DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Man from Beirut

Blind hitman bonds with a young girl he was hired to kill, in this conventional neo-noir set in Berlin - live from the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

QUICK SNAP: LIVE FROM THE TALLINN BLACK NIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL

This German crime thriller may as well be described as a neo-noir. It has all the ingredients of the genre: a low budget (with no public funding), black and white footage, abundant interplay of light, numerous and murderous twists and even a blond femme fatale sporting a black wig. It’s an indie production targeted at a niche audience. It won’t make it big outside Germany.

Bulky and heavily bearded Momo (played by Kida Khodr Ramadan, who was indeed born in Beirut) is a skilled Lebanese hitman living in Berlin. He’s extremely nimble and accurate. Despite being sightless, he always kills his victims with surprising precision. One day, he is commissioned to murder three people inside a flat. He fatally shoots two adults, but does not manage to pull the trigger on a young girl called Junah (played by his very own daughter Dunya Ramadan).

Momo and Junah bond. He treats the child with a type of kindness and affection that he does not bestow upon adults. He does his utmost to evade both his associates (who wish to eliminate Junah) and the authorities. A blonde woman called Jessica is tasked with tracking down the missing child, and she is prepared to resort to very unorthodox procedures (including faking a motorbike accident) in order to achieve her goal.

There are various problems with The Man from Beirut. The script is disjointed. Many characters are entirely redundant (such as the two men in the car crash). Junah’s character isn’t credible: she is completely unfazed by successive deaths in front of her very eyes (quite unusual for a child). And her chemistry with Momo is rather lukewarm (despite the fact that the actor is her real father). The connection with Lebanon is also a little clumsy. Momo wants to escape to his home nation with Junah. His desire is illustrated by successive images of the Mediterranean country’s coast, including underwater wave shots. It feels a little random and unimaginative. Plus the violence in the very last sequence is excessive and gratuitous. All in all, a misfire.

Man from Beirut is showing in Competition at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.


By Victor Fraga - 25-11-2019

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More

Emilia Perez

Jacques Audiard
2024

Victor Fraga - 19-05-2024

Fiery trans gangster musical is fuelled by explosive Mexican soap opera devices; the outcome is guaranteed to blow you away - from the Official Competition of the 77th Cannes International Film Festival [Read More...]

Something Old Something New Something Borrowed (Algo Viejo, Algo Nuevo, Algo Prestado)

Hernán Rosselli
2024

Victor Fraga - 18-05-2024

The daughter of powerful sports betting lord investigates her father mysterious demise, in this at times inscrutable docufiction from Argentina - live from Cannes [Read More...]

The Girl with the Needle (Pigen Med Nalen)

Magnus von Horn
2024

Victor Fraga - 18-05-2024

A seamstress faces the terrifying consequences of becoming pregnant by her boss, while an underground adoption agent seeks to relocate babies - Danish fantasy horror with a shocking twist at the end is in the Official Competition of the 77th Festival de Cannes [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *