Heavy breathing. A disjointed male’s voice. Crying.
“I’m scared,” the voice on the line finally says.
The short stars the wonderfully expressive Sally Hawkins as Heather, a British Crisis Center worker. Hawkins carries the story, acting as your detective/journalist. With a pleasant, caring voice and a compassionate bedside manner, Hawkins reassures the reluctant man (voiced by Jim Broadbent) on the line, luring him to confide in her.
“We don’t trace calls, ever,” Heather says.
With those words, she navigates a mine field into one man’s past.
Kirkby and James Lucas’s poignant and engaging script has you hanging on to every word. Like NoMore.org’s Super Bowl spot about domestic violence, “The Phone Call” appeals to your pathos.
While we never see the person on the other line, “The Phone Call” reminds us that the invisible also have voices and stories to tell. They’re just waiting for someone to listen and share them.
“The Phone Call” was written and James Lucas and Mat Kirkby and directed by Kirkby. The 21-minute short from the UK was nominated for Best Live Action Short in the 2015 Academy Awards.