Entertainment

‘The Responsible’ dials up Jake Gyllenhaal as a 911 operator on a really dangerous day


Remaking a 2018 Danish film, “The Responsible” is a taut, remarkably spare thriller that casts Gyllenhaal as a 911 dispatcher, taking a sequence of disparate calls — and one significantly important one involving an imperiled girl — whereas clearly fighting a separate private disaster.

What’s taking place? About all we all know is that Gyllenhaal’s Joe Baylor is a avenue cop who has been briefly assigned to this desk work, and {that a} pesky reporter retains calling. Past that, nothing is essentially because it appears, because the story unfolds whereas a sequence of wildfires gentle up the Los Angeles horizon, including to a way of pressure inside the name heart and distinguishing the setting.

Shot in the course of the peak of the pandemic, the complete film takes place in that single location. With minimal help from the actors enjoying his coworkers and the voices on the road (Peter Sarsgaard, Riley Keough and Ethan Hawke amongst them), Gyllenhaal impressively holds the display for roughly 90 minutes, typically with the digicam positioned in claustrophobic close-ups.

From that perspective, the movie has a good quantity in frequent with one other Netflix thriller, the current French sci-fi providing “Oxygen,” which tasked Mélanie Laurent with holding the viewer’s consideration whereas speaking to unseen voices. (Due to sheer quantity, on Netflix even the narrowest ideas match someplace inside a subgenre.)

The irony is that Netflix intends to present the film a quick theatrical window earlier than it streams, when this could be about as ultimate an at-home, second-screen-viewing automobile as you are apt to search out.

Though this serves as an apparent showcase for the star (who additionally produced the movie), the intriguing auspices reunite him with “Southpaw” director Antoine Fuqua together with author Nic Pizzolatto (“True Detective”), who wring as a lot as they will out of Joe’s ordeal in a manner that makes this extra than simply one other logistical train in Covid-19 filmmaking.

The film does not end in addition to it may need, significantly by way of fleshing out Joe’s story, and it might have been shorter — akin to a “Black Mirror” episode — with out shedding a lot.

Nonetheless, such quibbles do not diminish the depth of the sooner sequences or Gyllenhaal’s efficiency. Due to that, “The Responsible” manages to take Joe — and the viewers sharing this confined area with him — on a reasonably frenetic journey into the darkness, with out ever venturing out into the sunshine of day.

“The Responsible” premieres in choose US theaters on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 on Netflix.

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