France 1944 during an aerial bombardment, two boys are separated from their parents the older one helps the younger. Jump ahead to contemporary Manhattan where chief financial officer Jimmy Stevens punishes his companys murderous practices in Third World countries by setting up its stock release to fail. He knows theyll kill him in retaliation he asks for two weeks. By telephone, using a voice disguising device, he hires a private detective, Frank Turlotte, to watch ... Jimmy. Whats going on? Jimmy goes to the park where he reads a book and talks to children he visits his aged mother. Frank observes it all. The two-week deadline approaches. Whats Jimmys game?
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I Cant believe i Wasted 90 Minutes of my life watching this,NoAction,Not Thrilling,Garbage.This film is very different from the onein Other Reviews. So different that I wonder if the reviewer watchedthe film or was told about it by Somebody involved in the Making ofit??.. The protagonist,Jimmy,was not seeking suicide. A contractmurderer was hired by his company to stop him from doing further damageto the them. He was convicted in conscience by guilt over what hiscompany was doing, which was gaining control of Third World nations andsanctioning ruthless acts against the people. Jimmy's friend Luluhelped him survive as a Jew in WW2 France.Lulu bears witness to thedeath of a civilian murdered by Nazis, thereby giving meaning andhistory to that death. Jimmy discovers through a newspaper article thatLulu has grown up to be a witness, a detective who sees and carries thestories of what he has seen.
I have watched the film life of Frank Langella beginning with 'TheTwelve Chairs' back in the 70s'. His Charismatic ability and dynamicscreen force is impressive. This movie calumniates with all thecinematic experience he has accrued over his career. The film isentitled " The Caller." If you are expecting a lot of action, thrillsor explosive drama, this is not one of them. Instead, what one sees isthe story of an aged Executive who has seen enough corporatedestruction to fill his conscience and like most humanitarians, wantsto atone for his part. Langella plays Jimmy Stevens an ex-CEO of amulti-Billion dollar corporation which continues to destroy 3rd worldcountries without remorse. Planting the seeds of failure within thecorporation, Stevens knows he will be marked for death. Realizing hehas become a target, Jimmy hires private investigator Frank Turlotte(Elliott Gould) to be a witness during his last days. The movie becomesa death watch for a man who has learned in his youth, that death, evenwhen slow in arriving, is death none-the-less and there is nothing todo but wait and reminisce. Touching in its inception, the film is aremarkable heartfelt legacy of humanity realizing its own destruction.This film will no doubt become a milestone for Langella which willculminate in becoming a Classic. ****
I'm sorry but I found this movie wanting. Wanting for a sense of direction for one thing.Langella hires a private detective to follow him around, but won't tell the detective why. And disguises his voice so he doesn't know who hired him. If Jimmy can afford to hire a detective why not hire private security to protect him instead? If he has a death wish at least he could take down his assasins and also his former employer with his murder. Instead he hires a man to take pictures of him and follow him with no apparent purpose.The story also has Jimmy visiting his senile mother in a care facility. She talks in riddles also.And then there is a young woman with a daughter that Langella sees. Yet there is no physical relationship between them. Much less a romantic one.The story is too muddled and falls apart. It's a riddle wrapped inside an inigma.I enjoy a good mystery. Like 3 Days of the Condor with Robert Redford. Something with a little mystery and suspense. This movie had nothing to keep one's attention.
Reviews I've read seem to be either very positive or very negative. People looking for action/thriller/suspense were definitely disappointed. The plot is pretty clearly spelled out at the beginning, so there's little suspense, and the big surprises that affect the two main characters are no surprise to the audience. Action? Precious little. So if there's no action and no suspense, what's left? CHARACTER. The two men in this story are compelling, and are well written, directed, and acted.I watched it because I'm a Frank Langella fan, and find any of his films to be worth the time spent. I haven't seen Elliot Gould for years (decades) and was pleasantly surprised that he carried his important role so well. If you dislike subtitles, be warned: Some flashbacks to 1940s France are spoken in French and subtitled, plus a few lines here and there in the present-day portion of the movie. Not enough to annoy me, even though I was knitting a sock while watching the film!The Amazon.com description of the movie really gives away too much, and one reviewer mentioned that if you look at the pictures on the back of the DVD in sequence, they give away the whole plot. But the plot is merely a vehicle for telling a compelling story of two men's memories. Beautifully filmed and one I would hope to watch again someday.
A great film for film students to watch as it's been said one can learnthe most from the most bungled projects. The endless use of tritesymbolism, pointless bits of plot, total lack of character developmentmake this a mess based on someone's unedited, overloaded psyche.What might suck you in as it did me, is that Langella and Gould arefine actors and always interesting to look at. As you get further intothe movie you may find yourself watching to see if thewrite's/directors can top themselves with corny, sentimental symbolsand pseudo-deep meaning gobbledegook.Wow, one of the thugs is watching a movie on TV about blood and horror.How many times have we seen that f trope? Wow, one of the maincharacters likes children....what a heckuva guy! Wow, someone feelsguilty for helping a corporation kill innocents in pursuit of profit(when does that ever happen in real life?). Elliot Gould and FrankLangella have cut their credibility in half with me (though everyoneshould see him as Nixon) for taking whatever money they took to star inthis thoroughly inept, amateurish tangle.
This film is very different from the one characterized in the postedreview. So different that I wonder if the reviewer watched the film orwas told about it. The protagonist,Jimmy, beautifully acted by FrankLangella, was not seeking suicide. A contract murderer was hired by hiscompany to stop him from doing further damage to the them. He wasconvicted in conscience by guilt over what his company was doing, whichwas gaining control of Third World nations and sanctioning ruthlessacts against the people. Jimmy's friend Lulu helped him survive as aJew in WW2 France. In a carefully written and photographed sequence,Lulu bears witness to the death of a civilian murdered by Nazis,thereby giving meaning and history to that death. Jimmy discoversthrough a newspaper article that Lulu has grown up to be a witness, adetective who sees and carries the stories of what he has seen. Jimmyhires Turlotte/Lulu (played by Elliot Gould with amazing subtlety) tobear witness to his life and death, thereby making Jimmy's actsacrificial. Jimmy was murdered by contract killers hired by anexecutive from the corporation. The blood money was paid by theexecutive buying the paintings of the contractor, an artist. (I alwayswondered who paid, and why they invested, enormous sums to mediocreartists for their drivel) There are more errors both factual andintellectual in the posted review, but if you have read this far I urgeyou to see "The Caller" as it is time well spent.
A few noted reviewers here use the SASS abbreviation - and this would apply here in the forefront of all synopses for those that suffer from it. For me though, I watched this film from beginning to end without ever wanting to fast-forward, without ever wanting to see all that was being left out. Truly one of the only films this year that deserves the independent support but with a mainstream cast.This will probably be one of the only bare bones DVDs that gets a 5 star from me, but the performances, quality and nuanced displays of professionalism make this a stand-alone art piece. The Amazon description actually gives away too much, so any more description would be moot for getting the full effect of what this has to offer. But maybe a small indulgence...Two story lines intertwine about the character's lives in 1940s France and modern day New York City. One of a retired NYC detective playing the private eye, and another of a corporate cover-up man that grows a conscience and decides to end his life in the way he deems fit to make things right. The music, camera angles, inter-spliced monotony of lifestyles, and mystery of storytelling all make for a minimalist piece that only a few will enjoy. I have read a plethora of complaints about being bored, nothing happening, and "I don't get it" whiners filling the ranks, so if you find yourself saying this when watching a good film, then skip this one.I found no fault with the sound, picture or soundtrack - just a quality piece about memories, life and the events that can lead up to one's reckoning for the things done wrong in life. I related to the loss of one's self in this, and the film offers much to think about in making the choices we do as we get older. Hope you enjoy a great film.
I saw this at Cinequest in San Jose, in the gorgeous CaliforniaTheater, but this movie would look good in the homeliest cineplex. Thisis the rarest of thrillers: one that makes its impact through carefulcharacter studies and a refusal to give up its secrets. Frank Langellagives a sterling performance as the corporate whistle-blower marked fordeath, subtle and surprising in its emotional power. Elliott Gouldisn't quite as effective as a private detective/birder, but he is verywatchable as he watches his subjects, both human and avian. "TheCaller" actually looks more like a fine French drama, in its attentionto detail and the deft use of its child actors. Definitely worthwatching!
I got this because the principal actors are so excellent. But the movie is so slow and boring with so many half-hearted plot elements I could hardly watch it.
This was really quite a good movie, but not necessarily one for"consumers" of movies not accustomed to dialog between characters, orthose who expect the meaning to reside primarily in the plot. In thisfilm, the minute details of who is trying to kill the protagonist andexactly why, is purposely left vague. This is a character study, and examines the fundamental truth, thateach of us is isolated in the universal moments of their life, such asdeath. Simply sharing that moment with someone, confirms the profoundmeaning of the human connection. I also appreciate that this film presents mature actors in an way thatdoes not reduce them to stereotype. Other cultures, still portray abroad spectrum of characters in their films, allowing different agegroups and generations to interact in meaningful ways. It's refreshingto see this in an American film.In summing up, I think this movie has more meaning for those more thanhalf-way through their journey in life.
I wish I had it so I could have shot myself and saved myself fromwatching this pretentious piece of refuse. This movie is dull,uneventful, and slower than a snail. The first 45 minutes seemed likethey took 3 hours to watch. It goes nowhere, is poorly written, and isfilled with trivial scenes which simply waste your time and are notgermane to the plot.Do yourself a favor and do not waste your money nor time on this wreckof a film. After reading other peoples reviews all I can figure fromthose who rated this nonsense highly are so high on their own fartsthey can't see straight.
From what I have read here in the other reviews is becomes clear that some people are easily entertained...This film is just the thing for those of you whose idea of an exciting outing consists of watching the grass grow or watching the mail being delivered..The plot has holes in it the size of the entrances to the Lincoln tunnel,the acting is just OK,and the alledged"lessons" learned from this awful film are obvious and should be as familiar to us as looking both ways before crossing the street,or not plugging in the electric toaster while standing in a tub of water...The plot,such as it is,has already been outlined several times here so I won't bother about doing it again...I will,however,say that in my opinion this is the sort of film that actors and actresses do because they need to pay the bills until something better comes along..Further,there is a reason why this film never played at your local cinema palace,and that reason is that the exhibitors themselves previewed it beforehand and knew that it would never,under any circumstance,sell enough tickets to pay for itself...You have been warned...
This is the kind of film that you convince yourself you are just going to have on in the background while you do something else, until you slowly come the realization that you have absorbed every detail, heard every word, lived every moment, shared every note of the score ... with them. What began as cold and detached, has become warm, righteous and has taught you a lesson about how you want to live and the importance of the people in your life. Simple, bittersweet, truth.
I had to chuckle at the simplistic bar graphs they used in the beginning to predict the growth of energy in the third world. The whole idea that some one would put a hit on Jimmy was unbelievable as well as the fact that knowing one was on him, he opted to make it easy on them. The movie, in spite of the stupid bar graphs starts out interesting enough and then suddenly dies into over an hour of yawns. I was never able to feel for the main character, perhaps because he was content to die, or maybe it was the fact it was played by Frank Langella. Not that Frank is a bad actor, it is just that I can't recall a movie where he played a good guy. To add to the boredom, Elliot Gould's hobby was bird watching. Now if they wanted to make the movie interesting, Gould's hobby could have been gambling and he was into the mob for money, who happen to be the same guys doing the hit. But that would change this boring drama into an action flick people might enjoy. Watching this movie, I had the same feeling when I watched "Chariots of Fire." It was a movie you were supposed to like, but in reality you hated it, then pretended you liked it. Doesn't the emperor have nice clothes?
This is not worth the electricity it takes to play it in a DVD player.I've seen thousands of movies and this with out a doubt ranks downthere way at the bottom. Please save your time and just take a nap orsomething; I've seen home movies better than this. Now, the actors wereokay; the story line was horrible. It was so slow. The scenery wasordinary, the traffic was as good as I've seen. How can you mess upcars and buildings in the background? When this was made, time wouldhave been much better spent cleaning out drawers or moping the kitchen.It's just about as interesting as watching grass grow. Do yourself agreat big favor and think of something else to entertain yourself.
This is one of those films that never gets off the mark. It has aninteresting premise, but then it's characters stop communicating.Everything they say has a constipated double intent. Some of them don'tknow what is going on and, unfortunately, neither do we. So we get allthis talk, passing by the receptors. I really don't understand all themotivations. Do we choose to die because we are tired of the game?Perhaps. I'm kind of an embrace life guy and if we are going to go out,do it in a blaze of glory. Not lying on the edge of the bay. Who arethese guys and why do they invest so much effort to complete their job.Espionage and all its implications are fine when we are seekinginformation steeped in layers of cover up. Here we have a man resolvedto die. Is there more to this. The past is revealed but is that areason for the motivations here? I just didn't fined myself compelledto go ahead.
This is pretty feeble. Characters are introduced just to look nice. Thelittle girl in the park, the attractive blues singer who I suppose themain protagonist is having an affair with Â who are these people andwhy are they in the movie? There is no connecting the dots.There is a lot of wandering and meandering dialogue Â particularly withhis mother in the hospital. At the end of the movie as he lies dying,there is an aerial shot of the Statue of Liberty - why? There are a lotof other art shots for the sake of prettiness that annoy you as thisfilm drags on. I was hoping for some kind of wrap-up but there wasnone.I like Frank Langella but the mood is very somber and this film has noreal meaning to me.
The Caller has a European feel to it in that it explores the little things in detail while leaving some big things unsaid. Its not a complicated story, nor is it the non-stop action film portrayed in the trailer but its distinctive and entertaining. Frank Langella is on the money. Four stars because Elliot Gould says his lines in such a way that you expect his eyeballs to move from side to side.
This film is not about corporate scandal, suspense or mystery; allthose elements were simply the vehicle to get to the point: Death & howone deals with inevitable death. The story is extremely contrived andoverly elaborate, which became dull and frustrating because everysingle character, item or action is just a device to metaphor.At the end, the plot really isn't important nor the characters becausethe film intentionally presents every one as a wooden puppet withoutthe slightest emotion or expression (The golden rule of filming art: donot smile, remain expressionless, and add bleak).It ends as you expect it to: The same death metaphor and the samedreadful indictment against the capitalistic brutalities in every otherfilm.
Powerfully intense, artistically original, organically dramatic and lyrically tragic are some of the most conspicuous profiles of this singular film.A troubled man who has been emotionally wounded by the crimes of the war, decides by himself to hire "a private eye" in order to investigate himself to carve in relief the unsaid levels of corruption around the company he works. The use of "Nosferatu" as visual metaphor of the predation in progress or the projection during five seconds of "Paths of glory" when the destiny of the soldiers have been made are brilliant metaphors that accent the tragedy of this isolated man who loves a jazz singer becoming her a sophisticated lady (in honor to George Gershwin) seeks comfort around the simple friendship of a little child. Unable to make a crude statement he gives the main clues to all of those who surround him to try to show the rottenness through "a discrete make up process" about the real situation and the sending of a devastating video clip in South America, demolishing unquestionable. A mature existential drama that overpasses by far the anecdote by itself. As it's usual Frank Langella gives us a towering performance as well as Elliot Gould in this intimate human portrait.Don't miss it by any reason.