Jonathan Glazer, 2000


Gal Dove (Ray Winstone) is back in business.


Gal is a retired gangster who is taking it easy under the Spanish sun until Don (Ben Kingsley) shakes him up.

Retired? Fuck off, you’re revolting.

Don wants Gal to accept a job for Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), Mister Black Magic. Don is a badass. Everyone fears him including Gal’s girlfriend Deedee (Amanda Redman) and their friends Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White). Don is the kind of guy who doesn’t take no for an answer. Gal and his friends eventually kills and bury Don under the swimming pool. Gal has no other choice but to go to London to finish the job. That’s the last one. He made a promise to Deedee.

Everything goes well. Teddy breaks the bank, cash the money. But he is no fool. He knows Don has disappeared and he wants answers. Gal doesn’t have much to say. He’s good, for now. He can fly back to Spain, without his share.

Gal is a happy camper. The sun is shining. He brought some earrings to Deedee. Life is good. Until the next job. There’s a demon rumbling under the swimming pool.


Sexy Beast is about will.

Gal is a gangster and there is no such thing as retirement when you’re in crime. Even if he lives far away from London, Gal still has it inside. Don is his demon who ousted the young angel Enrique (Álvaro Monje). As soon as Don lands, Enrique leaves. Don takes all the room so he can sit on Gal’s shoulder and whisper sweet words.

Talk to me, Gal. I’m here for you. I’m a good listener.

No one can kick Don out. No one can breath anymore. No one moves. You can’t think of anything else. Even if you try to make temptation’s ass sit on a plane, it will get back at you like a boomerang in the face. When you crave for chocolate or calamari, temptation never leaves you alone.

I won’t let you be happy. Why should I?

Temptation is violent in acts and in words. To definitely get rid of him, you need support. Gal, Deedy and Aitch are going to hit, kick and shoot to finally take him down. It’s difficult to stop smoking alone. Your friends can help you.

Better learn to live with your temptation buried in the ground because it will never totally disappear. Don stays somewhere deep down, waiting to get back to the surface.

Temptation is dark like Teddy Bass. If someone is truly scary, it’s him. Don is just a messenger. Teddy’s shirts are black. He kills with cold blood because he just doesn’t care. He’s a true nihilist.

If I cared, Gal, if I fucking cared…

He reads through Gal like an open book. He knows everything. No one gets rid of Don and above all, no one gets free from Teddy. When he wants something he gets it.

Where there’s a will – and there’s a will – there’s a way

He promised Gal he would pay him a visit in Spain. You may think that we’re always in control. That we can be stronger than our addiction. The truth is Teddy has the power. He decides when he needs us or when he wants us to get out of the car. We’re not in charge. When Cher sings that she’s strong enough to live without us, we all know she’s lying. She would not have done so much cosmetic surgery if she was that strong.

How deep can we bury our true nature? Can we be free? Is our will strong enough?


This publication reflects the views only of the author.




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