The Guilty review: Jake Gyllenhaal's ‘one-man act’ is gripping, but it’s more a treat for his fans
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The Guilty review: Jake Gyllenhaal's ‘one-man act’ is gripping, but it’s more a treat for his fans

An LAPD 911 operator gets sucked into the thick of a suspected abduction and has to race against time to get the ‘victim’ help.

Prathibha Joy
Oct 01, 2021
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Jake Gyllenhaal in The Guilty

Story: LAPD 911 operator Joe Baylor receives a call from a suspected victim of abduction. Desperate to get her the help she needs, he goes out of his way to try and connect the dots, only to find that he was wrong all along.

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal’s an incredibly good-looking and supremely-talented actor, no doubt. He also perspires a lot (shushes voice in head about his hygiene habits or rather lack of it), as seen in the crime-thriller The Guilty, which released on Netflix today.

Here, Jake’s Joe Baylor is a former LAPD officer who’s been demoted to 911 dispatcher. He’s not the greatest at the workplace, letting his personal prejudices dictate his response to some of the calls he receives, while also shitting all over his colleagues (the 2 or 3 who get screen time). He’s estranged from his wife and young daughter, and is counting down to a court hearing into the circumstances that put him in dispatch.

When he gets a call that he quickly deduces is an abduction in progress, his inner detective awakens as he scrambles to get the victim help before it is too late. But is he jumping to hasty conclusions based solely on what he’s hearing?

The Guilty is the American version of the critically-acclaimed 2018 Danish film Den Skyldige. The film is as good as a 90-minute Jake Gyllenhaal solo act. Barring the few people in the dispatch office, everyone else is only a voice. But these are brilliant pieces of voice-acting, especially that of Riley Keough, which seamlessly take the narrative forward.

Verdict: Holding your audience’s attention for 90-minutes in a single setting is no mean feat and Jake has you fixated on him. He quite literally owns the screen. The Guilty is a gripping in parts, and after a point, you figure out the direction of the narrative. Watch this one if you are a die-hard Gyllenhaal fan, else, catch the Danish original. Either which way, it will be a decent watch!

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