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“The Call” is a real mind-bender

Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
Young-sook (Jeon Jong-seo) living in 1999, answers her phone ringing from the future in ‘The Call’. Netflix

Two people twenty years apart connecting by a phone line over the weekend becomes the latest hit thriller from South Korea on Netflix, but that is not surprising, giving an outstanding story with a dramatic twist and amazing cinematography.

Seo-yon (Park Shin-hye) is living in the present day with a dying mother while Young-sook (Jeon Jong-seo) resides in 1999 with an abusive, superstitious stepmother.

But one day, past and present collide in a fate that links the two characters across two decades via a landline phone in the same house at two different points in time.

Instead of being shocked, the two women find great companionship with one another and almost immediately discover a way to help one another, but it is not long before their connection is disrupted by aggression and betrayal.

It would be a bad idea to reveal more of the story, but all that could be said here is that what begins as a time-travelling phone call ends up becoming a great film, more than just putting sci-fi into a mind-blowing horror-thriller.

The story is the first thing that makes “The Call” special. Although the plot is actually based on “The Caller”, a 2011 British and Puerto Rican supernatural horror film, director and writer Lee Chung-hyun brings this concept to a new level, with a strong touch of psychology and an Asian theme.

The plot twist is definitely there while the feature of time-travelling, or should we say time-calling, is very accurate given the real-time historical events and people.

The great plot is made even better even with the post-production editing, which brings forth a strong level of curiosity high enough to kill a cat.

In layman’s words, the viewers will be eager to see this large piece of the puzzle solved, or maybe even feel trapped in the dire situation.

Park Shin-hye, who gained recognition in her home country for her singing and acting career, who already shocked the global audience with her role in the Neflix original zombie film #Alive, has done an even better job in “The Call” with the natural paranoid facial expressions that fit the theme.

But it is Jeon Jong-seo who deserves the bigger spotlight in her role as Young-sook, giving an excellent performance in both the good and psychopath version of her character. A full house of talented supporting actors also enhances the two lead stars’ performances.

The film is exceptional from start to finish, unless (spoiler alert) you hate a grumpy ending.

 

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