Solo Narratives 1: The Guilty / Den skyldige (2018)

January 7, 2020 | By

Good filmmakers thrive when there’s a challenge, whether it’s due to tight budgets or novel creative choices, and The GuiltyDen skyldige (2018) is a fine example of stripping down a hostage drama to one person, seated at a desk, and watching him tackle the waves of tension from the aggrieved caller, his co-workers, and the slowly emerging details of his own personal drama which will, in less than 24 hours, decide his own fate.



Locke (2013), a film I’ll cover at a later date, dealt with a similar construction where a character is onscreen 99% of the time, talking on the phone to various important people in his life as his career, marriage, and future are simultaneously crumbling and potentially reformulating into something very different, but The Guilty offers a tighter format because there are no cutaways to roads, passing cars, or materials within a car; Danish actor Jakob Cedergren has to carry the whole film, and moderate his performance to ensure at least two of the big events hit audiences with a bang.

Gustav Möller’s direction is respectful of performance, pacing, and technique, and it’s a near-perfect film that delivers a full arc without cliches. Magnolia’s release is bare bones – a pity – but The Guilty is another example of the superb, intimate dramas that keep emerging from Scandinavian countries.

Thanks for reading,



Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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