‘The Guilty’ review: Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a 911 operator in a Netflix remake of the Danish film

Remaking a 2018 Danish film, “The Responsible” is a taut, remarkably spare thriller that casts Gyllenhaal as a 911 dispatcher, taking a sequence of disparate calls — and one significantly important one involving an imperiled girl — whereas clearly battling a separate private disaster.

What’s taking place? About all we all know is that Gyllenhaal’s Joe Baylor is a avenue cop who has been quickly assigned to this desk work, and that a pesky reporter retains calling. Past that, nothing is essentially as it appears, as the story unfolds whereas a sequence of wildfires gentle up the Los Angeles horizon, including to a sense of pressure inside the name heart and distinguishing the setting.

Shot throughout the peak of the pandemic, the complete film takes place in that single location. With minimal assist from the actors taking part in his coworkers and the voices on the line (Peter Sarsgaard, Riley Keough and Ethan Hawke amongst them), Gyllenhaal impressively holds the display screen for roughly 90 minutes, usually with the digital camera positioned in claustrophobic close-ups.

From that perspective, the film has a truthful quantity in frequent with one other Netflix thriller, the current French sci-fi providing “Oxygen,” which tasked Mélanie Laurent with holding the viewer’s consideration whereas speaking to unseen voices. (Because of sheer quantity, on Netflix even the narrowest ideas match someplace inside a subgenre.)

The irony is that Netflix intends to offer the film a temporary theatrical window earlier than it streams, when this may be about as splendid an at-home, second-screen-viewing car as you are apt to seek out.

Though this serves as an apparent showcase for the star (who additionally produced the film), the intriguing auspices reunite him with “Southpaw” director Antoine Fuqua together with author Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”), who wring as a lot as they will out of Joe’s ordeal in a method that makes this extra than simply one other logistical train in Covid-19 filmmaking.

The film does not end as properly as it might need, significantly in phrases of fleshing out Joe’s story, and it might have been shorter — akin to a “Black Mirror” episode — with out dropping a lot.

Nonetheless, such quibbles do not diminish the depth of the earlier sequences or Gyllenhaal’s efficiency. Because of that, “The Responsible” manages to take Joe — and the viewers sharing this confined house with him — on a fairly frenetic journey into the darkness, with out ever venturing out into the gentle of day.

“The Responsible” premieres in choose US theaters on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 on Netflix.

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