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Sexy Beast: Review

Updated on May 27, 2015
Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone
Sexy Beast starring Ray Winstone | Source

This is a fabulous classic film - but it might not be for everyone.Or is it?

This excellent film is a definite cult classic. But I have to say that straight away that it isn't for everyone. This is a British film concerning underworld characters so you don't need much imagination to realise that there's a certain amount of 'language' involved and the subject matter is not for the faint-hearted. But it's known today as a cult classic and deservedly so. However, now I've got that out of the way...

Ben Kingsley as you've never seen him before

Kingsley has received so many awards and accolades for his work, including being knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and arguably his most famous role was as Gandhi. In Sexy Beast you'll see him in a very different role. This really is a most excellent film and now ranks as a classic. The critics got it right this time.

One of the acknowledged greatest British films

There are many experts who consider this film to be one of the greats and I agree with them. It received several Oscar nominations and a huge number of awards from film festivals, critics and entertainment bodies. So what is the film about?

Ray Winstone - another fabulous British actor - portrays an ex London gangster, now retired to Spain. He and his wife, previously an 'actress' in a certain genre of naughty movies, live quietly and are law abiding. But he has skills that are required by a London gang and Kingsley portrays the fixer who travels to Spain to recruit him.

So, you don't like gangster movies?

Neither do I usually to be honest. But this is no run-of-the-mill sex-and-violence film. It has a wonderful plot, that's for sure, but despite the somewhat violent storyline, it's also incredibly funny. Rounding out the cast are two other well-respected British actors, Ian McShane and James Fox.

I highly recommend this film - please see the video below to see if it's right for you; note that this is suitable for adults and NOT family viewing. But if you like a good gangster movie - with humour - you'll love this.

This film is already a cult classic.Be delighted. Be shocked. Be fascinated.

Video clips

If you've seen Ben Kingsley in Gandhi then you'll love watching him in this scene. It shows his amazing versatility and acting skills. He is leaving Spain and is all ready in his seat on the aircraft which is waiting to take off.

There's a problem though, the Ben Kingsley character (Logan) is smoking a cigarette. After an argument with the cabin crew, he leaves the plane and is detained in custody.

See how he solves the problem. I just love it. Very funny indeed and this scene received great critical acclaim,as did the entire movie.

You can also see the trailer. As is often the case with many British films, I'm issuing a profanity alert for both clips. But critics agree, the plot and the quality of acting are superb.

Ray Winstone

Winstone is a brilliant actor and well-respected (have you seen his Henry VIII?) And he's very funny indeed.

Below he tells about his first meeting with Ben Kingsley which took place on the set of the film..

Gandhi [Blu-ray]
Gandhi [Blu-ray]

I don't know about you but I can't think of two characters that differ more than Gandhi and psychopathic London gangster.

Yet Ben Kingsley is completely brilliant in both parts.Kingsley is the son of an Indian doctor and he was born in Yorkshire.

 

Amanda Redman. Important and interesting side note

The fabulous actress Amanda Redman plays DeeDee in this film, the wife of the Ray Winstone character. As we were watching this amazing movie, I noticed that she had scars on her upper arm.

I imagined that the story behind these scars would be revealed in the movie. After all, she had worked in a pretty dodgy business - it's quite likely that with her background and contacts that she would have been injured somewhere along the line. Then there were the people her husband knew. It was bound to be revealed, I thought.

The scars looked like some sort of burn - had she been the victim of an acid attack?

Strangely, the reason for her scars was never revealed in the film. I thought this was some sort of continuity error. Had scenes been cut from the original? I was wrong.

I only realised the truth recently. Amanda Redman really does have these scars. They are real. When she was a toddler she was very severely injured when she pulled a huge pot of boiling soup all over her body.

She was so badly hurt that the hospital declared her dead. However, she says now that her life was saved by the work of the reconstructive work at the burns unit which was pioneered by Archibald McIndoe to help airmen who had been badly injured in the Second World War.

I make no apology for introducing this subject - which may appear to be slightly off topic. That's because the McIndoe Foundation still continues its work and is funded by donations.

Learn more and, if you wish, donate.

© 2014 Jackie Jackson

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    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CampingmanNW: Isn't it great? In fairness to readers, I have to say that I recall the c-word too.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Colin323: Very true about the Title, Colin. And Ben Kingsley really is playing a terrifying character. I can't imagine any other actor in that role.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Sir Daniel UK: Did you see Ray Winstone's Henry the Eighth? That was incredible too.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Mary Crowther: The humour doesn't really come across in the trailer. There's a great scene where Ben Kingsley light up a cigarette on a plane and refuses to put it out. He gets arrested and the way he deals with it is excellent. It really shows off his talents!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @marsha32: Thank you!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @esmonaco: Beware of the bad language :)

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 

      4 years ago

      If you like Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane, then this is a movie for you. A pretty basic movie premise but a hilarious story of retired criminals who come out of retirement one last time for that one last heist. Warning, there is a lot of the use of the 'F' word, but the movie is well worth the watch. Thanks for sharing this one, I had forgotten how good it was.

    • profile image

      Colin323 

      4 years ago

      Yes, great film with an ironic title. Ben Kingsley is incredible in this - the menace he exudes is terrifying.

    • Sir Daniel UK profile image

      Danny Gibson 

      4 years ago from Northampton

      Oh yes, British film making at its best here.Americans might be familiar with Ray Winstone from Scorsese's 2006 epic 'The Departed', although Winstone's attempt at an American accent went horribly wrong in that movie for some reason. His acting though, powerful as always, as was everybody else's.Reliable review of a very good and original British film.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      4 years ago from Havre de Grace

      The trailer looks great, will have to look for this one!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Great review. Now I am intrigued.

    • profile image

      marsha32 

      4 years ago

      you do make it sound intriguing

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      4 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I've heard of this but have never watched it I'll have to give a try as I do like Ben Kingsley. Thanks :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Merrci: He is absolutely brilliant in this one. So different to other parts he's played.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Hadn't heard of this one, but after your review, I'll have to check it out. Kingsley is always a pleasure to watch.

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