One call changes everything in Netflix’s “The Guilty.” Director Antoine Fuqua’s thriller follows a police officer turned call center operator whose shift turns into a nightmare. The real-time narrative slowly reveals its secrets in an overtly claustrophobic office setting. This project also reunites the filmmaker with actor Jake Gyllenhaal; the pair last worked together on the boxing drama “Southpaw.”
‘Guilty’ begins with the stress of an approaching forest fire and ratchets up the tension from there. A call seems innocent enough but its true intentions begin to unravel. Ensuring the action plays out from one central point of view offers Fuqua a chance to disturb audience expectations. He expertly controls the narrative and gives Gyllenhaal room to flesh out character motivations. The actor is tasked with a challenging role that centers on his every move and reaction.
Ethan Hawke, Paul Dano, and Peter Sarsgaard all lend their voices to the project as callers. Their contributions complicate the mystery while keeping the drama squarely on a beleaguered public servant. Riley Keough, Christina Vidal Mitchell, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and David Castañeda also star.
Nic Pizzolatto’s screenplay closely follows the film’s Danish counterpart “Den Skyldige.” The “True Detective” creator and writer adds his perspective to the drama while keeping much of what makes the original film work. He’s also sharing credit on the project with ‘Skyldige’ screenwriters Emil Nygaard Albertsen and Gustav Möller, both of whom created the original Danish screenplay.
The film’s official synopsis:
“The film takes place over the course of a single morning in a 911 dispatch call center. Call operator Joe Baylor (Gyllenhaal) tries to save a caller in grave danger—but he soon discovers that nothing is as it seems, and facing the truth is the only way out.”
A call for help leads to much more in Antoine Fuqua’s “The Guilty.” The film premieres on October 1 on Netflix. Watch the final trailer below.