Contemporary World Cinema | 2018 | 85 minutes
SIFF Says:Asger (Jakob Cedergren) is a former street cop relegated to dispatch duty for reasons murky throughout the film yet not unrelated to his personal psyche. While passively answering the routine call center riff-raff, he’s strung to attention by a call from a woman evidently kidnapped by her volatile ex-husband with two children left alone. Asger works against the clock as he pieces together what happened and tries to determine the woman’s location with cryptic information, and with a reputation for acting on impulse and piercing boundaries, the slightest mistake could be catastrophic. Set almost exclusively in one room, the film’s insistence on the power of voice is emboldened through caller Iben (Jessica Dinnage), who is never seen but still gives an impactful, chillingly reverberant performance. Without the typical violence or turbulent car chases of its crime thriller counterparts, instead relying on Cedergen’s performance done almost entirely through close-ups, THE GUILTY demands attention with crisp, building tension that puts the audience’s imagination to work. Remember your calm breathing techniques for this one, a resounding and tightly wound feature debut from Gustav Möller.
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