Cinema Consults: PHONE BOOTH

Physician's Money Digest, August31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 16

This film, which can be rentedfrom your local video store, israted on a scale of 1 to 4 caducei:

PHONE BOOTH

(2003):Through thestress in hisvoice and thewild look in hiseyes, you cantell that thefilming of thismovie was atraumatic experiencefor Hollywood'sfavoritebad boy, Colin Farrell. Whocould blame him? He spendsmost of the film confined to aphone booth as he portrays StuSheppard, a sleazy public relationsexecutive who gets caughtin the wrong place at the wrongtime. Stu uses the phone boothto hide his conversations witha would-be mistress (KatieHolmes) from his wife (RadhaMitchell). This arrangementseems to work smoothly until astranger, voiced by KeiferSutherland, decides to tormentStu for his penchant for deceitby threatening his life and con-fining him to the tiny space of aphone booth. I have heard othercritics describe this film asHitchcockian; I don't think Iwould go as far. It has itsmoments of suspense andintrigue, but it lacks the depththat Hitchcock carefully craftedin each of his films. The bestpart of the film is Sutherland'ssinister voice, which succeeds increating a very real villain withoutbeing seen.

Rating:2

Lisa A. Tomaszewski, managing editorof Physician's Money Digest, is currentlyworking on her PhD in literature atDrew University in New Jersey. Sheis an avid fan of film and has taughta summer film course at FairleighDickinson University. She welcomesquestions, comments, or suggestionsfor future film reviews at 732-656-1140ext 195 or ltomaszewski@mwc.com.