“Isn’t it funny? You hear a phone ring and it could be anybody. But a ringing phone has to be answered, doesn’t it?”
Stuart “Stu” Shepard (Colin Farrell) is (eventually was) an arrogant, self-proclaimed famed publicist who finds himself trapped within the four walls of a phone booth as the vigilante caller/sniper (Kiefer Sutherland) threatens to kill him. He wants (or demands) Stu to come clear of his infidelity and false image. Then Stu goes through the worst few hours of his life, inside a phone booth with no escape, as the caller/vigilante is watching him with his telescope mounted on a rifle. The entire film surmounts the conversation between Stu and his caller while Officer Ramey is investigating the situation.
We don’t see this caller (till the end) but his vocal intensity is intimidating yet charming. He is the voice of the two faced devil himself. Kiefer Sutherland did the best voice act in his career. Although he failed to give a punchy personality in both Alexander and S.W.A.T, Colin Farrell performed brilliantly as an over-stressed guy stuck in a phone booth with a lot of lives in his hands (that’s what the caller claims, with his rifle).We see Stu Shepard transform from a someone who’s trying to fake a glorious lifestyle to a guy who realizes that he should have valued things that mattered to him. Radha Mitchell plays his caring wife, who seemed like a dominating figure initially (when the caller says that she checks his phone records) but she is the noblest character in this film. Katie Holmes has a very small role, she portrayed innocence within the doubtful eyes and did well beyond expectations and Forrest Whitaker, like he always does, never failed to impress with his controlled acting that gives authority.
The beauty of this film is the pace at which the film runs. You won’t realize how fast 2 hours went. It is also the satirical depiction of the “over-use” of technology that might turn a person, selfish, ignorant or narcissistic. The movie carries a powerful message about honesty and greed; not just for money but for honesty and publicity itself. The movie was quick and brilliantly directed with multiple shots, quick edits and split screen. The split screens might be irritating because several instances are happening at once on-screen. Larry Cohen penned down a script that’s thrilling enough to have 100% attention from the audience and for them to ignore the F-word that’s been used over 120 times. Phone booth is an edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller well executed by Joel Schumacher. Surprisingly, because it is the same person who desecrated Batman
Featured image source sky.com