Sunday, April 11, 2021

‘Calls’ streaming back to TV which strangely feels like a radio drama

Adapted from a French series, the show employs minimal graphics – abstract waves and lines, to which amount the dialogue’s word balloon is paired – as the stories unfold over nine episodes, most lasting less than 20 minutes is.

Directed by Fede Álvarez (“Don’t Breath”), the creepy threads play through a series of seemingly unrelated phone calls, each featuring characters featuring strange, supernatural phenomena. In one, for example, a man calls home after a quarrel with his wife, unaware that a large amount of time is passing at the other end of the line during what he considers to be mere minutes. is.

Each story moves along those lines, in a way that feels unrelated but which comes together unexpectedly. Titled “The End” and “The Beginning”, the first and second episodes are broadly offered a road map of how everything in between – that is, the remaining seven – can be connected.

In practice, this Kovid-19 is a remarkably efficient way of grappling with production concerns, and is certainly a low-impact approach in terms of cost and talent, with Rosario Dawson, Pedro Pascal, Laurie Collins and Clancy Brown has voices. And while the graphics prove to be surprisingly effective in setting the mood, a separate Spanish-language version is planned for Latin American markets.

The “call” works in part because it represents a change of pace, built around the notion that the horrors associated with our imagination often surpass anything that could imagine millions of dollars in special effects. Yet it speaks for the freedom that the sheer abundance of content platforms allow to play with formats, especially when doing so cheaply.

Of course, streaming services engage in all kinds of stunts to get attention, and there is no denying that this is a bit of a gimmick. Nevertheless, for the few hours in our time that it takes to see / hear the chapter, the “call” is an invitation to answer.

“Call” premiered on March 19 on Apple TV +.


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