Phone Booth (2002)

A friend of mine recommended this film to me a couple years ago and I'm glad he did. This is the second time that I've watched it.

Though the film makes a thriller out of the subject, and a violent and macabre one at that, it creates an atmosphere for discussion on confession: What does it take for someone to fully confess? Why should duress be excused or condemned? At what point should confession be forced? What are the benefits of confession? Can confession ever be a bad thing and what do those bad things look like?

In Phone Booth, Colin Farrell, a slimy publicist, is called in a phone booth and has a high powered rifle pointed at him ready to shoot if he leaves the booth or tells anyone what is going on. The police are on the scene after certain events take place and the negotiating begins.

I found all of the acting to be quite compelling, especially Forest Whitaker. Keifer Sutherland, the voice on the phone is far too austere and calm however, as though they are trying to make him a God figure with lightning bolts in his hands ready to strike those who do not confess; to this I have a strong reaction against how they portray God. I understand God to be a gentle urging and not so violent and threatening in His desire for us to own up to our misdeeds.

The film makes an attempt to be high tech and trendy and does an adequate job. It also tries puts the story in a global context, which works too. It ultimately succeeds by delivering a personal story and by not being too preachy.


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