Colin Farrell …. Stu Shepard
Kiefer Sutherland …. The Caller
Forest Whitaker …. Captain Ed Ramey
Despite being a 2002 production, I managed to see it on TV (by luck) only a couple of days back. I couldn’t even catch it from the very beginning, but starting at the moment Stu had begun to receive the very long mysterious thrilling call from The Caller. And that’s the most important part.
In short, this is a true one-of-a-kind thriller. You won’t watch movies occuring entirely at one location with just an actor, and another actor’s voice… everyday. The thriller is thrilling, and the anticipation to what’s next is intense. You’ll be left at the edge of your seat if you watch this even on TV.
The movie action occurs in a semi-busy street of New york city. Stu Shepard is a publicist who – as most of these – talks much, lies much, and is just not plain straight in his moves. He is married to a blonde whom he loves, and she does too. However, he periodically meets another brunette in a motel, and enjoys some good time. He talks to her from a phone booth in that street, because his wife checks his mobile phone bills every now and then.
Now while he was making a call in the phone booth, and after he hang up, he heard the phone rings. He answered to find an unpleasant party on the other end. It was an extreme moralist who thought Stu was very guilty. He accused Stu of cheating on his wife, and deceiving his clients. He ordered him to not hang up, or try to escape, or he’d kill him. How’d he? The Caller was in some window of a building ahead, carrying his sniper gun with laser targetting. The Caller wanted to hear Stu confesses all his guilts in public. Meanwhile, Stu was almost obligated to get out by some street whores, and their manager, and the police, but he never got out until the very end of the movie.
Colin Farrell is great as Stu. It’s amazing to watch his expressions change from indifferent, to calm, to nervous, to scared, to maniac throughout the call. Kiefer Sutherland is also overwhelming as the Caller. His calm, cold, scary voice is just.. scary. Forest Whitaker is very real as captain Ed.
The direction is great, at least enough to keep you at the edge of your seat. I think that’s enough for a thriller to be successful. There are some instances where the camera would wander aimlessly on the blocks windows, in an attempt to make you think where the Caller is hiding. These are good too.
And guess what?! There is a plot twist too. But I’m not gonna tell you about to not ruin it for you, though it’s pretty obvious at the end of the movie.
The music is subtle as all thriller music scores are. I can only define it as ‘blurry’ (if that term could be applied on sound too). It just gives you more and more thrill, because it has no specific start or end. Just Impressive.
More about Phone Booth in IMDB.