The Call (2013)

Rated R. Our ratings: V -3; L -5; S/N -2. Running time: 1 hour 36 min.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears,
and rescues them from all their troubles.
Psalm 34.17

Jardan works in the L.A. 911 Call Center.

2013 TriStar Pictures

Veteran 911 operator Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) botched a call that resulted in a kidnapped girl’s death, so when she receives another frantic call from a girl in the trunk of a car that apparently involves the same killer, the pres sure on her becomes enormous. Casey (Abigail Breslin) had lunched with friends at a mall, and fortunately one of them had forgotten her cell phone, so Casey has it. Unforunately, it is a disposable phone, so it cannot be traced.

The film at first is an excellent suspenseful study of a woman trying to cope with guilt and fear. The suspense stems from the trapped girl following instructions, such as kicking out one of the headlights and then sticking out her arm and waving it in the hope that someone will notice it. This part of the tale is well designed to get you to lean forward in your seat.. We wonder how the police will ever be able to find the car—and also what will happen to those who do catch on that something is wrong in the car.

But then, when the plot calls for Jordan to leave the center and become involved in the search, the film descends to the level of one of those horror films in which you want to shout to the clueless protagonist, “No, don’t go there alone,” “No, don’t do that!” Also, at the end the film takes on just a touch of the vengeance film, which might raise some questions in the viewers mind—at least after they finish cheering. The Call is one of the most suspenseful ways to spend less than two hours of your time.

For Reflection & Discussion Spoilers at the end!

1. What qualities do you think are required to be an effective 911 operator? Which of these does Jordan forget when she made her fatal mistake? How would you feel had you done what she did?

2. How is the support she receives absolutely vital for her well-being? Do you feel you have such support from your colleagues/ 3. What do you think of Jordan’s joining in the search herself? Of course, there would not have been a second half of the movie if she hadn’t, but what foolish choices does she make during this section?

4. What do you think of the ending of the film? Serves him right? (And yet, what probably will follow their walking out? After all, the two will have a lot of explaining to do.)