The film industry is the most risk-averse industry in the world. Risk can be a good thing, but it’s often not worth taking for a low-budget project that has no chance of making back its budget.
Antoine Fuqua, the director and producer of “Training Day,” directs and produces Jake Gyllenhaal in the criminal thriller “The Guilty.” If the title seems familiar, it’s because the film is a faithful copy of the Danish original of the same name, which premiered to great acclaim in 2018.
The majority of the events revolve on Gyllenhaal and Christina Vidal’s characters; nevertheless, the film also features Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Peter Sarsgaard, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Paul Dano, among others.
On September 11, ‘The Guilty’ had its global debut at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, had a limited theatrical release on September 24, and is currently available to watch on Netflix as of October 1.
Jake plays Joe Baylor, a Los Angeles detective who has been demoted and sent to a police dispatch center, where he has been battling to fit in for the last month, if he has been trying at all. He’s trapped at a desk job instead of hunting down bad people, and it’s clear that he despises the headset duties. Joe is asthmatic, and when the audience first meets him, he is gasping for breath in the toilet, frantically sucking on his asthma inhaler after an episode. Joe’s attitude and arrogance while interacting with his coworkers, as well as the manner he handles calls that aren’t considered emergencies, reveal that he is always annoyed or even bored.
However, Fuqua’s remake of this masterpiece misses out on some of the original director’s delicacy, depth, and powerful silences. This new version, on the other hand, is more flexible in terms of time and manages to tell an exciting story, aided by Jake Gyllenhaal’s appealing screen presence.
Without ever turning the film into a commentary on police defunding, Fuqua and screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto performed an outstanding job of connecting the protagonist’s actions to common police errors. The truth is that this evening is Joe’s court appearance, ostensibly for errors he made on the job that led to his present predicament. What happened to this policeman on this tragic night exemplifies how cops often behave in a hasty and ineffective manner by allowing their emotions to take precedence over rationality. It also depicts a desperate guy seeking professional and personal redemption who finds the ideal chance and seizes it with both hands, whatever the consequences.
As previously said, Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Joe is outstanding. Many people aren’t shocked by this, as fans and reviewers alike know that the actor consistently delivers great performances in every job he takes on; the film “Night Crawler” is a prime example. Every shot of this film shows the celebrity giving his all. From the outset, he expertly portrays the tone of a shattered man. Though there is an emotional undertone of redemption shown by Joe in this remake that wasn’t there in the original, making it even better.
Joe’s emotional rage is exploited as he furiously taps on various phone buttons, staring at the screen of his computer with huge monitors flooded by raging wildfires as he tries to save the victims, particularly Emily, who has been kidnapped by her ex-husband while her eight-year-old daughter is at home alone. Joe recognizes the danger they are in and must inadvertently get information about both victims’ whereabouts in order to rescue them both.
Joe devotes all of his attention and efforts to this one case. Audiences realize he’s on some kind of atonement mission, making promises he won’t be able to fulfill since he’s not in complete control of the situation. As a result, this case raises all of his alarm bells, and rather than turning up the highly explosive case as per procedure, he chooses to solve the crime himself.
What follows is a tense phone-based cat and mouse chase, and it’s not long before it’s clear that Joe’s focused attention is more personal than professional in this instance. Joe is coping with his own family’s separation, and at one point, he even attempts to contact his daughter to just wish her a good night.
Aside from a few of coworkers at 911, emergency call center Joe is the main character in the film’s 90-minute runtime. Other voices on his headset play other roles, whether they’re from individuals reporting the crises or his coworkers and superiors responding to them.
There’s a reason Fuqua’s films are regarded as classics, and he lives up to his reputation in this film. Instead of using graphics or other aspects in the picture, the renowned filmmaker chose to place the whole weight of the film on Joe’s shoulders, knowing his star’s abilities. To ensure that this works with the editor, Jason Ballantine, Joe’s talks are filmed in continuous shots that keep the viewer interested.
Maz Makhani’s cinematography is extremely captivating. Allowing viewers to see Joe from a variety of perspectives. These views also include many close-ups of Gyllenhaal’s face and surroundings, which are used to depict his emotional well-being as he deals with the different crises and desperation as he races against the time to rescue people in need. The camera sometimes zooms in on things on Joe’s desk. The eerie music, written by Marcelo Zaryo, is perfectly placed throughout the film. When Joe frantically sucks on his inhaler as he wheezes during an asthma attack, the soundtrack truly makes the audience feel every breath.
‘The Guilty’ was shot in 11 days with a small team during the coronavirus epidemic. The film is a clear picture of a mental breakdown that turns out to be a great one-man show, with superb, thrilling manipulations and pumped-up emotionalism. It certainly gets the job done, much like the guy Gyllenhaal portrays in such a compelling and sympathetic way.