Movie Review – Call Girl (2013)

With a gripping, tension-building synth soundtrack, Call Girl manages to combine politics, corruption and prostitution together into a thrilling, if not frightening film. With perfect shots from cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, it’s sure to be labelled a Swedish “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and it’s an accolade it truly deserves.
-Call Girl Sofia Karemyr

Director Mikael Marcimain (Assistant Director of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy) branches out with his first feature film, as the story focuses on lris (Sofia Karemyr), a troubled 14 year old girl who is constantly running away from home. Set in 1976 Sweden, we see Iris’s life slowly spiraling out of control, as her steps into the dark underworld of sex and corruption are gradual ones. 

One of the big positives of this film is that I could not predict where it was going, with the themes of youth, innocence, prostitution and politics all being constant, but none being overarching. The corruption aspect is what really grabbed me, with power and the abuse of it sticking out in my mind. To top it off, the film is based upon a real-life scandal in the 1970s, adding a sense of truth to the story.

Mattias Bärjed’s
soundtrack was another highlight, with the synth tunes gripping me and providing some upbeat tension. Combined with the cinematography from Hoytema, who has has worked on films including The Fighter, Let The Right One In and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it certainly has that 70′s feel about it.

Performance wise, it would be remiss of me not to mention Pernilla August (known to many as Shmi Skywalker) who plays madam Dagmar Glans so chillingly well. Simon J Berger is also decent as he tries to uncover the corruption from inside the government lines and both Karemyr and Josefin Asplund, who plays Iris’s cousin Sonja, epitomize youth.
Call Girl Simon J Berger

The length of the film (140 minutes) was not an issue for me as the story was so interesting and well developed. I can see why some may criticise it though, as it could have done with some shortened or cut scenes. However, the final act is so rewarding, that I was happy to sit back and be mesmerised.

Call Girl is not just a magnificent looking film. It has a story that will grab your attention, a great soundtrack and an ending that is sure to stick in your memory once the film is over. B+

Call Girl is playing at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Friday August 2 and Sunday August 4, for more information head to the MIFF site.

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