Director: Jason Stone
Writers: Scott Abramovitch
Producers: Scott Abramovitch, Lonny Dubrofsky, Randy Manis, Nicholas Tabarrok
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, Gil Bellows, Ellen Burstyn, Donald Sutherland, Christopher Heyerdahl
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 108 min.
Thrillers and police procedurals are not my usual cup of tea when it comes to books so it wasn’t much of a surprise that I’d never heard of Inger Ash Wolfe (the penname of author Michael Redhill) but the trailer for the adaptation of the first book in a series of thrillers certainly caught my attention. Thanks Susan Sarandon.
The Calling stars Sarandon as a small town detective on the brink of retirement who finds herself in the midst of the biggest case of her career. There are bodies appearing all over the area and whoever is responsible seems to be on a very specific mission and it’s up to her and her understaffed police force to solve the mystery before anyone else dies.
What initially appealed to me about The Calling, based on the trailer, is that Sarandon seemed to be filling a role usually reserved for her male counterparts. To my surprise, the change wasn’t made by some savvy screenwriter but rather, it was written that way by Wolfe who has written three novels to date about Detective Hazel Micallef and her adventures solving crimes in rural anywhere. What I really appreciate about Micallef and which was well translated to the screen by both screenwriter Scott Abramovitch and Sarandon is that the character isn’t simply a female version of a typical male character. Though some of Micallef’s tendencies do come across that way (she drinks and pops pills as a way to deal with a medical condition, she doesn’t take orders and she’s often brash) the character is more complex than that and encompasses not only Micallef’s relationship with her co-workers but also the complicated relationships with her ex-husband and her mother.