Guest / Limited Access /

Note: This week's scheduled focus on Ed Solomon's Levity has been postponed because the film's release has been pushed back to April 26th.

Phone Booth becomes a confessional


Last week, Film Forum focused on the new Joel Schumacher film Phone Booth. The thriller's simple, suspenseful plot places Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell), a self-centered Manhattan publicist, in a phone booth at a busy intersection where a sniper (voiced by Kiefer Sutherland) holds him as a long-distance hostage. From an unknown hiding place in one of the countless skyscraper windows around him, the villain gives Stu orders over the phone, forcing him to appear as a deranged and murderous gunman (false) and reveal himself as an unfaithful husband (nearly true.)

Religious press critics differ on whether the film is a significant morality play or merely sensationalized suspense. Some are impressed by the story's strong moral lesson, but others find it rather distastefully delivered.

Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says it "has a message which can be easily traced back to the scriptures. Stu is being forced to recognize a spiritual reality that will eventually face us all."

David Bruce (Hollywood Jesus) raves, "Not since Daredevil has there been a film with so much spiritual symbolism in it. The phone booth … serves as a confessional. The sniper being perched high up in a skyscraper is very godlike. This is a story about judgment, confession, and redemption. The sniper wants Stu to call his wife and confess his unfaithfulness—doing penance." Bruce then highlights a symbolically Christ-like progression, a death and resurrection of sorts, and he concludes, "Could any film be more dead-on with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ?"

Bob Smithouser (Focus on the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Tags:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueIs Addiction a Disease? Yes, and Much More
Subscriber Access Only Is Addiction a Disease? Yes, and Much More
Four core aspects of recovery that are essential for addressing addiciton.
Current IssueMy Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
My Missionary Great-Grandfather Led Me to Christ
But only after I went to Japan in search of his life story.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickThe Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
The Bible Never Says ‘All Men Are Created Equal’
How the New Testament offers a better, higher calling than the Declaration of Independence.
Christianity Today
A Good Man Is Hard to Find at the Movies
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2003

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.