A story about a troubled boy growing up in England, set in 1983. He comes across a few skinheads on his way home from school, after a fight. They become his new best friends even like family. Based on experiences of director Shane Meadows.
Gal, Deedee, Aitch and Jackie, having left behind respective lives of ill-repute, bask in the sun of Spain and in the most essential brand of leisure. A hazy yarn of barbecues, beer and botched hunting expeditions make up their retirements, until a sudden and unforeseen disruption emerges from their past. Enter the childishly violent and hilariously edgy Don Logan. Through a series of side-splitting negotiations and irrevocable acts, retired crook Gal is forced to shake off the rust and accept one last mission, put forth by the menacing Logan, his ex-mentor. A heist of legendary proportion and personal implications, this job should make for one hell of an encore. Written by
Ben Kingsley described playing Don as venting all the anger and tension he had in him, and then he'd be meek as a baby the rest of the day. See more »
When the rock rolls down the hill and almost hits Gal, we see it passing at his right side. But when the rock falls in the pool, it's clearly at his left side. See more »
[Gal is sunbathing by poolside]
Oh, yeah. Bloody hell. I'm sweating in here. Roasting. Boiling. Baking. Sweltering. It's like a sauna. Furnace. You can fry an egg on my stomach. Ohh, who wouldn't lap this up? It's ridiculous. Tremendous. Fantastic. Fan-dabby-dozy-tastic.
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To put it simply: I love this movie! I've really been looking forward to this movie, mostly because of Kingsley's acclaimed performance. And he is indeed brilliant in the role of the brash, uninhibited, shamelessly ruthless Don Logan--a role that should go down in history. I haven't seen Jim Broadbent's performance in "Iris," so I can't technically say if Kingsley deserved the Oscar over him, but I'm glad he got nominated, because it would be an abomination if he didn't. Kingsley is absolutely terrifying, not showing a bit of remorse. And it's a real joy to see the man who's famous for playing the well-known pacifist Gandhi take on a role which requires him to spout the "f" word 500 times in one whole minute. OK, I may have been exaggerating there, but believe me...there are scenes in this movie that make "Pulp Fiction" look like a G-rated Disney feature. Let's just say I've never heard the "f" word used so many times, at such a lightning-fast pace. Kingsley has some memorable moments, including one where he gets in trouble for smoking on a plane, and cops an alibi involving the male flight attendants sexually abusing him. As cruel as he is, I found myself laughing hysterically at Don. As Kingsley said himself, Don is the type of character who says the kind of things that are on most people's minds, but they're too afraid to let it out.
Though Kinglsey steals the film, Ray Winstone is the star and he's also great. I haven't seen a great many English films, so I don't remember seeing him before, but now I hope to see him in more films. And I was impressed to find out the movie was made by a first-time director. Jonathan Glazer did a terrific job, creating a gloriously frenetic pace. The running time is a succinct 85 minutes, and the film never takes a breath. It always captures you with in-your-face images. Glazer's sense of style is amazing. Not to mention the soundtrack is excellent. It's a nice irony: how this dark comedy ends to the tune of Dean Martin's "Sway."
On my first viewing, it took time for me to get accustomed to the cockney accents, but after approximately 30 minutes I was able to decipher most of the dialogue--and the film has some great, memorable dialogue! It's not like with "Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels" where I can watch it 100 times and still need subtitles. Not to mention "Sexy Beast" is a much more entertaining film.
All I can say is don't expect an intricate plot, with many twists and turns. The plot is all pretty simple: Retired gangster lounges around his beautiful house in Spain, then gets persuaded into doing one last heist. I'm sure that sounds very familiar. But the beauty is in its simplicity. And the film isn't in any way pretentious. It is what it is--and what it is is a smart, energetic, entertaining, hilarious, extremely well-acted dark comedy.
My score: 8 (out of 10)
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