Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Caller: Grade C

The Caller (2008)
Frank Langella, Elliott Gould. Co-writer and director Richard Ledes.

In this stylish neo-noir drama, Langella is a financial analyst who blows the whistle on an energy company’s evildoings. Naturally, they hire a contract killer to silence him. He knew they would do that, so he hires a PI (Gould) to keep an eye on him, but he tells Gould (with an electronically disguised voice) that “the subject” is a dangerous murderer. The logic of that move is unclear. The PI gets to know the exec, without realizing he is also his employer. He learns a few things about the exec, all of it mundane, none of it important. In a series of irrelevant Langella flashbacks to a WWII childhood, we learn that the exec and the PI were childhood friends who narrowly escaped the Nazis in France. Gould however is unaware of this historical link, and in the climactic scene of the movie, he becomes aware. So what? So nothing. The story in all its parts is pointless. However, you might want to look at this movie anyway to see Langella’s fine, brooding performance, and excellent acting from Gould and several other characters, and the high quality cinematography, directing, and music, especially bandoneon music, which I am nuts about. This is really an attractive movie; too bad they did not have a decent story to tell.

No comments:

Post a Comment