Oliver Weir’s review published on Letterboxd:
Minghella lays waste to middle Beckett. The makeup is too glittery; Rickman sounds like he's stuck in his own throat; and the centrality of the gaze is ruined by the distracting front-on/side-on/close-up shots, despite Beckett's unequivocal prescription that "They [w1, w2, m] face undeviatingly front throughout the play." But all this pales in comparison to Minghella's mistreatment of the play's fundamental photic element.
For reasons unknown (because too witless) the spotlight is ignored, once again despite Beckett's unambiguous note that the characters' speech be "provoked by a spotlight projected on faces alone," that "The transfer of light from one face to another is immediate," and that "The response to light is immediate." The vestiges of these instructions are quick camera cuts with accompanying zoom-in-zoom-out noises (neither of which is immediate or isolating), presumably to bring our attention to the fact that we are watching a film, and are thus in the midst of some highly interesting meta-textual web. In reality, however, the effect is as cheap as it is fatuous.
The deficiency is so peracute, in fact, that it immediately voids any discussion of the play's language; since w1's "Get off me," or m's "Just looking. At my face. On and off," or w2's curtailed chuckle are now entirely without their referents. Beckett's line from Watt, about a counter-colouring hat and coat, is perhaps the keenest review of adaptations in general, and of this mullock in particular: “So it is with time, that lightens what is dark, that darkens what is light.”