April 10, 2003

Can You Hear Me Now?

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Disneyland. That’s what it felt like as I was waiting in line to see Phone Booth this past weekend. The unusually short film catapults you into its world from outer space, focusing immediately on New York City and its hectic world of fun, games, and, of course, cell phones. This movie is an 85-minute ride with a sub-theme of secrets and deceit underneath its front-seat jolt of Stu Shepard (Farrell) being held at gunpoint in a phone booth by an overly knowledgeable sniper directing Stu’s every move while deconstructing his life.

Stu’s been cheating on his wife with a young actress (Katie Holmes), and he calls the girl every day from the very same booth of choice. The sniper, who readily admits he was the killer of recent slayings, tells Stu that he has been watching him for some time. The ironic morality the film builds on is that Stu is a two-sides-playing publicist who uses his cell phones to abuse and convince people and make things happen. Like the mechanical Tom Hanks stuck on an island with no rules or deadlines in Castaway, Stu Shepard’s quick and manipulative lifestyle is brought to a halt and controlled by the very device he once used to his advantage

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