movie film review | chris tookey

Call Girl

© Unknown - all rights reserved
  Call Girl Review
Tookey's Rating
7 /10
Average Rating
5.67 /10
Sofia Karemyr, Simon J. Berger, Josefin Asplund
Full Cast >

Directed by: Mikael Marcimain
Written by: Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten

Released: 2012
Origin: Sweden/ Norway/ Finland/ Ireland
Colour: C
Length: 0

Good, but hard to track down.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

Youíll be hard pressed to find this Swedish film in your local cinema, but itís an ambitious, high-quality release.

Itís a tremendous debut by Mikael Marcimain, telling the true story of a 1976 sex scandal that threatened to engulf the Swedish political system until it was effectively hushed up. Itís like the Profumo affair in 1963 Britain, but much sleazier and with more to say about the corruption of ideals.

For the government that was rocked by the allegations was a Social Democrat one, and the film has a beady eye for the left-wing cant that accompanied actions that were underhand at best and criminal at worst. There are interesting echoes of the Blair era in our own country, and of the Jimmy Savile and Catholic Church allegations that have only surfaced in the last few years.

Even at 2 hours 20 minutes, the film seems rushed, and it might have looked even better as a mini-series. The decision to tell the tale from two points of view Ė a seemingly tough 15 year-old girl (Sofia Karemyr, pictured) who is recruited as a prostitute, and an honest cop (Simon J. Berger) who uncovers the truth despite the efforts of his superiors Ė is hard to follow at first and lacks background on both leading characters, but comes good in the final hour, as the two start to be aware of each otherís existence, and the air of menace becomes palpable.

The filmís mostly a reminder of a kind of paranoid thriller that is not being made today, but was well represented in the past by classics such as The Parallax View, Serpico and All The Presidentís Men.

As Euro-subsidy, government money and multi-national global conglomerates have taken over movies, it seems the fight has gone out of principled film-makers.

Where, for example, is the film that has dared to take the lid off corruption in the European Union? I can think of only one, and it was the excellent Danish movie Kingís Game (2005). I bet that never reached a cinema near you, either.

And where is the film that bothers to probe the reasons, attitudes and personalities behind the global banking crisis? Apart from a couple of good documentaries, virtually everyone in the movie industry is pretending a major event in world history hasnít happened.

The sad reality is that during the recession a frightened film industry around the world has, whether deliberately or not, dumbed itself down. I donít expect to make any friends by pointing this out, but it happens to be true.

Key to Symbols