24th Dec2018

‘The Guilty’ Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Omar Shargawi, Johan Olsen, Jacob Lohmann, Katinka Evers-Jahnsen, Simon Bennebjerg, Jeanette Lindbaek, Laura Bro, Morten Suurballe, Guuled Abdi Youssef, Caroline Løppke, Peter Christoffersen, Nicolai Wendelboe | Written by Gustav Möller, Emil Nygaard Albertsen | Directed by Gustav Möller


Alarm dispatcher Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought.

Gustav Möller’s Den skyldige, or in international territories The Guilty, is a simplistic masterstroke of cinematic intensity and atmospheric narrative. Taking place primarily in one claustrophobic albeit vastly atmospheric setting at an emergency service office with desk jockey Asger Holm, played by the extravagantly arcadian Jakob Cedergren who takes one phone call that unravels to an intoxicatingly chilling mind game. Changing the rest of his life in the process in one fateful evening.

The simplistic structure utilised by Möller is the personification of exquisite cinema. Unravelling a profoundly enigmatic story in such a simple fashion, similar to that of Steven Knights 2013 directed and Tom Hardy starring drama Locke, isolated for ninety minutes in one specific setting. Of which condenses any dilatory and corpulent threads, thus creating an extraordinarily intense and direct story. Completely absorbing and undoubtedly compelling in its baleful tale of calamitous and deeply engaging plotting that takes thrilling twist and turns. Of which even a seasoned critic or avid enthusiast of cinema will be left in utter amazement with the bravado of storytelling/narrative at hand in a delicate, efficacious and daring effort.

Jakob Cedergren, playing the lead role, puts forth an incredibly intense and boisterous role. Slowly and effectively developing from an endemically ignorant naivety to a mature and fastidious character with sympathetic values. The journey and arc is an anxious fuelled charismatic performance. Melding both an introversion and extroversion that fight each other in the process, ultimately what’s brought forward is a psychological civil war in the process of developing a truly exemplary character arc.

The sheer terror and intense atmosphere that The Guilty holds for its entire running time, and I repeat, for its complete eighty-five-minute running time, holds your complete and utter devotion to the sequences on screen. An astonishing feat if I can say so myself.

The Guilty will be available on Digital HD on 28th January before coming to DVD on 25th February 2019.


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