Phone Booth (2002)

“Phone Booth” (2002)


centripetal cinema

This could have been something to last. It had a really interesting concept behind it, but who made it blew it. I suppose a great deal of responsibility should be given to Schumacher. He is incompetent, he drifts with the tide, he makes whatever he feels the audiences will consume more easily, and he doesn’t really care about cinema or how he should build with a visual basis. His films work to me as visual pollution, his strategy is to fill the eye with all sorts of images in order to overcome the lack of his own ideas.

Nevertheless, some good things were lost here: This was, in a way, the opposite of what Hitchcock did in Rear Window. That was a masterpiece, because he placed us inside the eye of the viewer, and the world of the film is everything he is able to see. No more, no less. Except for a very few special shots, we get the world in the same measure Stewart gets it. That was specially well done, and the story unfolds visually. Here we had the opposite. The world is centered around one character, such as in Rear Window, but the way we see that world is precisely opposite, meaning that we don’t get the world the way Farrell sees it (at least not so many times), we get Farrell from several angles and points of view:

. the snipper, he is the closest to god we have here, he knows everything, including what led to the situation we see, he has the upper look, he controls the action, all the way;

. the policeman, he makes his efforts to get to know things, in the beginning he is as clueless as everybody else, but he gets to learn some things;

. the wife and the mistress, they are clueless about each other, and they know only what Farrell wants to tell them

. the press, this is the entity which has to conclude, which has to pretend to try and know, but it’s practically absent its participation here;

We had these 4 threads, plus the personal version of Farrell. This is so well explored by cinema, how to explore several narrative threads, starting with Citizen Kane, and following with a number of important or merely interesting projects. This one gets lost with useless editing tricks, useless sound editing, useless fireworks. At least this time we don’t get to check nipples in the hero’s clothes.

My opinion: 2/5 some interesting concepts, but dreadful execution

This comment on IMDb


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