Writer: Barney Elliott (Screenplay)
Starring: Stephen Dorff, David Strathairn, Brooke Langton, Carlos Bardem, Alberto Ammann, Elsa Olivero, Amiel Cayo
Plot: Set against the backdrop of an international finance deal in New York and Peru, Oliver’s Deal is an intense political drama which explores how far people will go to get what they want.
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Overly Complicated Thriller
Story: The Deal starts as we see how Oliver (Dorff) has been putting together a deal to get large amounts of land in Peru, taking advantage of the people he is buying from. He wants to take on the biggest owner in Ruben Caravedo (Bardem), but when his boss Nathan (Strathairn) wants to deal closed he is put on a week-long assignment to complete the job.
Elsewhere Maria (Olivero) has been caring for her sick mother and starts looking for any options to help her mother, we see how Oliver, Maria and young llama shepherd will do anything to get what they need.
Thoughts on The Deal
Characters – Oliver is a fast-talking businessman who has been working on collecting land in Peru, when his boss puts a time on what is left for him, he must race to get the biggest deal done, even if this means going against morals of getting a deal done, turning the people he must trust the most. Nathan is Oliver’s boss, he wants the deal closed and is keeping Oliver on a leash before shutting him down. Ruben is the land owner in Peru that will do anything to get his family’s land back, he will do what he can to deal with Oliver. Maria is a nurse that will turn to blackmail in an attempt to get help for her sick mother.
Performances – The performances are solid enough with Stephen Dorff in the leading role bring the type of performance you would expect, it is Elsa Olivero who truly shines in her role which has the most heart about it. It is the lesser known stars that do shine in the film because of the emotional impact their characters must go through.
Story – The story here is horrendously miss-sold with the story, it talks about a political thriller focusing on one man trying to make a deal, this is only a small fraction of this story because we have so much more going on, including a nursing desperate to help for mother and a farmer trying to teach his son responsibility. They do connect in the end of the film, though it could have been a lot more impactful by the time we get here. This is trying too hard with everything we are trying to get done and not giving enough focus on Oliver’s side of the story. This is one that could and should have given more focus on the nurse’s character because she gets through the most difficult decision making process in the film.
Mystery – This is sold on the idea of it being a mystery about how a deal would get done, only to try and be a thriller that never reaches the edge of your seat material.
Settings – The film is set mostly in Peru which does have a beautiful backdrop for the open country side of the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a thriller that does try to bring us something new only to end up being everything we have seen before and lacking the focus on an of the characters for a long enough time.
Overall: Misguiding and lacks the impact.