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Beckett Is A Genuine Edge Of The Seat Thriller





Starring  John David Washington ,Boyd Holbrook, Vicky Krieps, Alicia Vikander

Directed  by  Ferdinando Cito Filomarino

Rating: ***

In the opening sequence we see the hero Beckett  and beloved in  bed. In the  closing  scene  Beckett says he  should have been dead. Between these two  moments  bracketing  Beckett’s  mis-adventures  in scenic Greece there is murder death  and  dread.

 Do you remember those thrillers  in  the past when  you were left literally  perched at  the edge of  your seat? I haven’t seen this level of survival  instincts  being applied  in  any recent film. What beckons  you to Beckett is the  Everyman  quality  of the hero. This time John  David Washington(for those  who came in late , he is the legendary  Denzel Washington’s son) plays no super-hero . He is  a normal average  joe who falls asleep on the wheel ,gets beaten  up by the baddies, and just wants to return  home after  a ghastly tragedy.

 But the Greek goons   just won’t let him return to America. Beckett’s escape  attempts are the narrative’s  master-plan. They  got me so involved that at times I held my breath as  the villains , largely a hulky English-speaking  Greek cop(Panos  Koronis) closed  in on  Beckett(don’t think  Richard  Burton or Peter O’Toole). The train and subway chase sequences are specially riveting.More Harrison  Ford than  Keanu Reeves.

The  narrative is  brisk and largely breathless. Cinematographer  Sayombhu Mukdeeprom is  not interested  in offering us a guided tour  of Greece. The backdrop serves only as the impetus  to  generate  a kind of  nerve wracking suspense  scarcely seen in contemporary chase  thrillers.  Japanese  genius composer  Ryuichi Sakamoto’s minimalist background is    sparingly used.

 There is a likeable  restrain to the  storytelling. Not exactly a  less-is-more attitude. But this is  assuredly a  thriller with  the  guts to rein-in its enthusiasm. What  I also liked was the  kindness of strangers  who  risk their own  lives to save  Beckett. However the  film’s garbled politics which involves a kidnapped  child and  a conspiracy to  overthrow  the  government , left me  cold and confused.

Some of  the dialogues are  grossly stilted , as though the  actors  mouthing those  lines are not sure of what they’re saying. The  prologue where Washington mumbles sweet-nothings into gf Alicia  Vikander’s ears   are  annoying because  only they know what  the  conversation is  all about.I saw more chemistry between Washington and a  kindly activist who helps him on the way.And Boyd Holbrook(of Narcos) as  a staffer at the  American  embassy,  has the most imbecilic  two-faced role in recent memory.

The audiences’ involvement  begins only when the  suspense kicks in. It dies with the  suspense. The heart-in-the-mouth  chase sequences are  the heart  of the plot. In this case the lethal uncertainties of the   journey are most  certainly more potent than the  destination.

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