I had a chance to watch Netflix’s The Guilty, and I wanted to share my thoughts. Before we get started, check out the following trailer if you haven’t seen it already.
A police officer demoted to a 911 dispatch operator, Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal), is at his wit’s end after receiving a call from a woman who’s been kidnapped. Throughout the course of his day, he tries to save the caller and finds out that there’s much more to her story.
I’ve been one to argue the point that really good thrillers, regardless of the medium (novels, films, or series), don’t complicate the uncomplicated. They introduce the characters, highlight the objective, and properly pace the story in a way that keeps the viewer’s attention from start to finish.
The Guilty, in my subjective opinion, did this very well.
For those who don’t know, this film is an American remake of the Danish The Guilty, written and directed by Gustav Möller. It features a superb performance by Jake Gyllenhaal, who carries the plot squarely on his shoulders, and restrictive cinematography that never loses your interest. Not to mention the contrasting story arcs that blend smoothly with each other.
The main reason why I found this film so enjoyable is that it is a contained thriller: a restrained story that has only a few characters and one/two locations. These types of movies, I would assume, are easier to produce but much harder to win over an audience. So more pressure is put on the writing, delivery of the central character, and the rhythm of the plot. The cinematography may season the overall product, but it won’t hold as much weight as the story because of the limited viewpoints.
Fuqua’s The Guilty kept me hooked and invested to the point where I don’t have any complaints.
Grade of A
Until Next Time…
Photo Credit: USA Today
How To Write A Contained Film. Creative Screenwriting. (2020, October 12). Retrieved November 25, 2021, from https://www.creativescreenwriting.com/how-to-write-a-contained-film/.