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Focus film reviewer, Patty Papageorgiou-Axford  reviews this thriller starring Halle Berry


There is a definite lull in the type of releases in that post-summer-blockbuster season, with a mixture of (dare I say it) mostly mediocre action, rom-com and drama films on show. Feeling more like fillers than anything else, they do serve as a brief respite from the sensory overload of the summer releases and ease us into the pre-Christmas season of more upbeat content and family films.

The Call arrives at the end of this ‘respite’ and is actually not all unremarkable. The story is rooted in the simple but very real concept of human error: Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) is a seasoned 911 call centre operator. She is calm, collected and focused, able to deal with her panicked callers efficiently and coherently until one day, an error in judgement costs a caller her life. After several months of uncertainty and guilt, Jordan picks up a distressed call from Casey, kidnapped and locked in the trunk of a moving car. Jordan is forced to fight her own self-doubt and once again tap in to her strengths to help the victim.

Shot in tight close ups and barely a handful of locations, the film succeeds in creating an appropriately claustrophobic sensation as Casey in the trunk and Jordan in her cubicle are connected by a phone line alone. For the majority of the duration, we are locked in to a tense exchange as the two women devise ways and find clues to lead the police on a manhunt. When the line is finally disconnected, we are left as much in the dark as the characters.

Disappointingly from here on The Call transitions into unexpected vigilante content that doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the film. A strange decision on the part of the film makers, as they have certainly delivered a decent thriller up to this point. However, it does have good performances and a good script going for it, so if you are dilly-dallying over the barrel-scrapings on offer at the moment, it’s worth a watch.

Review by Patty Papageorgiou-Axford

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