fredag 26 september 2014

The Calling

When i was a little boy, we used to visit my grandparents in a small community called Bengtsfors. This was like a typical village, with just a few stores, 2 food super markets, a bank, a bakery, and some other ordinary shops. My grandfather took his bicycle in on certain days, to shop the same groceries as he always bought. If you went to the center of Bengtsfors, you would meet the same old men, sitting there, talking about everything new in the community. Since nothing ever happened in Bengtsfors, small events could mean everything to the people who lived there. Small communities are still around, all over Sweden, even if some of them have lost a lot of people living there. Simply because there are no jobs left, so people have to move. Since i moved to the north of Sweden in 2007, i have noticed that there are many small communities up here, that remind me of Bengtsfors. I can visit these small communities, but i would never want to live there. I am a city boy and always will be. There are many motion pictures that takes place in smaller communities, or smaller cities. The masterpiece Fargo is one example, where the small town feeling found a very honest portrait. Plenty of motion Pictures have tried to capture the that feeling with varied results. The Calling is a new thriller drama, with legendary actor Susan Sarandon in the lead role as a small town police inspector. I have always liked Susan as an actor, because she have a lot of classic performances from her past, especially in Dead Man Walking, a film everyone should have seen by now. Is The Calling another proof that Susan Sarandon is still one of the best female actors, or did she choose a film that did not match her acting quality ?

Police inspector  Hazel Micallef ( Susan Sarandon ) is a tough woman, who belive that being honest is the best thing to be, and always get the job done. When an old woman is found dead, brutally murdered in her home, an investigation begins on the suspect. While the investigation is going, Hazel is tired of listening to her mother Emily ( Ellen Burstyn ), who lives in the same house as Hazel. Emily is worried about her daughter, that she used to be happy, but is nowdays depressed. Trying to focus on the investigation, Hazel try and ignore her mothers advices. Another dead body is found, this time with the stomache removed. The police force of small town Fort Dundas suddenly get support, from a newly moved police officer Ben Wingate ( Topher Gace ), including Fort Dundas detective Ray Green ( Gil Bellows ). Ben seem to find clues that this killer is trying to tell them a message in latin, with the help of the victims mouths. Hazel try to find out what the latin words means, with the help of church. Father Price ( Donald Sutherland ) knows latin, as he translate the message. Hazel is sure that this is a serial killer, who follows a certain pattern, as more victims are in danger. Who is this person, and why did he choose this small town for his brutal murders ?
The Calling is a thriller drama, that moves slow. That might be a sign that you could fall asleep. Some people might actually do that, if they prefer intensive thrillers, although i am not one of them. This is actually not a bad motion picture, thanks to Susan Sarandon. This is without a doubt her performance that make The Calling work in this genre, with a different actor this might have failed. The murder mystery is not hard to figure out, since the murderer is revealed quite early in the film. Thankfully what makes the plot work, is the investigation that is very unusual in a small town like this one. People never got murdered here before, so now everything changes as people realise that no one is safe. There are plenty of films that remind us of The Calling, and there is nothing original here. Still i would like to say, this is a nice try to make a smaller film, with some nice cast surprises, like Donald Sutherland and Topher Grace. Director Jason Stone have directed short films in the past, but this is his first feauture film. Even though i can see some details he could have improved, i still enjoy the story of these murders in this small town. I would like to see what director Jason Stone decide to direct next time, i have a feeling he could do something better than this, if he finds the right script. Still, for a feature film, this is a good thriller drama, in a very easy format. If you enjoyed Peter Stormare in Small Town Murder Songs, this could be something for you, even if these 2 films are different. Put some tea water on heat, bring out some biscuits, The Calling will make your evening cozy.

Rating: DDD

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