Shortcuts in life never pay off, especially in movies. Think for a moment. How much would you pay to fulfill your wildest dreams of attaining money, power, or sex? In Jake and Andrew Hunsicker’s The Arrangement, dream fulfillment is easy; it’s the price that isn’t.
The thriller opens with a master pitchman (Eric Roberts) making a very persuasive offer to unsuspecting audience members. He guarantees them, with 100% certainty, that they will attain their deepest desires. His cute little daughter is there to serve as the “closer.”
In another part of town, detectives Frick (Danny Donnelly) and Alvarez (Jennifer M. Kay) investigate the apparent suicide of a successful stockbroker. With no clear motive for jumping out a window, the only evidence they have is a photo of the victim with renowned porn king, Paul Scaglione (Michael McFadden). After the interview, Scaglione winds up dead from, you guessed it, suicide. This sets off a string of suicides over the next several nights. The next victim is a senator, then a famous actor and the body count rises from there.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Alvarez is having an affair with the station lieutenant. Frick starts dating a mysterious woman he met online. Let’s also add severe office dysfunction at the police station, which seemingly sets Alvarez against her partner Frick, to the list.
“…a master pitchman…guarantees them, with 100% certainty, that they will attain their deepest desires.”
I rather enjoyed this fun, low-budget, indie thriller. The Arrangement hits the ground running, revealing the world of The Pitchman and the arrangements made with clients. The movie’s low budget never gets in the way of the plot. The curtain on the story’s secret is paced nicely and revealed in a pleasant, slow manner with many twists and turns.
As far as a thriller goes, figuring out the who, what, and why will not be too difficult for fans of the genre, but the ending might just throw you for a loop. The final revelation is massive in its scope, unexpected, and thankfully makes sense with only the smallest of holes.
To me, the only negative of The Arrangement is that some of the acting is a little too over-the-top for my taste. As Detective Frick, Danny Donnelly feels like he’s trying a little too hard to convince us the character is nebbish. Though, Jennifer M. Kay balances the duo out nicely with her strong and tough portrayal of the promising and recently promoted Detective Alvarez. She navigates the male-dominated and misogynistic police station brilliantly. Sex jokes litter most of the film, and I love it.
King of Indie Cameos Eric Roberts bookends the movie, and he’s always excellent. The Arrangement is a perfect example of how to get a top-notch actor for a reasonable price (Check out the secret to hire Eric Roberts in this pre-COVID interview).
The Arrangement takes you on a fun, thrill-ride of mystery and intrigue. I’m still thinking about the ending.
"…hits the ground running revealing the world of The Pitchman..."