One ringy dingy.
Anyone who doubts that people are as easily programmable as Pavlov's pets
need look no further Graham Bell's little box. While most of us generally
don't start salivating at the sound of a ringing phone, few people (unless
they work for a software help desk) can resist the urge to answer one.
that the darkest force that dials your number is a telemarketer.
For Stu Shephard, sincerity is little more than a fuzzy concept. A shady
publicist, his life consists of spinning interconnecting webs of lies to
further the careers of clients and raise his stature. In his spare time he
enjoys abusing his assistant, and ignoring his wife. Stu is, is also
determined to give an impressionable young actress a test run on the
couch. When he enters the one functioning pay phone in a ten-block radius
the hopes of setting up a liaison, the phone rings. It turns out to be
conscience on the line. With a sniper rifle aimed at
When you take into account that `Phone Booth' was filmed in just ten days,
on a limited budget with a dearth of special effects, one principle actor
and a single venue you could be forgiven for questioning the potential
success of this film. The original November 2001 release date might give
pause - films that sit on the shelf usually do so for a reason - read
`straight to video'. In this instance the studio wanted to wait until
Farrell was more familiar to moviegoers. He achieved this with a little
called `Minority Report' (the name of his co-star escapes me at the
moment...). `Phone Booth's' new release date had to be pushed back once
again after the sniping episodes in Washington. Some things are worth the
While he stole the spotlight as the maniacal hit man in `Daredevil',
is faced with a different animal in `Phone Booth', an 80-minute soliloquy
which lives or dies on his performance (several A-list stars walked away
from the project for this very reason). Reminiscent of his much-lauded
in `Tigerland', Farrell confirms that he isn't a one trick pony,
a wide-ranging display of emotions, from cocky to cathartic without
into soap opera or comic territory. He delivers his lines with a solid
fluidity rare among his peers, no simple feat when one takes into account
that he's suppressing a harsh brogue. Farrell also demonstrates a
beyond mere charisma - his good looks can only inspire interest for so
- that draw the viewer into the story.
While the supporting cast - Katie Holmes as the naive ingenue and Forrest
Whitaker as the good cop - fulfill their purpose, it is Keifer Sutherland
who takes up what little slack there is. While the audience doesn't get to
see Sutherland, he is amply menacing as the cold, otherworldly voice on
other end of the phone. The audience is never privy to who he is (`Just
me Bob') or what his motives are, but it is inconsequential - he sees all,
knows all, and is clearly in charge. Unlike S&M, there are no safe words.
And for a control freak like Stu nothing could be more
Although tied to a static location, deft camera work provides action,
perspective and mood with such techniques as quick pans, compressed
and picture in picture sequences, while careful not to cross the gimmickry
line . Enhanced sound editing bolsters the visuals: ringing phones are
jarring, Bob's quietly booming voice is unsettling, and the sound of a
being chambered is deafening.
`Phone Booth' could easily have been a quirky novelty flick that played
amongst the art house set. Thanks to Farrell's performance it makes for
mainstream cinema (normally an oxymoron) and may actually make a few top
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a good watch--could have happened to you--shouln't be too courious, let it ring!!!!.
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colin farrell is superb, turning from a slick hotshot to nothing in one ring....genius.
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Seen it a few years ago and it certainly is one of those we won't fotget..
A fiendish publicist finds himself being held hostage in a phone booth by an extreme moralist who watches his victim's every move through the scope of his high-power sniper rifle, while speaking to the publicist via the phone booth. The caller prides himself on using force to punish corrupt people by forcing them to admit all of their lies and sins through mental games, or killing them. At the same time, he eliminates other people as well; everyday people who are guilty of brutal dishonesty and/or corruption, such as a murderous street pimp and a pushy pizza man (all of which, if you look hard enough in the film, have a guilt link). The caller himself is corrupt, and uses it defeat other corruption. It is evil fighting evil in the phone booth..
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i heard this movie was very good! i wanna see it!.
excellent thriller crammed into a nice little package
Phone Booth manages to put pretty much everything you want into a
thriller in a short space of time. It is a thoroughly original idea - a
publicist, who has been lying his way to success, is held inside the
phone booth he has been using to cheat on his wife by an unseen sniper
on the other end of the line, who wants him to confess to his wife. It
is very well acted, with Colin Farrell portraying the desperation of
his character really well, while Kiefer Sutherland, while only seen for
a few seconds, plays "The Caller" very well. His character is a very
good and original one, as while he does kill innocent people without
remorse, his real victims are chosen well. He uses threat to try and
force them to come clean, and stop cheating in life. It is one of the
few films where you find yourself rooting for the bad guy. His voice on
the phone is also chillingly brilliant. Without that voice, the film
wouldn't be nearly as effective in achieving the suspense generated.
Forrest Whitaker also puts in a nice performance as the detective
trying to resolve the situation.
The camera-work is also fantastic. The shots rotating 360 degrees,
looking up at the tall buildings give you a feeling of claustrophobia,
like you are also stuck in the phone booth with Stu. Interesting
dialogue, a thrilling situation, a couple of nice twists and a
completely fresh idea make this a top film, and is one of Joel
Schumacher's best achievements..