Asger is a police officer positioned as an emergency dispatcher. The film focuses on one night that will change his life forever. For those who are not aware, this film is in Danish with English Subtitles.
As our film begins, we discover a couple of minor things. Asger has some type of past which distracts him during work. We quickly get to witness Asger as a person and see him handing emergency calls, maintaining professionalism and bringing resolutions and justice. But things get extremely tense when Asger receives a call from a woman who claims she is being kidnapped. Can Asger save her using his wits and the technology around him?
The Guilty is a taut film. One amusing aspect of this film is the audio track. Every time Asger gets a call, the Audience gets to hear everything, almost like we are listening in on his conversation. The level of detail in this audio track is extraordinary. During his phone calls we will even hear minor features like rain and windscreen wipers from a car etc. Most films I’ve seen in the past that try to do something similar to this have just given the audience a voice with no other effects. Here, we have everything ticked correctly in the Audio department, and the results are jaw-dropping impressive.
The plot and mystery are also praiseworthy. We have two scenarios in one- questions that revolve around the mystery of Asger’s past and the questions that surround the kidnapped woman. As Asger investigates the kidnapping situation further, he becomes more and more invested, wanting to solve her whereabouts and the exact reason for her life being in danger.
Our film is dialogue-heavy and carrying the film for a significant portion is the actor Jakob Cedergren who plays Asger. I enjoyed his character and admired how he wanted to resolve his problems as well the issues coming in from selected callers. He is a passionate character who is keen to gain both safety and justice. When silly calls come into Asger, he reacts differently and brushes them off. The changes in tone are expected, and Asger does change back and forth between conversations and calls very quickly. After all, no request is about the same problems as before.
From the beginning of the film, I found this all extremely enjoyable. As a bonus, we do have multiple twists which I was able to pick up due to the film’s script. I was slightly disappointed I could pick up the twists as I was hoping to be more surprised. In the end, I was still incredibly entertained despite any elements I found predictable. Specific details surrounding the Police protocols and rules could also be in question, but hey, I reminded myself- it’s just a movie.
Overall, considering there are not many actors on screen, The Guilty is a film I had a blast with. It’s very creative and tense, and it delivers the right amount of thrills that had me invested from the word go. While the film’s twist and endings were somewhat predictable, I still enjoyed seeing the results unfold. I also completely understand why Hollywood would decide to Americanise this film in the future, because it’s a darn good flick.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden