Movie review

Phone Booth
Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie
Holmes, Radha Mitchell, Kiefer Sutherland

Director : Joel Schumacher

Phone BoothDublin-born actor and 'Hollywood bad-boy' Colin Farrell seems to be slowly making his way to the top of the movie superstar ladder due to recent successes with the films Minority Report, Daredevil, The Recruit and now this: Phone Booth.
    Farrell plays Stu Shepard, a high-flying and often arrogant publicist working in New York who deals with all the biggest and best superstars in the entertainment business. Stu often mistreats those around him; promising and not delivering, using his status to get free dinner from restaurants and making his PR trainee do everything for him. But it seems life is going well for him.
    One day he makes a phone call to a client named Pamela McFadden (played by Katie Holmes). After finishing his conversation with her the phone rings again and Stu picks it up to find he is talking with a sniper rifle-wielding madman (Kiefer Sutherland) who seems to know everything about him, including the fact that Stu has been fantasizing about and flirting with Pamela behind the back of his wife Kelly (Radha Mitchell). What pursues is effectively an elaborate game of dares, with Stu under the orders of the sniper.

Phone Booth is initially slow, and trundles along at the pace of the New York traffic that surrounds Farrell; but the ball starts rolling and the pace is quickened as the twist of events unravels. The idea of a sniper watching Farrell's every move puts the audience right on the edges of their seats. The continual threat of death and the quiet musical score makes the film extremely tense and often fools the audience into believing something is going to happen. Colin Farrell puts in an excellent performance as Stu Shepard is reduced from a top PR man to a bumbling, emotional wreck in the space of a few minutes. Forest Whittaker, who stars as Captain Ed Ramey, is also excellent in his role.
    In essence, Phone Booth is a film with a moral story to it: Don't fob people off with money and promises; give them your respect, that's what they really want. Its not often that a mainstream film emerges that keeps your eyes glued to the theatre screen at all times, but this certainly seems to be the case with Joel Schumacher's latest movie. And if the threat of a loaded rifle being aimed at the main character all the way through the film isn't enough for you, there is a twist at the end that is not only smart, but rounds the film up nicely.
    I left the cinema without a numb behind this time, as I was rarely sat on my seat properly - a sign of an excellent thriller. Rest assured that once you see this one-scene masterpiece you will think twice before you use a call box again.

:: Graham Drummond

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