Movie Reaction: The Guilty. Joe is heavily invested in the case of a stuggling family he might just be neglecting his own. Jake Gyllenhaal’s acting is superb. But Joe’s response, as the main character in the movie, has gone overboard and even unwarranted, all for the sake of complete strangers. In the end, he has managed to resolve the conflict and, from a distance, rescue an infant from succumbing to fatal injuries. Also, he was able to talk a mentally disturbed woman out of self harm.
“A troubled police detective assigned to 911 operator duty scrambles to save a distressed caller during a harrowing day of revelations – and reckonings.” – Netflix.
The movie opens with a view of an orange sky, wildfire in the distance. A sickly Joe (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on a night shift at a 911 call center. Also, he is awating a court hearing in the morning where he is accused of a certain crime. Joe proceeds to do his job. Calm and aloof, he answers calls and processes emergencies – even quick to dismiss ones that were not, according to his judgment, alarming.
But then he receives a call from a woman named Emily and the rest goes haywire. With ‘yes and no’ responses, Joe concluded that the woman was abducted and goes beyond the call of duty to save her.
With a ravaging wildfire and the lack of police manpower, Joe concerns over Emily escalated. Emily was also unable to provide enough information so Joe had to exhaust all means – calling Emily’s home phone and even her husband who might be the actual abductor.
The rest of the movie focuses on a distressed Joe spiraling into madness. His growing frustration affects colleagues and authorities as he forces Emily’s case to top priority. This part has a number of dramatic scenes and a teary Joe to the point of emotional turmoil.
A welfare check on Emily’s children led to the discovery of an injured, possibly mutilated, infant. On this part, no description was provided on the nature or extent of injury. Moreover, a call from another investigator revealed that Emily was in fact a patient at a local psychiatric hospital and might just be the culprit behind the crime.
Ultimately, Joe realized that Emily was en route to a local psychiatric hospital and had called 911 without realizing she had done something wrong. Emily also hinted that she was going to ‘follow Oliver (her baby)’, may be interpreted that she was going to kill herself.
In the end, Joe talked her down, admitting that he had committed a crime himself. Joe also received news that the infant was in the ICU and had survived the ordeal. Joe then thought of his own predicament, and decided that he will tell the truth on his upcoming court hearing.
The Guilty is a 2021 American crime thriller directed and products by Antoine Fuqua, from a screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto. It is a remake of the Danish film of the same name. The cast include Jake Gyllenhaal as the protagonist, Christina Vidal, Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough, Eli Goree, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Paul Dano, and Peter Sarsgaard.