And for twenty years everyone thought Gandhi was Ben Kingsley’s role of a lifetime!
Maybe Gandhi was a more epic performance, but there is little doubt than Kingsley’s superb performance as the hard skinned criminal ring-leader Don Logan is worthy of serious note, and enjoying it won’t require 4 hours of your time like Gandhi did.
Sexy Beast revolves around Gal Dove (played well by Ray Whitstone), a middle-aged retired criminal living a fat crocodile existence in a Spanish villa. But Don Logan has other plans; he wants to bring back Dove for one last operation, the mother of all bank heists. Sound familiar? Yeah, the plot has been done a million times. But Sexy Beast does it differently.
Gal Dove doesn’t go for it. He is very much enjoying his hard earned fat crocodile life without worrying about the cops, and tells Logan to screw off. But Logan doesn’t screw off, and instead harasses Gal in a rather extreme manner.
For a while the film doesn’t so much feel like a crime thriller as a physics lesson in Irresistible Force meets Unmovable Object. The crime story, once it gets going, is tight and the performances elevate the film from the rest of the pack huddled together in this well-worn genre.
Kingsley’s character as a tightly wound and short fused bad ass must be seen to be believed. As for direction, rookie Jonathan Glazer brings a background in music videos and advertising to bear in his debut, and he plays with a wide range of tricks.
But unlike the ritilin popping moron Guy Ritchie and other directors with similar resumes, Glazer doesn’t direct like he’s on speed, and is capable of holding a shot long enough to appreciate the complexities of the characters.
And this is a film with lots of complexities, despite the hard-boiled tradition of which it is a part. It is stylish and gripping and all the rest of the cliches, with a memorable Ben Kingsley holding up the tent.
Thinky says: Hunger strikes my ass, Ben, you were born to bust knee-caps.