The Operator

"Very Good"

The Operator Review


Exhibit A in why you shouldn't be rude to telemarketers, no matter your mood.

Indie flick The Operator is a hybrid black comedy/Hitchcock thriller about a real cad named Gary (Michael Laurence) -- a lawyer, quite naturally -- who "reaps what he sows" after telling off a vengeful telephone operator. Gary cheats on his wife (and his mistress), gambles, spends the savings on a fancy car, and represents dirtbags at the office. When the stress of his life gets too much to bear, he lets a poor Ma Ball employee we known only as Shiva (Jacqueline Kim) take the brunt of his wrath, which she turns back upon him in spades.

Soon enough, thanks to the apparently unchecked power of the phone company, Gary is out of the house, his credit cards are cancelled, and he appears to be headed for unemployment. The bulk of the movie consists of Gary trying to ferret out his tormenter and coming to terms with the notion of karma.

In this regard, The Operator has some of its best moments, and newcomer Laurence shows some excellent dramatic range as he eventually welcomes the pain being visited upon him. Set in Dallas, writer/director Jon Dichter (who introduced his film at South by Southwest) repeatedly called The Operator a "quintessential Texas movie." I'm not sure it speaks to the common fears of most of Texas, though most of the characters do sport southern accents (although Drew Carey star Christa Miller's is pretty over the top).

In the end, The Operator is a pretty good time, especially considering its obvious budget constraints. My only real beef is with the whole idea. I pray to god the phone operators can't really transfer funds from my account, charge things to my credit cards, and get my car repossessed. Hell, I doubt they can balance their checkbooks.



The Operator

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 4th March 2000

Distributed by: Black Wolf Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 45%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Gary Wheelan, as Doc, as Vernon Woods, Brad Leland as Husband, as The Operator, as Christie, as Janice Wheelan, Lee Stringer as Artie

Also starring:

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