Film Review: The Guilty (Den Skyldige)

Gustav Möller’s The Guilty (Den Skyldige) is a very impressive directorial debut. The filmmaker makes the most of the confined setting, creating a taut thriller. 

Asger works in an emergency call centre, directing help to those in need. Asger is cynical about those he is supposed to help, until he receives a cryptic call. He faces a race against time if he is to help his caller…

The Guilty takes place within the confines of a small office, with all of the action taking place over phone calls. The initial premise is reminiscent of 2013’s The Call, although The Guilty is more Locke than this, in terms of quality phone-based movies. 

Möller presents viewers with a jaded protagonist. Asger has something upcoming, but the filmmaker holds this back, gradually leaking details as the narrative progresses. Möller sets up his lead character succinctly with his first few phone calls. Asger is developed in an authentic manner as he deals with the stressful situation. 

As the main narrative strand gets under way, The Guilty starts to build tension. This sense of unease is effective, especially considering the confines of the set up. There are frequent phone calls, but with different characters to keep the audience guessing. The central premise is a race against time, and protagonist’s limitations play into the tension. 

Möller’s twist is unpredictable, and carried out in a most effective manner. The director manages to inject genuine emotion into his thriller, in a way that is not at all jarring. After the reveal, it seems as if the film has little where to go. Nevertheless, it is concluded in a suitable fashion, with Asger’s own issues finally made clear. 

Jakob Cedergren delivers a most convincing performance. Given that he is mostly interacting with voices, Cedergren portrays the varying emotions in an empathetic and genuine manner. Lighting in the film makes the most of the confined space. The sound design is on point. 

The Guilty is a solid thriller which uses its limitations to its advantage. A tense thriller that is not without emotion.

The Guilty (Den Skyldidge) is being screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2018, and available in UK cinemas on 26th October 2018.

Film Review: Locke

Locke

Writer-director Steven Knight’s interesting concept Locke translates into a thoroughly absorbing film.

Ivan Locke is a successful construction manager. His life changes in a series of phone calls while he drives…

Steven Knight’s film is a fantastic product, given the constraints of filming time and budget. Locke is not completely original, and yet is is innovative with what it does. Given the premise, it is difficult to imagine a film such as this would grab the viewer’s attention. It does this incredibly effectively however, thanks to its fine execution.

The first third of Locke is preoccupied with the mystery of where the central character is going and why he needs to make these calls. The significance of the conversations is felt in the middle third. The final section is the most reflective.

The monologues Ivan has are what reveals the most about his character. He is a blank slate at the beginning of Locke, and by the end of the film the audience has a very clear idea of his life and personality simply on the basis of a car journey.

The script in the film is essential to the film’s success. Exposition is cleverly masked, with characters appearing natural from the conversations. One of the film’s strengths is the way it builds those who are not on screen into believable characters.

Music in Locke works well, functioning as a good accompaniment. Within the confines of the space, Knight retains the focus on his lead, generating a sense of tension.

Tom Hardy needs to deliver a strong performance to carry the film, and he does this ably. He receives good support from the vocal talents of Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman and Andrew Scott.

Locke is a fine example of an engrossing film with the simplest of set ups. Fresh and impressive viewing.

Stuff To Look At

Plenty of cinema-related stuff this week for your visual pleasure, including the latest Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Paddington

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster

Here is the latest Captain America: The Winter Soldier poster. What the hell happened to Carter Baizen from Gossip Girl? Sebastian Stan returns for the Captain America: The First Avenger sequel, although he is looking a little different. More of the film’s posters are available to view here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits UK screens on 26th March 2014.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Damn, Optimus Prime. Here is the latest trailer for Michael Bay’s upcoming blockbuster Transformers: Age of Extinction. Like most I’m sure, I am looking forward to the Dinobots. Transformers: Age of Extinction is released in the UK on 10th July 2014.

Muppets Most Wanted

It’s time to play the music. It’s almost time to light the lights… The Muppets return in sequel Muppets Most Wanted, and in the video above they are joking about it in musical form. Kermit and co return to the silver screen when Muppets Most Wanted hits UK cinemas on 28th March 2014.

Noah

Above is a motion poster for upcoming biblical epic Noah. I like the idea of motion posters, they should be utilised more often. Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, Noah is released in the UK on 4th April 2014.

Paddington

Ah this teaser trailer reveals everything and nothing. Based on the literary bear with a penchant for marmalade, Paddington will hopefully be a fun-filled adventure. The trailer does not feature Paddington speaking, but he is voiced by Colin Firth so is sure to sound like a marvellously English gentleman. Paddington is set for release on 28th November 2014.

The Other Woman

Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann show off their comedy chops in The Other Woman. They are joined by Kate Upton as three women being cheated on by the same guy. I think it is clear where this is heading. The Other Woman will be released in UK cinemas on 28th April 2014.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I am mostly interested in Rocket Raccoon, I’m not going to lie. A raccoon who is a superhero? Yes. Guardians of the Galaxy sees Marvel go all-out fantasy in their latest comic-book franchise. The blockbuster will be released on 1st August 2014.

Locke

I actually couldn’t tell what accent Tom Hardy was doing to begin with. It gets clearer. Locke has been receiving critical acclaim thus far. The trailer does not reveal too much, but it looks intriguing. Locke is released in UK cinemas on 18th April 2014.

Grace of Monaco

Nicole Kidman and Tim Roth star in biopic Grace of Monaco. Set in 1962, the film revolves around the period of Grace Kelly’s life when she is wishes to return to Hollywood, after her royal marriage and the birth of her children. Grace of Monaco hits UK screens on 6th June 2014.

Sabotage

SabotageWhen I read the title of this film, my first thought was Alfred Hitchcock. I don’t think this is a remake, but I could be wrong. Arnold Schwarzenegger heads the cast of action thriller Sabotage, which is set for release on 9th May 2014.