Booth, Dir: Joel Schumacher - Cert: 15
"You hear a ringing phone and it could be anybody, but a ringing
phone has to be answered doesn't it, doesn't it?"
The central character here, Stu Sheppard (Colin Farrell) has this line
fed to him in a captivating script that not only has the audience examining
fear, but also how they feel about the morals that Sheppard has obviously
flaunted. His relationship with this caller (Kiefer Sutherland) is all
the more claustrophobic in the way the callers voice cuts out all that
is around the booth.
The entire film comes from just this one phone call, made to what we are
told is to be the last public phone booth situated on a New York High
Street. The final toll of this method of public communication is sounded
by the increasing number of those using their own private portable lines
and told well in the chaotic way the director portrays this on screen.
A political statement made by the writer (Larry Cohen), maybe, but one
we can certainly all relate to, whichever side of the fence we sit on.
Our contempt for the central character is heightened, as his rushed method
of working as a back biting publicist is told with little compassion,
but as the film turns its focus on his plight this soon becomes reversed
as we are gripped by this dialogue driven screen-play.
Much has been said of Schumacher's involvement here to the negative, was
it his prior work in movies such as 'Flatliners' or 'Lost Boys', or that
of INXS's 'Devil Inside' video? Well in my eyes this is a very harsh criticism
and maybe I should raise my hands here and confess to being hooked on
much of the American TV dramas that this would appear to take directions
from. Certainly the use of 'split screen', a'la '24' and the New York
Cop's with the bronx accents (NYPD Blue). But there was a moment that
made me laugh out loud, lifting the air of desperation enough to continue
watching, captivated to the end and what an end, if not a little obvious.
I've been very lucky of late to view some stunning movies, born out of
suitably stunning scripts, this is no exception, go and catch this film,
whatever else you may've heard. 9/10