“The Call, which opened Friday, follows Jordan, played by Halle Berry, a 911 telephone operator as she fights to rescue a teenage girl, played by Abigail Breslin, from her kidnapper.
Although the movie appears to be nothing more than an intense phone conversation, it delivers suspenseful moments that are worth the trip to the theater.
The movie offers a different perspective to a crisis situation as it delves into the feelings, fears and stress of the people behind the phones who most people never think about. Through Jordans perspective, the audience is taken on an emotional journey to rescue a young girl. This adds another layer to the suspense in the movie as the audience contemplates what they would do in the same situation.
In addition, Berry brought true depth to the character of the everyday operator. Her performance evoked fear, guilt and urgency as she struggles with her personal demons in the film. As she comes to worry for Caseys life, so does the audience, making her role relatable.
Breslin also delivered a realistic performance. Even though she was trapped in a car most of the time, she is able to convince the audience that she is close to death at any given moment and portrayed believable desperation to survive.
However, some characteristics of The Call take away from its suspense and make it a mockery of thriller films.
Hair stylist Jose Zamora, who has worked on Bridesmaids and Easy A downgraded when he chose Berrys wig for this film. It was big, curly and looked unnatural to the point where it became a distraction from the action of the plot. Often, Berrys wig seemed only seconds away from jumping off of Berrys head in a unique plot twist that even M. Night Shyamalan wouldnt think of.
Some of the plot, written by Richard DOvidio (Thirteen Ghosts) , was too far-fetched to be considered authentic. When Jordan attempts to rescue Casey from her kidnapper, she drives all the way to the middle of nowhere and magically stumbles upon clues that help in the rescue. The premise that an everyday operator would go to such lengths such as driving out that far, conducting investigation of her own and risking her life for only one of her millions of 911 calls is hard to swallow, even in a thriller.
Despite these flaws, director Brad Anderson achieves what a thriller is supposed to do: entertain and keep the audience guessing until the end. It makes up for its faults by giving two main characters that the audience can relate to and hope for. Overall, we give this film 3 out 5 paws.