Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Parallax View

A Seattle journalist is denied access to the Space Needle where a conference with the Senator is taking place when the guest of honor is murdered. As the government committee declares the assassination to be the work of a lone gunman, the journalist's ex-girlfriend/colleague visits him in terror of being murdered as other witnesses to the crime are being mysteriously eradicated. When she turns up dead a few days later, the brazen reporter launches his own investigation which leads him to the abstruse Parallax corporation and, which goes without saying, way over is head. Two years before creating his political thriller classic "All the President's Men" and during the Watergate scandal that provided the basis for that film, director Alan J. Pakula crafted another outstanding, paranoid yet not as successful film based on another landmark event in U.S. history. Using the JFK assassination and the Warren Commission as a springboard, "The Parallax View" brings terrifying believability to ludicrous scenarios. Filmed much in the same manner as "ATPM", Pakula uses slow burn tension and minute detail to concoct an absorbing story. Warren Beatty is brash and cheeky and absolutely perfect for his role as the hero/patsy. I personally do not subscribe to conspiracy theories but Pakula's film does an excellent job of showing how the puzzle pieces can be arranged to form an entirely different picture.