Caller, The (DVD Review)3 Apr, 2009 By: John Latchem
Rated ‘PG-13’ for some violent images.
Stars Frank Langella, Elliott Gould, Laura Harring.
The Caller is too quiet and slow-moving to really be considered a thriller. But it delivers a solid story thanks to a cast headlined by Elliot Gould and Frank Langella (a recent Oscar nominee for Frost/Nixon). The real joy of this film is seeing these two great actors sharing the screen together.
Langella plays Jimmy, an executive for a corrupt international energy firm who grows a conscience and blows the whistle on their unethical practices and illegal activities. Knowing the firm has sent a hitman to take him out, Jimmy places an anonymous call to a private investigator named Frank (Gould) to follow a suspect, who turns out to be Jimmy himself.
Jimmy seeks some measure of validation in his life, but also hopes to make sense of a secret past. Flashbacks relate the story of Jimmy as a boy in Europe during World War II, fleeing the war with another boy with hopes of reuniting with their parents in a city they can never quite reach.
In following Jimmy, Frank befriends him, unaware he is also Frank’s mysterious employer. To fill in the puzzle, Frank meets with various women in Jimmy’s life, from his mother, to his mistress (Laura Harring of Mulholland Dr.), to the young girl he uses as a messenger and to whom he tells old war stories.
It all leads to something of a twist ending most viewers will see coming from a mile away. In the end, however, it’s just another poignant moment in a film filled with them.