There’s not much in the pre-release information for The Call that would suggest a project of any uniqueness — there’s the bland early-year release date of March 15th, the entirely rote-sounding plot synopsis, and, as of today, a first-look image that’s about as by-the-book as humanly possible. That it manages to make the gorgeous Halle Berry look like a generally average stress-ball-squeezing telephone operator must be some sort of an achievement, I suppose, but I’m not sure it’s the one that any right-minded marketing campaign would be gunning for.
Nevertheless, there remains a glimmer of hope in the film’s director, Brad Anderson, who has a couple of solidly atmospheric titles under his belt — the skin-crawling Christian Bale-starrer The Machinist and the absorbing train-car thriller Transsiberian chief among them. The same can’t be said, unfortunately, for screenwriter Richard D’Ovidio (Exit Wounds, Thir13en Ghosts), who hasn’t worked on anything in a decade.
Originally titled The Hive, the D’Ovidio screenplay — which follows “a 911 emergency operator (Berry) who must face her own fears in order to save a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) from a disturbed killer” — sounds fairly disposable, but Anderson apparently saw something there that compelled him to call Berry’s leading role “a formidable [one] for an equally formidable actress.” Here’s hoping that statement wasn’t entirely driven by professional obligation, because I imagine it’ll be quite difficult for anything here to seem like a “formidable” assignment compared to what Berry was asked to do in Cloud Atlas. Check out the image above and head back for the trailer soon.
Do you think The Call will resemble some of Anderson’s better work to date? Or are you expecting merely another generic early-year thriller?
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