The Guilty

The Guilty ★★★★½

I found The Guilty more or less randomly on Netflix today and given Gyllenhaal in the lead and Fuqua directing I made a split-second decision to watch it and, damn, was I in the right mood for it.

Ever since Phone Booth and Locke I've been fascinated by what a presumably simple concept of a film involving phone calls and one primary location can accomplish if the mood and characters feel genuine and if you allow yourself to get sucked into their world and what they're experiencing in what feels like real-time and I love how The Guilty matches those films' energy and surpasses it even, I'd say, by making the story more thriller-oriented.

The voice cast playing off of Gyllenhaal is phenomenal and his switch from taking his 911 operator shift as a punishment he has to sit through right down to him receiving the one phone call that changes his whole demeanor and conviction is stunning to watch. Fuqua milks every bit of cinematic framing and lighting out of his set-up in a 911 operator pool/command center and keeps you glued to the screen as the central abduction story unfolds.

I wish I had seen this in the cinema but I was lucky to have its spell grab me as distinctly as it did when viewing the film at home just now.

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