May 25, 2024

THE OFFER (2022) – A rare insight on how to produce a Hollywood masterpiece!


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

The Offer is a 10 episodes mini series that tells the story of how one of Hollywood’s most iconic movie, The Godfather was made. This is told mostly through the eyes and personal experiences of producer Albert S Ruddy. The release of this series is timely as it coincides with the 50th Anniversary year of release of The Godfather in 1972.

Expecting the series to match the excellence of The Godfather would have been natural but setting the bar too high. However, watching the series made me realise that the story of the making of The Godfather has as much intrigue and is as enthralling as The Godfather! It follows the trials and tribulations that producer Albert S Ruddy had to experience while producing the film. His exploits include rubbing shoulders and collaborating with the New York city’s Italian American mafia! He also had to convince Paramount Pictures’ CEO Charles Bluhdorn (played by Burn Gorman) and legendary film producer Robert Evans (played brilliantly by Matthew Goode) to green light the project in the midst of a company crisis and pressure to deliver a box office hit for the company. As if that wasn’t enough, he also had to pander to the whims and facies of his two key players, the director Francis Ford Coppola and writer Mario Puzo to support their creative vision. Miles Teller is fast becoming a face to remember and once again proves his talents as he makes his take on the main role as Albert S Ruddy. He clearly has command on the role and confidently puts on a performance that is multi dimensional.

I have to admit that the initial two episodes were underwhelming with a flow that felt choppy and poorly edited. However, as we get to know the characters better, and the series became more focused, things began to fall in place. It is a treat for all movie lovers to be able to see experience how a major movie gets made. It also acts as a loving tribute to the Hollywood of the 1970’s where the CEO’s and executives truly have passion for the movies that they make. Somehow this love for the movies, I feel has disappeared in the movie studios nowadays. The love for the art form has sadly been replaced by the motivation driven by greed and chasing the money.

The series is not without its issues. Apart from its shaky start, some characters particularly that of Coppola and Puzo came across as a bit campy. These two greats were being portrayed as whiny, fat and with weakness for eating. I cannot imagine the great director Coppola and novelist Puza as being so immatured. Hard to imagine how these two bumbling fools are capable of the greatness of The Godfather! The other thing that was difficult to believe was the level of influence and collaboration that took place with the Italian American mobsters! Some of the things that happen in this aspect of the story felt like something out of fiction!

The names Albert S Ruddy, and Robert Evans may not ring a bell for the less initiated, but their commitment, keen eye and talent for making box office hits help shaped the industry. They were also responsible for so many golden hits including Love Story, Chinatown, The Last Ten Yards, The Great Gatsby, etc. It makes me a little sad to think how difficult and rare to find such passion and magic in the movies these days. I guess we should thank Michael Tolkin for creating the series and sharing this wonderful story with us. Hopefully it would serve as an inspiration to the movie makers of today.

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