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IANS Review: ‘The Offer’: Makes you crave to revisit ‘The Godfather’

Los Angeles : This series, created by Michael Tolkin and developed by Tolkin and Leslie Greif, is based on Academy Award-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’s experience of making the film ‘The Godfather’ which was adapted from Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel of the same name. Set in 1970, the series is exactly the type of chronicle that keeps film buffs glued to the screen, but at the same time, its lengthy narrative could keep non-ardent cinephiles at arms-length. The series begins with Ruddy (Miles Teller), a television programmer of Rand Corporation- striking a deal with Robert Evans (Matthew Goode), the CEO of Paramount Pictures, to produce the film. Paired with his all-knowing and perky assistant Bettye McCartt (Juno Temple), Ruddy assembles the team which includes; writer Mario Puzo (Patrick Gallo), the inexperienced indie director Frank Coppola (Dan Fogler), the promising actor Al Pacino (Anthony Ippolito), who no-one but Coppola wants, and the star actor – Marlon Brando (Justin Chambers). The series is narrated- from Ruddy’s point of view.


It tells us how a harried Ruddy dealt with Barry Lapidus (Colin Hanks) and Charles Bludhorn (Burn Gorman), the executives of Paramount Pictures parent company – Gulf & Western, and gangster Joe Colombo (Giovanni Ribisi). The plot, despite being bloated with Ruddy’s personal life and perspective, shows us how Ruddy is focused on making the best film possible despite inter-office politics and budgetary constraints. He also ensures that nobody is killed- by the real-life Mafias who had targeted the production due to the instigation of the insecure Frank Sinatra (Frank John Hughes). With dialogues like, “It was magic, real magic,” “If anything is easy, everyone would, do it,” “rewriting history, that is how we can deal with the horror,” or, ‘Nothing good comes out from anything safe,” the writing seems mundane and run-of-the-mill. Similar is the case of presenting the symmetrical structure of organised crime and Hollywood, the two parallel patronage systems with arcane languages, exaggerated expressions of loyalty, and hierarchies of tyrannical- leadership.


]Miles Teller, as the central character Ruddy is engaging despite him being overshadowed- by far more engaging performances around him. The rest of the cast are earnest, and they deliver their chops to the best of their abilities. They all shine in their respective roles. But the most noteworthy among them is Juno Temple as Bettye McCart. She is a live-wire actor who owns every scene she is in. The series does not boast of any artistic brilliance but is mounted on a grand scale with aplomb, giving us a fair- insight into the preproduction, shoots, and post-production of the film, and like the film itself, the series feels like an “experience”. Overall, the series makes you crave to revisit the 1972 released film – ‘The Godfather’


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