×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Film Review: ‘Here’s the Deal’

Two middle-aged family men begin a life of crime in first-time Spanish director Alejandro Marzoa's nicely understated black comedy.

With:

Miguel de Lira, Paco Tous, Unaz Ugalde, Marisol Membrillo, Manuel Lozano, Manuela Velles, Xose Manuel Olveira, Antonio Duran, Axel Fernando.

A life of crime looms as potential salvation for two middle-aged family men left high and dry by the economic recession in “Here’s the Deal,” first-time Spanish director Alejandro Marzoa’s nicely understated black comedy. Already ill equipped to navigate the everyday shoals of contemporary society, the longtime friends flounder cluelessly in completely uncharted waters when 10 kilos of cocaine wash up on their favorite fishing beach. The vaudeville-style rapport between the engaging leads keeps the humor light and steers it away from stereotypes, while weightier issues of aging and unemployment hover but never intrude. The pic’s modesty, although welcome artistically, could limit its distribution outside Spain.

Widower Manuel (Miguel de Lira) sits in his model apartment for unsalable condos, surrounded by merchandise bearing the logo of his failed corporation. Meanwhile, his best bud, Suso (Paco Tous), watches as his once-flourishing newsstand now serves as a boarded-up goal for ball-kicking kids; he’s supported by a weekly stipend from his wife’s pompous father (the late Xose Manuel Olveira). Manuel’s and Suso’s loser status even extends to their leisure-time masculine pursuits, as they resort, yet again, to surreptitiously buying their “catch” at the local fish market.

Manuel and Suso’s game-changing moment — their discovery of a fortune in illegal dope — occurs during one of their failed fishing expeditions. Burying their find at the beach and digging it up later, the two initially try to sell the drugs themselves, venturing into fashionable night-spot toilets and offering samples to ecstatic buyers at phenomenally low prices. Wrestling equally with fear, unfamiliarity and genuine scruples, they decide to go straight and give up the goods. But they surrender to a crooked cop and learn that their well-intended bid for respectability has landed them in bed with the big boys.

Instead of embroiling his in-over-their-heads protagonists in a spiraling web of increasingly dangerous action in time-honored noir tradition, director Marzoa opts to chart the potential transformation of these honorable deadbeats into successful criminals. While the duo’s shady adventures get improbably bogged down in birthday parties for drug lords’ children and trips to EuroDisney, their own domestic situations spin out of control, particularly in the case of Manuel’s upstanding son-in-law-to-be (Unaz Ugalde), who gets hauled off to jail in handcuffs.

Ultimately, Manuel and Suso are pulled back from the brink of success (or, as it turns out, imprisonment) by their innate ordinariness and the limited scope of their ambitions, here celebrated in fine style by two gifted Galacian thesps. Lenser Arnau Valls Colomer’s gentle northern-lit lighting and Curru Garabal’s comfortable production design lend the men’s surroundings an innate serenity that clinches the deal.

Film Review: 'Here's the Deal'

Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (First Films, competing), Aug. 31, 2013.  Running time: 86 MIN. Original title: "Somos gente honrada"

Production:

(Spain) A Filmax Intl. release of a Vaca Films, El Terrat, Persona Non Grata Pictures production in collaboration with ICIC, ICAA, , TV3, TVE, Xunta de Galicia. Produced by Emma Lustres, Jose Corbacho. Co-producers, Antonio Ferreira, Tathiani Sacilotto. Executive producers, Borja Pena, Toni Carrizosa.

Crew:

Directed by Alejandro Marzoa. Screenplay, Miguel Angel Blanca, Juan Cruz, Marzoa. Camera (color, widescreen), Arnau Valls Colomer; editors, Sofia Escude, David Gallart; music, Sergio Moure; production designer, Curru Garabal; costume designer, Eva Camino; sound (Dolby Digital), Vasco Pimental; sound designer, Marc Bech; casting, Irene Roque.

With:

Miguel de Lira, Paco Tous, Unaz Ugalde, Marisol Membrillo, Manuel Lozano, Manuela Velles, Xose Manuel Olveira, Antonio Duran, Axel Fernando.

More Film

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

  • Naomi Scott Talks Rebooting Princess Jasmine

    'Aladdin': Naomi Scott on Why Her Princess Jasmine Needed Nasim Pedrad's New Character

    Call Naomi Scott the queen of the reboot – or at least, the princess. The 26-year-old actress is taking on the role of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin,” but it’s not her first time jumping into a role that’s already been well-established. Audiences may recognize Scott from 2017’s “Power Rangers” update, where [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • A QUIET PLACE Emily Blunt

    'A Quiet Place' Sequel Moves Ahead Two Months to March 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved its sequel to “A Quiet Place” ahead by two months from May 15 to March 20, 2020. John Krasinski is returning to direct the still-untitled movie with Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe reprising their roles. Cillian Murphy is joining the cast. “A Quiet Place” grossed $340 million at the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content