The Guilty is a 2021 American crime thriller film directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua, from a screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto. A remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name, the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Christina Vidal, with the voices of Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Dano, and Peter Sarsgaard.
As mentioned above, this version of The Guilty is a remake and in truth, this remake is a beat for beat duplicate of the original. The key story events are the same and so is most of the dialogue (of course, now in English translated from the Danish). Thus, one can virtually treat both movies as one and the same with the only distinction being the actors in the lead role viz. Gyllenhaal and Jakob Cedergren (from the Danish version).
Gyllenhaal does an excellent job with the role of Joe Baylor, a demoted police officer who is assigned to a call dispatch desk and then needs to respond to an emergency phone call from a kidnapped woman. The entire film takes place in a single location and in a single morning. Baylor is for most of the film, the only character one sees and hears.
Thus, the audience is living out Baylor’s experience from his point of view and we get to engage with his thoughts and feelings, while he attempts to deal with the situation brought to his attention by the phone calls, he has with various characters (whom we only hear and never see).
This innovative story telling device employed in The Guilty was executed perfectly in the Danish original and Fuqua translate it well into an American context, with Gyllenhaal the perfect vehicle. Gyllenhaal’s performance is top-notch as expected and certainly needs to be savoured – even if you are familiar with the Danish original.
Now streaming on Netflix.
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