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The idea of \'Phone Booth\' came from screenwriter Larry Cohen (Q: The Winged Serpent) originally which was taken from a film that was going to be taken place entirely within a phone booth by Alfred Hitchock in the 1960s. Alfred Hitchcock liked the idea but Alfred and Larry were unable to figure out a plot to keep the film confined to a phone booth. The idea of a sniper came to Larry in the late 1990\'s he was then able to write the script for \'Phone Booth\' in under a month.
The surprising thing about \'Phone Booth\' is that the film showcases its use of dialogue more than a lot of films do today. The conversations between Stu and the caller (Kiefer Sutherland, The Lost Boys) are thrilling and keep the audience at the edge of their seats whereas it makes Stu sweat under the tension that the caller is causing.
The director Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever) is able to maintain the tension throughout which is overpowering and this draws the audience to the edge of their seats again wondering what is going to happen next to Stu, who is the caller’s next victim and what mind games he is going to play to make Stu sweat.
This leaves the audience hating how Stu lives but with enough sympathy for the character along with encouragement to keep watching. A more overpowering portrayal would have turned the audience off immediately. There are some freedoms taken to boost the script e.g. how the caller knows so much about Stu which is a bit over the top. But the dialogue and almost a direct showcase of the events that make \'Phone Booth\' a film worth watching.
The target audience that was going to be set before the film was released. It was conducted with a survey in 2001 to find out whether a target market of school children in the late years and college aged people would be suitable for the viewing of the film once it was released. In the survey the people were asked “What the best movie of all time was?” and the result was ‘The Fast and The Furious’ which lead to Larry Cohen producing something a little different along with Alfred Hitchock’s idea of a film being set entirely within a phone booth with there for led to the thriller ‘Phone Booth’ being made.
However the problem with \'Phone Booth\' is that it takes the audience away from Stu and the caller because of the people outside the phone booth. The hookers, the bouncer and the police were all just clichés and that took away from the tension from the phone booth. The film should have stuck with its primary focus. Nevertheless Colin Farrell is very effective as Stu Shepard and brings a lot of defenselessness to the sleaze-ball of a character that he shows in the film’s opening and he is also very good at being distraught when the tension reaches its highest which pulls you into Stu and his mess that is ongoing throughout the film.
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