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Movie Review: The Guilty

STARRING: JAKE GYLLENHAAL, RILEY KEOUGH, ETHAN HAWKE, AND PAUL DANO

DIRECTOR: ANTOINE FUQUA

DATE: OCTOBER 1, 2021

Over the years, there have been many movie and television program remakes. Some of them are as good as the original, some exceeding expectations, and some are below par. The Guilty is an American crime thriller film directed and produced by Anthony Fuqua. It is a remake of the 2018 Danish movie, Den Skyldige, which translates to The Guilty, directed by Gustav Möller. The movie grabs the attention of the audience and holds it throughout its entirety.

The Guilty begins at a 911 call center where Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal), works the night shift. Joe is a character with many flaws who uses his inhaler more often because of the horrific smog in LA. Viewers soon realize that he has been involved in an unspecified controversy that got him demoted from an LAPD officer to a dispatcher through the phone calls he has with his detective partner and wife. Not only is his professional life in turmoil but his private life is on the brink of destruction as well as it is revealed that he and his wife are separated which is taking an immense toll on him because he can’t see his daughter. Because of these problems, Joe has anger issues which has him snapping at everyone around him unprovoked.

The pace of the movie picks up when a petrified woman, Emily Lighton (Riley Keough), calls 911, and Joe receives the call. Emily can’t explain her dilemma, so Joe leads her through a series of Yes and No questions to understand her predicament. He soon becomes extremely invested in her situation and vows to save her after speaking to her scared and confused 6-year-old daughter Abby (Christiana Montoya).

What makes this film so interesting is that it has a way of engaging viewers because it keeps them in an inferior position which creates curiosity for them wanting to know more. The characters are more knowledgeable about the predicament at hand because the audience can only see and perceive things from the point of view of the main character. For instance, during the 911 calls, the viewers could not see anything but only listen to the phone calls while observing Joe, therefore, only perceiving the situation through his mannerisms. The film has incredible voice performances which made the viewers feel the character’s emotions through their voices alone. Another interesting facet of The Guilty was how it tackled how the police make mistakes and allow emotions to overtake them which sometimes leads to bad decisions. This version of The Guilty is not as good as the original but it does serve up good entertainment.

Nicee Olayinkascott
Nicee Olayinkascott is a Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Lagos, Nigeria. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2021-2022 school year.

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