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“The Guilty.” Jake Gyllenhaal has given his filming assignments to the first films to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, “End of Watch,” “Enemy,” Nightcrawlers, “Demolition “and” Stronger “among them. , “director Antoine Fuqua’s revved-up but a tight-wound adaptation of the 2018 Danish film by Gustav Möller, which premiered at TIFF on Friday. The Guilty.
Sure, there are some really good supporting actors who look beyond sound, but this Netflix film is a thrill that takes place entirely in two chambers, and most of the time Gyllenhaal is the only person on the screen. If it’s insulting and urgent and suspicious, which, of course, is because it’s all in the character’s face and in his voice. The Guilty.
The Guilty: Movie Review
“The Guilty.” The same is true of Möller’s film, though it does have a degree of brilliance and stellar power. The low-budget startup, which received raves such as the Oscar Danish submission and remained on the shortlist but was not selected, cost less than $ 600,000 and had a malicious intent; Fuqua’s style is a relatively high technology, and it changes the ending in a way that you can say more Hollywood.
But it sounds the same: The more or less real-time race of 911 sender to find out what happened to a frightened woman making a phone call in a car where she was caught unawares.
Of course, this would not be just another 911 operator on a normal day – instead, an LAPD officer deployed while on duty while awaiting trial for a shooting that killed a 19-year-old suspect. And it happened on a day when wildfires were spreading in southern California, engulfing the city with smoke and raising tensions.
Joe Baylor of Gyllenhaal has a hot, nagging headache (he tells a caller looking for an ambulance after a bicycle accident, “Drive an Uber and don’t ride a bike drunk, pit!”) And it’s very clear; when a character later said “I have blood on my hands!” you probably are talking about Joe and maybe most of the other people in The Guilty movie.
Joe’s day begins as a series of annoying little things and annoying phone calls, Paul Dano makes a point (on the other side of the phone) as an important businessman who does not want to admit being robbed by a prostitute. But things change when she receives a call from a distressed woman named Emily (Riley Keough). At first, Joe thinks he’s drunk until he realizes he’s pretending to talk to his daughter because the man took her for granted and drove her east on the 10 freeway.
From there, Emily’s case becomes Joe’s wish. He finds the LAPD and the California Highway Patrol involved, ends up on the phone with Emily’s six-year-old daughter, and desperately tries to connect the threads of the most puzzling and confusing case with all the new details.
It would not be right to give more details than that; the important thing is that we only know what Joe knows and we only see and hear what he does. Apart from opening and closing the gun that goes all over Los Angeles, and the short lamp, outside the focus of the main street Joe asked for, never leaves the rooms where Joe is placed: a high-tech, high-rise room with 911 operator channels, an outdoor passage and a second room, small they return to it when things are very urgent and want to handle it himself. (Joe, you may have noticed by now, doesn’t play well with others.) The Guilty.
“Broken people save broken people,” said one character once – the question is, can this broken person save other people with him? And can he do it alone, in 90 minutes, on the phone?
One of the highlights of the original film is that life-saving decisions are made in the worst, lowest rooms, and this new version does not have the grungy claustrophobia of this setting. Still, the LAPD buildings create a beautiful platform for despair, and filmmaker Maz Makhani unveils a combination of bright screens and dark shadows around Gyllenhaal. The small room is cinematic in particular, straight blinds mean that small light bands are thrown on the players’ faces.
Voices on the other side of the phone included Keough, Dano, Ethan Hawke, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Peter Sarsgaard, among others, and they all did a great job. But this is the movie Gyllenhaal has to carry, and her failure behind popular and terrifying characters makes her choose to do it, and she’s sure we don’t lose sight of the burden that Joe is carrying. (The movie is not called “The Guilty” in vain.)
Yes, you can ask us about Fuqua’s decision and screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto to set up a film on the day of the wildfire outbreak; the stakes are already high enough when Emily calls and playing it on the worst day just makes you wonder why Joe stopped getting those other calls. And you can talk about the details of the police actions and how well Joe can hear everything that is going on around the people who are calling.
But Fuqua, like Möller before him, doesn’t give you time to sit down and think about it. “The Guilty” resides in one place but walks like a flick of serious, efficient action; it’s a fun ride in an office chair. The Guilty.
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