Posts Tagged ‘Jakob Cedergren’

Jakob Cedergren

“THE GUILTY” My rating: B

90 minutes | MPAA rating

“Guilty” is a gimmick movie, but at least it’s an effective gimmick.

Denmark’s nominee for this year’s Oscar for best foreign language film is a real-time drama that unfolds in 90 uninterrupted minutes and has, essentially, a cast of one.

Jakob Cedergren plays Asger Holm, a tough Copenhagen cop who, while awaiting a hearing on some unspecified major infraction, has been handed a set of headphones at the department’s emergency services office.

Early on we realize his heart’s not in it.  To a frantic man who calls seeking an ambulance because he may have overdosed on illegal drugs, Asger responds: “It’s your own fault, isn’t it?”

He also humiliates a fellow who reports he’s been mugged by a woman who stole his laptop; Asger recognizes the call is originating from the city’s red light district.

His boring night picks up in intensity with a call from a frantic woman who reports she’s been kidnapped by her ex-husband. She has told her captor that she is calling their young daughter, but in fact has dialed the police.

Asher quickly sizes up the situation and alerts other cops to intercept the vehicle in which the woman is being held prisoner.

He also spends phone time with the couple’s daughter, traumatized after witnessing her parents’ brawling. Asher dispatches an officer to visit the home; he reports back a grisly scene.

It’s pretty clear to Asger that the estranged husband/father went ballistic and did something awful.  At least it’s clear until a big plot reveal turns the table on the officer and the audience.

Writer/director Gustave  Moller confines the action pretty much to Asger’s desk; there’s relatively little interaction with the other cops in the room. And of course we never see any of the people Asger is talking to…we only hear their voices.

In a cleverly perverse way, this seemingly limiting approach pays off. We’re forced to use our imaginations to picture the scenes as they are reported to Asger, who over the course of 90 minutes goes from  smug arrogance to genuine emotional investment.

One actor in  a confined space doesn’t sound particularly dramatic, but “The Guilty” makes it work.

| Robert W. Butler

Read Full Post »