The Quiet Arrangement
directed by David C. Snyder
starring Kyle Jason, Christina Simkovich and Rob Stone
HWIC Film Works/MVD Visuals
You get a DVD of your wife tied up and crying, followed by a mechanically altered phone call demanding $1 million in cash within 24 hours. Do you a) call the FBI, b) get a duffel bag of cash out of the bedroom, or c) storm over to your connection and threaten them with a 45? That’s the decision facing Dr. Briggs (Kevin Hayes), and the task assigned to you is to figure out just exactly who is whom and what is why and just what the heck is going on here. Filmmaker David Snyder takes an old story line and turns it into a strangely compelling drama. Using dimmed colors and a claustrophobic lens, he tells a story that recalls Altman’s Nashville — it’s never clear who the central character is or exactly where the film is heading, and you can pick whomever you choose to cheer for or rail against.
Death comes quickly and easily; bodies litter an empty field next to a subdivision within the first 10 minutes. Each scene is revisited two or three times, and each visit brings you back with a different fact and another slice of plot so that each review reinforces the importance of the scene but for a different reason. The acting is tense, with anger, cowardice, and opportunism rotating though this madhouse prism. Hayes, who plays the evil doctor, mirrors the mastermind of this caper while executive producer John DelSerone does well as the filling for enforcer Mr. Parks. Rapper Chuck D plays a cop and dies innocently even if he’s no better than he need be. Every moment of this tense thriller looks like it’s about to snow, and the cold damp of an Ohio fall emphasizes the futility of life when there’s a bag of cash around and the wrong people find out about it. Yes, you can come up with a new angle on an old story, and I’ll probably watch this again, just to tease out the timeline.
Quiet Arrangement: quietarrangement.com