The Quiet Arrangement (2009) on DVD March 22
The Quiet Arrangement has been compared to Memento and Fargo, and there is some validity to the comparison; there’s a lot of blood, the story is not linear, and there is snow on the ground. It could also be compared to Reservoir Dogs (there’s blood and a lot of the characters are “Mr.” something), Pulp Fiction (there’s blood, most of the characters are men, and it’s nonlinear), and The Deer Hunter (there’s blood and it was filmed in Pennsylvania).
The truth is that comparisons to any of these films are not favorable. The story is absorbing—sort of, the acting is atrocious—totally, and the dialogue is nearly as dumb as the lyrics to some of the songs on the soundtrack—okay, equally as dumb. One of the things that separate a well-made film from a cheesy production is sound quality. The viewer is tipped off to two things (both bad) in the opening scene with the first sentence spoken: the sound mixing/editing is poor, and the acting is amateurish (aka “horocious”), with the exception of Kyle Jason.
Centering around a kidnapping gone terribly wrong, The Quiet Arrangement starts out with a bit of a film noir look and atmosphere. Over-the-top performances negate any good negotiated with that false promise. The story involves a lawyer whose wife has been kidnapped. It gets confusing because there are so many crimes happening and so many bodies falling. Quentin Tarantino prepared us for scenes out of chronological order in which someone killed earlier in the film is shown alive and kicking, but nobody could prepare us for the way the same type of situation is handled in The Quiet Arrangement.
The lawyer’s wife wants him dead, and he’s in cahoots with a couple of hoods in some crooked deal. A couple of cops are involved in a stake-out, and a few more hoods are involved in the kidnapping. There’s some sort of circular logic at work that is corrupted by too many angles. Characters are so underdeveloped that the audience doesn’t care who gets killed, it’s just another one biting the dust. An unlikely, untimely romance develops which elicits disbelief and laughter from the audience, and we wonder what writer/director David C. Snyder was thinking when he threw that in.Continued on the next page