The Parallax View
(Alan J. Pakula, 1974)
Political conspiracy thriller that owes a ton to The Manchurian Candidate. It’s also a product of the turmoil and violence of the late 60s/early 70s which echoes the era’s mistrust and dissatisfaction of the American government.
Reporter Warren Beatty gets pulled into intrigue, murder and some of the most unpredictable and totally preposterous situations I can recall. Let’s just say there’s a brainwashing sequence that rivals Clockwork Orange‘s Ludivico Treatment, and just enough random explosions, drownings and shootings in famous locations to make you long for the freedom of 70s film and the awesome ridiculousness of it all.
Director Pakula knows how to create suspense and Beatty proves a perfect muse. Never been a huge Beatty fan, but he’s perfectly cast as a man over his head in danger. Perhaps I’ve underestimated him, but I’ve got to see more to be completely convinced of his talent or range. (And I don’t mean Bulworth.)
Parallax is a solid lead-in to Pakula’s next film — another conspiracy tale — the classic All the President’s Men. However, it’s also challenging, shocking and plenty of fun on its own.