Directed by: #JakeHunsicker
Film review by: Brian Penn
Cops chasing serial killers before they strike again is fertile if well-trodden territory on the big screen. However, The Arrangement takes a refreshingly novel approach as different genres nestle to great effect. A mix of styles make the story less predictable as thriller meets whodunit via a chilling supernatural narrative. The characters are subordinate to some excellent plotting as the main action happens at night taking advantage of darkness set against understated lighting.
Street cop Jessica Alvarez (Jennifer M. Kay) has just been promoted to detective but lives in the shadow of her late father, a hero of the local precinct with big boots to fill. She is teamed with Harry Frick (Danny Donnelly), something of an oddball and loner looking for love on a dating website. Their first case arrives on the stroke of midnight when entrepreneur Lucy Gordon (Jamie Korezsi) falls to her death. But could she have jumped or was she pushed? Harry finds a picture on her body that triggers memories of a previous case. Meanwhile, Jessica fends off the attention of Lieutenant Nick Devlin (Dax Richardson), who undoubtedly has an agenda of his own. More deaths occur at midnight as Alvarez and Frick try to make sense of it all. A porn star, senator and actor are all drawn into a web of intrigue as seemingly no one can be trusted. And what exactly is the role of the Pitchman (Eric Roberts), a motivational speaker with the answer to seemingly every problem?
The Arrangement teasingly unwraps the storyline like a multi-layered Christmas gift. Tension builds to a satisfying crescendo but stubbornly keeps the reveal for the final frames of the film. Like all good cameos, Eric Roberts as the Pitchman drops in at strategic points to ensure the audience ask the right questions. If there is a downside the characters are, on occasion one-dimensional. However, depth is sacrificed as the characters become the vehicle for a more powerful narrative. It takes the audience on a journey into the very deepest recess of human consciousness and life’s most cherished sometimes dubious commodities. This film works because they use a ‘cops chasing bad guys’ storyline but aren’t hemmed in by the template and is all the better for it.