‘Sexy Beast’ Proves Name From First Bite

“Sexy Beast” is a sexy beast.

At first glance, it appears alluring and expensive, but it’s actually quite fierce and a bit gruesome.But not because the previews look good and the content is bad.

Rather, it’s because the film attracts your attention. Once its jaws are clamped firmly down, it refuses to let go, barreling to the end full-pace, slobbering all the way.

And the film is full of other sexy beasts, from characters to subject matter to camera work.

It opens with the lead sexy beast, a retired gangster named Gal (Ray Winstone) sunning himself by his pool. Although he?s middle-aged, sweaty, overweight and scantily clad, the camera isn’t afraid to go in for a close-up of his crotch as he lumbers to his feet.He’s soon joined by his wife, DeeDee (Amanda Redman), and friends Aitch and Jackie (Cavan Kendall and Julianne White).

Like him, they actually look a little less sexy than they dress and bark a little braver than they dare bite.

A more dangerous beast named Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) disrupts their world, trying to entice and threaten Gal into becoming un-retired for one last job.

Don doesn’t shy away from doing what it takes to complete his missions, whether they entail insulting an ex-girlfriend, beating up Gal as he sleeps or falsely charging a couple of stewards of sexual harassment on an airplane.The gangster life is a sexy beast itself. Usually depicted as just sexy and dangerous, this film shows it as sexy, dangerous, messy and humorous.

In what other line of work would your boss purposefully urinate on your carpeted bathroom floor?

Just as the camera is there for the puddle of pee, it captures many other off-beat, unglamorous moments.

The camera is there, taking in DeeDee’s wrinkled and age-marked bare arms. It’s there, as Don snorts snot back up his large, greasy beaked nose.

It?s there, showing the creature that haunts Gal’s nightmares and day dreams: a grisly, oversized bunny-creature that appears to be some sort of rabbitish cross between Chewbacca of “Star Wars” and the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse from “Raising Arizona.”The other symbols of the film, such as the boulder that randomly falls into Gal’s pool at the beginning, also correspond to the film’s messy, humanistic portrayal of organized crime.

So does the editing of “Sexy Beast,” which includes a profuse number of jump cuts that temporarily make the viewer as confused as the main characters seem to be.

From the characters to the subject matter; from the camera work to the symbols to the editing, “Sexy Beast” includes many elements that fit together cohesively.

Together, these elements make the film humorous and intense; attractive and gruesome, a true “Sexy Beast.”

Copyright The Daily Tar Heel