“The Guilty,” a Netflix film directed by Antoine Fuqua, was released on Sept. 24. The emotional and suspenseful film is no. 6 in the U.S. today.
An intense introduction of 911 calls and scenes of wildfires sets the tone for this film. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Joe Baylor, a troubled Los Angeles police officer who is working as a 911 operator. It seems to be a one-man film because the audience’s view is focused on Baylor at the call center.
It took time to get into the drama and suspense, but, at that point, the film took a wild turn. Baylor receives a call from a distressed woman named Emily who was abducted. Each time Emily calls, Baylor tries to get her to disclose her location and the direction she is headed, but she cannot give him this information. She fears for her life.
Gyllenhaal shows an incredible range of emotions, from anger to sadness, throughout the whole film. I believe that his ability to transition from each emotion seamlessly makes the film.
When Emily’s six-year-old daughter calls Baylor, his emotions intensify and he promises the young girl that her mother will return home. After this, the need to find Emily becomes a necessity because Baylor would do anything for his daughter.
Baylor is adamant with the officers to search Emily’s and Henry’s homes. Henry is Emily’s ex-boyfriend. Without a warrant, they cannot check the ex’s house, but upon entering Emily’s residence, officers find a gruesome scene.
I was intrigued by every call that came in and the interactions between Baylor and Emily. I liked how he managed to open up and calm down enough to where she shared shocking information about this so-called abduction.
I would have liked the movie more if the scenes varied more than the 911 calls. The perspective was narrow, and the audience couldn’t see what the other characters in this film were going through.
For instance, when officers entered Emily’s home, they found the six-year-old Abby covered in someone else’s blood. Whose blood was on the young girl? I would have liked to see the officers’ reactions at that moment; this could have brought more to the storyline.
The film has an expected ending when Baylor decides to talk to the Los Angeles Times to share his side of the story. The audience learns that he is supposed to go to court for his involvement in the killing of a young man. The events of the 911 calls led him to realize what he had done. Baylor ends up pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge.
I would recommend this to anyone who is into crime films or television shows. Even though it seems to be from one person’s point of view and we don’t get to see what is going on, I could visualize what was happening with the help of background noises and the music that accompanied the film.
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