DanielCarlsten_CallGirl_01

Call Girl is seriously excellent and the longer the days get between when I last saw it to the present, the more I want to see it again; a rambling but true statement that certainly attests to the films quality.

Call Girl is a period piece; the sleazy, corrupt sleet-swept streets of 1970’s Sweden. A special escort service arranges girls of all sorts to greedy politicians and high profile figures but things escalate when a fourteen year old is drawn into the business and the powers that be do every desperate thing they can to cover it up. These elements choke the procedural elements out of the film and rather than a boring detective outing, each new discovery is laden with dangerous consequences. Like the detective in charge we look at everyone around him in an accusing manner.

There are however two story strands in Call Girl, the actual police investigation into the prostitution ring and the personal tale of the young girl Iris. The films 140 minute length keeps both stories in check but in truth, like amazing procedurals of intense emotion and scope (the likes of Fincher’s Zodiac for example) I simply did not want Call Girl to end. I actually felt guilty that I was getting so much entertainment from it, given the gritty subject matter of a child sex scandal. Director Mikael Marcimain ensures the film never traverses its overwhelming tone; it puts you on the streets of Stockholm, one degree of separation from the cast of characters inhabiting it.

Mikael has directed some euro crime and this addictive element is certainly there, but with master cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) on board, the film surpasses this simple level of production and becomes something altogether incredible. His lens changes depending on the story – Iris’ situation is more of a personal one and the effects are under-stated, however as soon as the investigation scenes begin the camera dramatically changes the mood and employs the best tricks to glean the subterfuge and thrilling danger just around the corner.

I cannot overstate how excited I was to witness this absurdly fleshed out 70’s pulp world. From the old-school credits to the body language of hotel doormen, every single tiny element has been lovingly considered.

Each player in this sordid tale is given immense character development, and each plot is tightly woven into the overall tale. Each strand is concluded beautifully and the film ends as abrupt as it has begun.

Full of tension, immaculate detail and a cracking conspiracy Call Girl is a phenomenal film that I will not stop raving about anytime soon.

[rating=5]

 Kwenton Bellette - follow Kwenton on Twitter here: @Kwenton