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The Guilty
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The Guilty

The Guilty

Filmed entirely within an emergency call center, Danish director Gustav Möller’s The Guilty (Den skyldige) is a claustrophobic thriller that finds fascinating ways to spiritually transcend its confines. Pretty much the whole film consists of phone exchanges between Asger Holm (Jakob Cedergren), a police officer who has been temporarily demoted to working the phones, and others out in the field as he struggles to save a woman who is being abducted by her ex-husband. Möller handles that solid premise with artful suspense: Asger initially has to keep the tearful, terrified victim, Iben, on the phone as long as he can, telling her to pretend she’s speaking to her young daughter on the other line. Meanwhile, he’s barking orders to emergency dispatch, to the highway police, even to his old partner, who appears to be drunk and off-duty.

Asger’s job is merely to answer emergency calls and route them to the proper channels, but he can’t help but secretly take charge of this investigation. He doesn’t know precisely where Iben is; just that she and her abductor are in a white van heading north on a major highway. He also doesn’t know the exact history between the woman and her ex; he’s hoping that by snooping into their lives, he might be able to figure out their ultimate destination.

Asger, we already know, is not a stickler for rules: His demotion is related to a recent incident about which he and his partner are to be questioned the next day. Gradually, we learn more about what happened — and begin to sense that Asger’s dedication to saving Iben might also be an attempt to redeem himself.

Duration: 85 min

Release:

IMDb: 7.9