starring John David Washington, Alicia Vikander, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Filippos Ioannidis
screenplay by Kevin A. Rice
directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. It's obvious what Ferdinando Cito Filomarino is after with Beckett: a 1970s paranoia thriller in the Three Days of the Condor vein. And it's just as obvious that he misses the mark. Beckett isn't even a prestige knock-off version à la the Peter Hyams remake of Narrow Margin. Lots of reasons for its failure, chief among them that it doesn't have a point of view; landing somewhere in the junction between a "wrong man" thriller and a film about a truth-seeker finding more truth than he bargained for makes it all seem arbitrary. To be clear, not arbitrary in the sense that what's happening to our heroes is meaningless (a capricious universe is the fodder, after all, for great paranoia)--arbitrary in the sense that the film itself has no real reason for being, and that's a hurdle very little art can overcome. It's a hurdle that not even great cinematography (by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom) and a Ryuichi Sakamoto score can ameliorate. Instead, they underscore how top-heavy it all is. Great cast, too, scenic locales--everything top of the line. But there's nothing mooring it to relevance, despite all its arched-eyebrow pipe-smoking about the state of Greece and American interventionism.