Den Skyldige is the feature debut for writer and director Gustav Möller. The film follows Asger (Cedergren), an emergency call handler, who receives a call that changes the trajectory of his shift, and ultimately his life. What comes next is a twisting and turning story that maintains a steady, and intense, pace. As the mysteries behind the callers dilemma unfold, so to does Asger’s history.
Gustav Möller masterfully maintained the suspense and intensity throughout the entire film. Den Skylidge only provides a few moments of brevity and calm at the onset, for the audience to get their bearings, before things escalate quickly. Once the tension begins to rise it does not settle down until the credits. Brief pauses in action are filled with suspenseful shots of a contemplative Asger. These shots are focused on him as he reflects on the ever changing and overwhelming information.
The intensity in Den Skyldige is made possible by the excellent writing. Snippets of information are revealed like a slow-release pill. The steady stream of clues help build up the background of both the mystery surrounding the phone call, but also the mystery behind Asger. The two stories becoming more and more intertwined.
It is difficult to see how well this information is released until you reach the end. Only then is it clear that the information was carefully organized and meticulously revealed. It was an incredible accomplishment to development Asger’s character that exists in one room and create a deep emotional connection to what are only voices. A truly amazing feat.
Another fascinating aspect of Den Skyldige, is that the entire film takes place, essentially, in one room. Other films have done this in the past, i.e. Rear Window, 12 Angry Men, and The Man From Earth, to name a few, however, that does not make it easy. Den Skyldige shows the immense creativity on the part of writers, Gustav Möller and Emil Nygaard Albertsen, and cinematographer, Jasper Spanning, at the very least.
Directed by: Gustav Möller
Cinematography: Jasper J. Spanning
Screenplay by: Gustav Möller & Emil Nygaard Albertsen
Editing By: Carla Luff
Starring: Jakob Cedergren, Jessica Dinnage, Johan Olsen, and Katinka Evers-Jahnsen .
Runtime: 1h 25m
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller.
Distributed by: Nordisk Film Distribution