The Guilty is a 2021 crime-thriller, directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Nic Pizzolatto. It is a remake of the 2018 Danish film ‘Den skyldige’ from Gustav Möller. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Vidal, Ethan Hawke, Peter Sarsgaard and Paul Dano. Released worldwide on Netflix, it has entered the top ten charts just this week.
The Guilty revolves around Joe Baylor, a police officer, working at the quick response call center for the LAPD. Because of wildfires in the area, the concentration of calls increases, but Joe chances upon the call of a woman who is apparently kidnapped. With her kidnapper right there next to her, her kids alone at home and a turbulent Joe trying to navigate through the situation, the movie really goes the distance in justifying the title.
Joe battles his own demons from his past, and we see how Gyllenhaal tries to channel the inner Joe to make the movie all about who is guilty and who is not.
What did we think about the film?
The picture is entirely justified by Gyllenhaal’s thorough acting and portrayal of Joe Baylor. Not a day goes by that one wonders if Gyllenhaal is really acting or is living the character’s life in each movie. It is a pleasure to watch him go through Joe’s highs and lows, nailing the emotions dictated by the script and maintaining the thrill and composure of the film.
The concept is definitely to be lauded, although picked up from the original. Fuqua makes minor adjustments to the background and setting, and also altered endings. He also sustains the thrill throughout, with unprecedented twists here and there.
Along with the writer, Fuqua does the job of adapting the Danish version to the American context very well, and thus delivers an almost equally artistic piece of cinema, though lacking in continued action. There are moments of tense dialogue followed by relief followed by more tension.
Why watch The Guilty?
The movie is worth checking out because of the mystery that endures from the beginning to end. There is a sense of uneasiness as you reach to the middle portion of the film, but dry dialogue and loopy storyline makes it slightly inadequate. Streaming on Netflix gives it a upper hand, because the wider audience is exposed to some new variants of thrillers.
Check it out if you are a light watcher, one who doesn’t pay attention to details but still wants to be mindblown by the climax. If not, then we have romantic drama The Notebook’s review waiting. For those who want a more mainstream action film, Mr.Bond is back with No Time to Die.