THE CALL

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES -

Stars: Halle Berry, Abi­gail Bres­lin, Michael Ek­lund, Mor­ris Ch­est­nut, Michael Im­pe­ri­oli Di­rec­tor: Brad An­der­son (

HERE we have a good ex­am­ple of get­ting a lit­tle some­thing out of a whole lot of noth­ing. In Halle Berry plays a 911 emer­gency helpline op­er­a­tor. Peo­ple con­tact her in a high state of dis­tress and she does her best to talk them down.

An as­pir­ing se­rial killer has just ab­ducted an­other vic­tim. He crept up be­hind her in a shop­ping cen­tre, waved some chlo­ro­form un­der her nose and then bun­dled her into the boot of his car.

Now he’s speed­ing un­de­tected to­wards his house- of- hor­rors HQ. ( It isn’t the fi lm­mak­ers’ fault, but ele­ments of do bring to mind those poor women re­cently freed from cap­tiv­ity in sub­ur­ban Cleve­land.)

The only hope of es­cape for the kid­nappee ( Abi­gail Bres­lin) is a mo­bile phone still in her pos­ses­sion.

As luck would have it, there’s just enough juice in the bat­tery to not only dial 911, where Berry is ready to com­mence a round­about res­cue mis­sion, but also leave the line open for the hours of or­deal to fol­low.

And that, right there, is the whole movie, peo­ple.

A not- quite- bound- nor- gagged Bres­lin gets all ter­rifi ed on one end of the line. Berry gets all wor­ried at the other.

To break the monotony, Mis­ter Kid­nap­per who, err, has is­sues with mem­bers of the op­po­site sex that re­sem­ble his late sis­ter will stop the car, pop the trunk, and men­ace his pet­rifi ed pas­sen­ger.

It takes some panache to thread to­gether ma­te­rial as tatty as this, but is blessed with the right mix of tal­ent to just about get away with it.

Film­maker Brad An­der­son has di­rec­to­rial pri­ors on high- end TV fare like and

So when your but­tons need to be pressed, this guy knows ex­actly when the time is right.

Bres­lin does well also, con­sid­er­ing no- one has been forced to work in so small a space since that Ryan Reynolds movie set en­tirely in­side a coffi n.

The ma­jor plau­dits, how­ever, go to Halle Berry for hu­man­is­ing pro­ceed­ings when ev­ery­thing could have got too cyn­i­cally clin­i­cal. When you con­sider she spends most of the movie emot­ing into her head­set at a com­puter screen, hers is a fi ne an­chor­ing ef­fort in­deed.

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