This weekend we’re watching: A Manhunt That Distorts the Gender …
BECKETT (2021) John David Washington as Beckett and Boyd Holbrook as Tynan. Manager: Yannis Drakoulidis / NETFLIX
‘Beckett’ is an unconventional manhunt thriller coming to Netflix that replaces the action hero archetype with a normal dude. A case of the wrong place at the wrong time sets off a tourist’s frantic journey through Greece to escape a political conspiracy.
Beckett (John David Washington) is an American tourist vacationing in Greece with his girlfriend. Having left Athens to avoid political protests, the couple roam the countryside oblivious to the world, eyeing each other and taking photos of ancient ruins and misty peaks.
Anyone who has seen the trailer or even read the description of the film knows that it is a thriller and that the couple suffer a serious accident from the start, but director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino teases the audience, dragging it out. configuration.
The first 10 minutes are spent cultivating the couple’s romantic relationship – that’s pretty cute for a thriller. They are so adorable it just smells a bit.
âWe’re not supposed to be here,â Beckett’s girlfriend says happily. âI mean, nobody knows where we are, and it’s just the two of us. Figures in a landscape. She means it romantically, but we know it won’t be so romantic when they descend from a cliff into a dilapidated cabin in a few minutes.
When Beckett wakes up dazed in a Greek hospital, authorities don’t let him see his girlfriend, and a police officer insists the building they crashed into was uninhabited even though Beckett saw people inside . Things are finally starting to feel shady, but even now, 15 minutes into the movie, it’s just a subtle feeling. If it weren’t for the menacing thrill of the percussive score, you might not even realize that this was a thriller.
When Beckett returns to the scene of the accident, incredulous and full of guilt, a woman comes out of the bushes and, without warning or explanation, raises a gun and begins shooting him. Yep, it’s so hit and miss, and neither Becket nor the audience knows what’s going on.
Thus begins a frantic race for survival through the towns, cities and countryside of Greece. Pursued by strangers who attempt to kill him for no apparent reason, Beckett is caught in the midst of a growing political conspiracy that he doesn’t understand and doesn’t know who to trust.
How would you cope in a life and death situation? Anyone who’s been unlucky enough to have had to defend themselves or escape a violent abuser will likely tell you that it didn’t turn out like in the movies.
In the panic of the moment, the toughest guy in the room may forget all of his karate moves and fidget like a fish, or freeze completely, while a normal person’s survival instinct may allow him to do spectacular things to save yourself or others.
We love manhunt movies because they celebrate the strength of the human spirit by showing us what an individual is capable of when their life depends on it. The irony is that the public’s appetite for underdogs who do amazing things has led the genre to be saturated with overly capable protagonists (who aren’t good at showing the power of survival instincts because we expect that. that they win from the start). In The most dangerous game, the Jason bourne cinema, and The hunger Games, the main characters are respectively a world famous hunter, a trained super-soldier and an incredibly skilled archer. Of course, they will beat the bad guys who are after them.
In Beckett, Filomarino sought to break that mold. Beckett is inspired by the question: How does an ordinary man cope in an extreme situation like this?
âIn the great tradition of manhunt thrillers, there is always something exaggerated and fantastic about what goes on, and something superhuman about the ability and intelligence of the main character. In creating this story, I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if this archetypal hero was just an ordinary guy, âhe says.
The result is a compelling and exhilarating mess. Beckett’s efforts to evade authorities involve a lot of uncoordinated bundu-bashing and begging for help from exhausted Greeks. In his desperate attempt to cross the country to the American Embassy in Athens, Beckett calls in game hunters, beekeepers, traveling art students, political activists, and many other locals.
The luck and chance of his inelegant journey seem a modest and precise portrayal of real-world crises. Filomarino demands a degree of patience and attention to detail from its audiences that is not characteristic of action thrillers. The action itself doesn’t feel like a choreographed stunt show – it feels haphazard and almost improvised – and the unpredictability makes it all the more captivating.
Filomarino explains, âIt was important to keep track of the things such a character would go through: sweat, pain and fatigue, among others. “
There’s a point late in the movie, right in the middle of the climax, where Beckett is chased and tries to steal a woman’s motorcycle to escape. He fails dramatically. The woman pushes him away and walks away, and Beckett starts running for his life again. The moment seems to poke fun at the unachievable ingenuity of typical action movie characters who pull off stunts like this perfectly or hook up a car in seconds.
John David Washington always wanted to be an actor, but fearing that he could not replace his father Denzel Washington, he began his career as an American football player. He is a very capable man physically, so in view of Beckett, he stopped exercising and intentionally gained weight to make his exasperation and awkward struggle in the movie feel real. He’s done almost all of his own stunts, and he jokingly credits Krispy Kreme Donuts for the credibility of his performance.
Washington has made a name for itself in recent years, playing in BlackKkKlansman, Malcolm & Marie, and that of Christopher Nolan Principle. One of the common critiques of Principle was that the protagonist, the character of Washington, was one-dimensional and emotionless. We haven’t even given it a name; he is credited as “The Protagonist”.
Washington’s performance at the start of Beckett also lacks emotional reach, but it lights up as soon as chaos ensues, suggesting that the flat game of PrinciplePerhaps the protagonist of Nolan is due to the staging of Nolan.
The reason why Filomarino is probably going to get heat is Becketterratic rhythm. Some might find that the prolonged build-up gets them into suspense, but others will find it forgiving. The exhilarating action of the film is interrupted by long lulls. It seems these breaks were meant to give the audience a rest and make sure no one gets a heart attack, but inevitably there will be viewers who, having signed up for a thriller, get impatient and impatient. abandon ship.
Beckett includes proven ingredients. The ever-changing landscape of Greece creates a dramatic setting, fueling the feeling of perpetual travel. The plot, filled with confusion, espionage and political theater has excellent tension. But what will probably determine if you like Beckett is whether you are interested in an action thriller with a completely ordinary protagonist. DM / ML
Beckett releases worldwide on Netflix on August 13. Audio descriptions are available for this title.
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