2020s

Soundtracks of Cinema: ‘Beckett’

Beckett Soundtrack

The Beckett soundtrack includes songs by Blood Orange, Jefferson Airplane and Sinead O’Connor. This info article contains spoilers for the 2021 Netflix movie. Visit the Soundtracks of Cinema section for more streaming guides. 

In Beckett, the titular American tourist (John David Washington) crashes his vehicle in Greece and accidentally becomes immersed in a conspiracy. The protagonist knows the basics of the political climate in Athens but doesn’t fully understand the bigger picture. From act to act, Washington’s character tries to sort through the chaos. The Beckett soundtrack features nine musical tracks, with some foreshadowing dark events and others celebrating Greek culture. Here’s every main song in Ferdinando Cito Filomarino’s Netflix thriller.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Born to Be” by Blood Orange (00:00:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Born to Be

During the opening credits, “Born to Be” creates a chill vibe for the Beckett soundtrack and sets up the first visual of the title character and his wife April (Alicia Vikander) in bed. The lyrics may not seem that impactful upon a first viewing, but they foreshadow a dark fate for one of the lead characters. For example, the Netflix movie begins with Dev Hynes of Blood Orange singing “My memories are blessed.”

Beckett Soundtrack: “Honey Moon” by Manolis Hiotis and Mary Linda (00:06:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Honey Moon

Performed by the Greek bouzouki soloist Manolis Hiotis, “Honey Moon” plays softly in a cafe scene as April reminds her husband that none of their friends know where they are. The song’s title hints at a memorable adventure in Northern Greece, with Beckett romantically stating that he’s experiencing a “love attack.” Unfortunately,  the couple’s evening goes horribly wrong.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Orlando” by Blood Orange (00:08:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Orlando

“Orlando” plays during a transitional sequence in Beckett. It begins during the tail end of the cafe scene and continues during a fateful late-night drive for the focal couple. Though the lyrics are mostly drowned out by a conversation about Greek food and coffee, the opening line about dreaming correlates with Beckett and April’s mood. “Orlando” fades out as the characters have a minor argument about their booking for that evening.

Beckett Soundtrack: “I’ll Be Around” by Otis Gayle (00:09:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - I'll Be Around

In Beckett, “I’ll Be Around” initially complements a phone call made by April. She learns that the daughter of their host will stay up for them, with the song title underscoring the moment. Much like “Born to Be,” though, “I’ll Be Around” foreshadows a tragic event and ultimately becomes associated with emotional trauma for Washington’s character.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Plastic Fantastic Lover” by Jefferson Airplane (00:12:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Plastic Fantastic Lover

“Plastic Fantastic Lover” sets in right after “I’ll Be Around,” with April now falling sleep. As for Beckett, he’s clearly fatigued yet continues driving as Marty Balin’s ode to his stereo system plays on the radio. In Beckett, “Plastic Fantastic Lover” begins just as the title character drinks from a plastic bottle. Moments later, he falls asleep and drives off the road, resulting in his lover’s death.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Aspra, Kokkina, Kitrina, Ble” by Lizeta Nikolaou (00:49:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Aspra, Kokkina, Kitrina, Ble

After Beckett shoots and escapes from the dirty police officer Xenakis (Panos Koronis), Majessy (Marc Marder) from the U.S. Embassy in Athens urges Washington’s character to turn himself in. “Aspra, Kokkina, Kitrina, Ble” can be heard during a diner sequence as the phone conversation briefly drowns out. The hasaposerviko song title translates to “White, Red, Yellow, Blue” and seems to be an ode to Greek pop culture.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Thessaloniki Mou” by Manola Hiotis (01:01:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Thessaloniki Mou

As Beckett tries to get to the U.S. Embassy in Athens, he’s told to purchase a ticket to Omonia Station. The usage of the song appears to be another nod to Greek pop culture, as it doesn’t align with the actual location of Washington’s character. Soon after, Beckett is knifed at Omonia Station. (Personal Note: This happened to myself in June 2012, albeit down the block from the train station in Omonia Square.)

Beckett Soundtrack: “Pain” by Ohio Players (01:15:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Pain

Moments after Beckett reveals that he’s from Ohio, the Ohio Players’ “Pain” can be heard during the protagonist’s car ride with Tynan (Boyd Holbrook) from the U.S. Embassy. Within a matter of seconds, Washington’s character discovers that he’s been tricked. In the moment, “Pain” reminds Beckett of his past and the recent tragedy involving his wife.

Beckett Soundtrack: “Vampire” by Sinead O’Connor (01:19:00)

Beckett Soundtrack and Songs on Netflix - Vampire

“Vampire” plays during an internet cafe sequence in Beckett. After Washington’s protagonist escapes from Tynan, he sets off to find the activists who previously gave him a ride (Vicky Krieps as Lena and Maria Votti as Eleni). “Vampire” tells the story of rastaman who’s tasked with catching a vampire — in Filomarino’s Netfix movie, Beckett squares off against figurative bloodsuckers, people who spin political narratives to their advantage.

Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.

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