The original idea of the director and the expressive play of the protagonist in the film The Guilty (2018) made the picture one of the most interesting for the audience this season. The Danish thriller was directed by Gustav Moeller and became his feature film debut. Representing a real “movie within a film”, The Guilty entices the viewer with the eccentricity of the storyline and the subsequent development of events.
The main character of the “one-man theatre” in the film The Guilty is a policeman who has been temporarily transferred to the position of an operator of the rescue service. While on night duty, he receives an unusual call from a woman in whose voice the rescuer’s trained ear picks up strange notes. From a telephone conversation with a stranger, it follows that she, under the guise of a conversation with her little daughter, is trying to call for help.
The shift ends, but begins its own investigation. By connecting his partner in the service of Rashid, Asger Holm, the main character, learns the details of the life of the calling woman. According to the database, he recognizes her name – Iben. Iben’s husband had a previous conviction and does not live with his wife and two children. The daughter informs the policeman that her father pushed her mother out the door of their apartment and forcibly took her somewhere, forbidding the girl to approach the bed of her younger brother Oliver.
After calculating the trajectory and direction of the incoming call, the police officer realizes that Iben’s ex-husband is taking her in the direction of North Zealand in a van. Asking his partner, Rashid, to illegally break into the house of a woman, Asger learns shocking details: little Oliver was killed with a knife in his own bed, and Iben herself was in a psychiatric clinic for treatment for some time. Later, Iben herself confesses to the policeman that she tried to save her son from “snakes in his stomach.”
Why does the picture immediately captivate the viewer
A carefully thought-out line of the film with an excellent game of characters made it possible to make the movie captivating from the very first minutes. The plot spins very quickly, and even the limited actions of the characters in the film, and the closed space in which the main character works and conducts his own investigation, do not make the picture too slow and drawn out.
The advantages of the film The Guilty include the following features:
the originality of the presentation of events, the “film within the film” option is unhackneyed and therefore makes the picture dynamic and exciting for the viewer; playing an actor in a closed room and space always requires special skill, and the main character, played by actor Jakob Sedergren, does an excellent job with such a role. Experiences and emotions tearing the protagonist, conducting his own investigation on his own – everything is played as in real life, which is immediately felt by the viewer; some mystery in the initial phase of the picture lies in the reason why the main character ended up in the place of the police rescue service. It gradually unfolds in the course of action, outlining the character traits and circumstances of the hero’s life and service.
Deep feelings, active investigation by the protagonist and his professional ability to bring together the existing disparate facts make the film The Guilty especially interesting and captivate from the first minutes. However, the main semantic load of the film is even more complex than it might seem at first glance.
The meaning of the film The Guilty
The interactivity of the picture is determined by the specifics of the storyline. When the action takes place predominantly in one room, tension is created through close interaction with the imagination of the audience. And the director managed to create the necessary level of tension, everyone who watches the film creates his own picture of what is happening.
The plot impulses skillfully stir up the interest of the viewer, and the intertwining lines of the detective story with Iben and the central problem of the protagonist itself make it possible not to get tired of observing the external circumstances that do not change too often in the picture. The mysterious case is revealed to the audience in the last minutes of the film, which makes the ending extraordinary and thought-provoking.