LT Silver Screen – “The Call”
For the past few weeks, I have been seeing previews for a new movie, “The Call,” starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. The previews show a young girl, Breslin, being abducted at a shopping mall and shoved into the trunk of a car. The idea of this is obviously terrifying, which made this movie a must see in my book. Honestly, one reason I will go see movies with scary plots is because of the “what if” storyline and the edge-of-my-seat potential it provides.
I am a fan of a good thriller or action packed movie, especially one that is not out of the realm of being plausible. This movie does not disappoint. Who out there has not heard of someone being abducted in broad daylight? Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is happening all the time.
Cut to the beginning of the movie, where it opens at a 911 call center in Los Angeles. We are able to listen in on several calls, and the room is abuzz with excitement. Each operator is perched at a desk with not one, not two, but SIX monitors in front of them. This alone would intimidate most of us. Halle Berry plays a seasoned operator who gets a phone call that shakes her world to the core and causes her to leave her position as an operator and begin teaching new recruits. Without giving up many details, I will say that if I were in her shoes, I would have quit the job altogether. Of course, if Berry had done this, there would have been no movie made.
Cut to six months down the road, after she has had some time to move on after the harrowing call that pushed her to change positions. She is working as a trainer and is showing the group of new trainees the call room. One says to her, “I heard they call this room The Hive, why is that?” To which Berry tells him to listen, and sure enough, the room is buzzing like a pack of bees working feverishly. As she is leading the group through the main call center, she approaches an operator station. A trainee asks her why she is not an operator, and she explains she is a teacher and does not elaborate. Shortly after this, a frantic call comes in, and it is from none other than Breslin, who has just been abducted and forced into the trunk of a car. The operator on the call is panicked and does not know how to handle the call. This is where Berry has her chance to shine and dazzle in her role as heroine.
She takes the call, and of course the teen girl is freaking out. Berry has a calming presence and gives the girl a series of instructions to try to help her any way she can. The girl is calling using a TracFone, which we are led to believe are hard to trace (in reality all TracFones are E-911 compliant and can be traced by emergency responders.) You may ask how the abductor could be so stupid as to leave a cell phone with his victim. During the abduction, the perpetrator actually does break the girl’s iPhone, but she has her friend’s disposable phone in her back pocket. The friend had left the mall abruptly and forgotten the phone on the table where the two girls were eating lunch. The scene where the girl is locked in the trunk is very tense and scary. I, for one, would be beyond freaked out in this situation, as I am claustrophobic.
Needless to say, Berry instructs the girl to calm down and listen to her. The girl is then told to break out the taillights. She succeeds and flails her arm around in the air. A woman witnesses this and calls 911. The abductor somehow senses he has been had, and immediately cuts off and loses the witness. The girl can see through the hole where the taillight once was, and begins to panic again. Berry tells her to look around the trunk for anything she can use. There are cans of paint. The girl is then told to pour paint through the opening where the light had been. Another witness sees this happening and gets the abductor’s attention. The two briefly converse, and the witness is not convinced that things are okay and follows the abductor. Again, I cannot really give the details of their transaction.
It seems that the girl’s fate is sealed and she is doomed, but Berry, having gone through a situation a few months ago, has resolved to do whatever it takes to save this girl. She stays at work and replays the conversation with the teen girl. She is able to hear something in the background, and at this point, tracking abilities have pinged the girl’s location within a small radius. Berry, being the kick butt woman she is in this movie, takes it on herself to go to the location. She gets out of her car and walks around, and alas, she hears the sound she had heard on the tape. It is the sound of metal dinging against a flagpole. At this, she knows she is close to finding the girl. By now, she has realized that this abductor very likely is planning to harm this girl, if not kill her, and Berry will not let this happen.
In order to find out the conclusion, go see “The Call,” showing at Cinemark 17 in Springfield and at Regal Valley River Center Stadium 15 in Eugene. I guarantee it is worth the suspense to wait for an answer to the question “what happens to the teen girl, the bad guy, and Berry” in the end? Click here to find showtimes at a theater near you.
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