern day audience due to the age of the actors.

One thing worth noting about this film before you watch it is although the title seems more comedic and the opening scene is relaxed, the film does swiftly change into the slightly unexpected. There’s an enjoyable amount of symbolism, e.g.  the hare, to give the film title more depth, as well as a brilliant use of flashbacks to reveal more of the story that we haven’t yet been shown and therefore keeping us intrigued. I must admit, that when watching the film, some scenes did feel out of place and pointless for the progression of the storyline, but it isn’t until the end that you realise that this isn’t the case. All the scenes either linked to the later storyline or were essential for character development, as well as humour.

As mentioned before, there is a huge twist from relaxed to madness in the film and this is cleverly portrayed in the soundtrack. Alongside the effective close-ups and intense scenes, lots of tension was able to be built, adding to the intriguing nature of the film. Camera shots were used to explain the more complex parts of the storyline and dreams are made very clear from reality through lighting. I feel as though this was a good thing to do so that the film wasn’t confusing and questioning for the viewer, they could just enjoy it. I cannot deny that there is a lot of swearing and violence in the movie, but it is appropriate for the genre and nature of this film.

All in all, I really enjoyed the movie. Although it did feel quite slow and long for a film that only lasts 84 minutes. Other than that, its witty comedy, well-created tension and superb cast ensure that the film will be enjoyable. This film is definitely worth watching, although I can’t guarantee that it is for everyone. If this isn’t the kind of film you enjoy, at least you can admire the flawless acting by Kingsley for over an hour, and trust me, it is nothing like anyone has seen, or expected, from him at all.


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