You're on two per cent, two and a half, maybe even three. Depends on the usual bumflufferies. It's not about the money with you and me is it, Gal? It's the charge, it's the bolt, it's the buzz, it's the sheer fuck off-ness of it all. Am I right?
Ray Winstone has always struck me as a particularly hard bastard. Features chiseled out of granite, big imposing figure and that broad cockney accent all combining to fashion a man you most definitely do not want to piss off. Still, people can mellow over time... take a gander at his role in Jonathan Glazer's SEXY BEAST. Here, Raymondo plays Gal; a retired criminal who departed from rain-sodden England to enjoy the fruits of his labours in Spain with his 'old lady' Dee Dee (Amanda Redman) and two friends, Jackie and Aitch. For a while, things go swimmingly as lazy hot days melt into barbecue nights with nothing more serious than tackling the next rib eye. Such a drastic change in lifestyle invariably has a rather profound effect: people get complacent and weak. Surely not our Ray, though? Surely you'd be safe putting every penny of your wedge on him rising to the occasion and crushing anyone who threatened to cast a shadow over his life on easy street? Well, you ain't met Don Logan yet! One night over dinner, Aitch whispers this simple combination of forename and surname, and things go v-e-r-y quiet. Just one phone call from London ("It was Don Logan"), and this quartet act like the end of the world is about to take place, with Gal suddenly looking like a broken man. The Bogeyman? As a matter of fact, it is, so let's meet Don and see if he lives up to all the pre-match hype.
Our first view of him sees a man walking quickly and in time, eyes looking straight ahead as he marches towards a waiting car to take him to Gal's villa; a journey of deathly silence. Upon arrival, Don announces "I'll have to change my shirt. It's sticking to me. I'm sweating like a cant", and proceeds to engage Gal in the one-to-one chat he was dreading. Turns out Teddie Bess (a suitably menacing Ian McShane) needs 8 men to do a London bank, and DL has been dispatched to drag Gal out of retirement. As Logan sets about persuading Gal to "Do the job", some of the audience will doubtless recognise Don from their own experiences. Seen him at the football ground, bouncer at your local club and then moving on to organised crime with a CV that would doubtless make for terrifying reading. While his verbal assault on Gal switches from comical to downright scary, the envelope is well and truly pushed (more like screwed up and launched) during a brutal attack on Gal in his own bed. Next day, with his mission seemingly ended in failure, Don departs for a flight to London, only to reappear following an airport encounter involving a cigarette and an allegation of sexual assault. Now, we really see Logan go into overdrive, subjecting Gal to a truly vicious tirade of abuse. This really is one savage bastard of a performance from Kingsley, installing him as one of the scariest figures in British Cinema. While Raymondo and McShane are both on the top of their game, Kingsley takes the honours here by a country mile, getting all the best lines and running with them in an orgy of expletives mixed with some very funny dialogue.
"What you think this is the wheel of fortune? You think you can make your dough and fuck off? Leave the table? Thanks Don, see you Don, off to sunny Spain now Don, fuck off Don. Lying in your pool like a fat blob laughing at me, you think I'm gonna have that? You really think I'm gonna have that, ya ponce. All right, I'll make it easy for you. God knows you're fucking trying. Are you gonna do the job? It's not a difficult question, are you gonna do the job, yes or no?"
I won't give the game away for those of you yet to see this film, but you'll love the final shot which had me in stitches, accompanied by a slight shiver. I first caught SEXY BEAST at London's National Film Theatre during a hot July evening (remember those?), and was immediately blown away by Kingsley's psychotic performance (anyone else lose a few quid when he lost out at The Oscars?). Ah, a villain in the truest sense of the term and although his character has inspired drunken impersonations in pubs and clubs all over England, I have to say the blokes a cant. End of.