For a Dark Sense of Humor: Here’s the Deal (2013)

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Legend has it, when Ferdinand II reigned as king in the 15thcentury – what is today known as the city of Aragon, Spain – he spoke with a lisp. His subjects – in an effort to emulate the king – also began to speak with a lisp, and that lisp soon spread across the country. As with any legend nowadays, I was able to quickly debunk it upon a simple Google search. The “Spanish lisp” is not so much a lisp as it is simply the way they speak, however, that hasn’t quite stopped me from making jokes at the expenthe of my good friend Jothé who hailth from Madrid.

Lucky for me, the Spanish people I run into have always been good humored despite their accent never failing to come up in conversation upon meeting one. Alejandro Marzoa is no exception to Spanish good humor with his entry at this year’s Miami International Film Festival – Here’s the Deal.

Here’s the Deal follows the story of Manuel and Suso – two good friends who are down on their luck amidst Spain’s faltering economy. Suso used to operate a series of newsstands but began to lose revenue thanks to the growing popularity of non-print media (those damn Internetz!). Manuel – the owner of a crumbling construction company – is a widower with an adult daughter and a young son. In an effort to escape from the unfortunate reality of their lives, Manuel and Suso spend many an afternoon fishing but even seem to fail at that. One evening, after another fishing getaway turning up empty, they stumble upon a package washed ashore at the beach. Manuel inspects the contents to discover the white powdery contained within. A terrified Suso is soon convinced by the affable Manuel that the drugs are their key to financial stability – becoming an unlikely duo of cocaine cowboys.

The film is subtle in its approach to comedy, offering punch lines veiled in danger. As where many comedies are aware of their comedic intention – Here’s the Deal is a complex, emotional rollercoaster that doesn’t look back to see if you’re laughing in much the same way as Breaking Bad did in its earlier seasons – before Vince Gilligan made the world cry.

As the film went on I couldn’t help but notice that Suso’s choice in clothing began to vaguely remind me of a certain someone.

A longshot?
“Yeah, bitch!”

Here’s the Deal went seemingly unnoticed at this year’s Miami International Film Festival, which is a shame because it is certainly one of this year’s hidden gems.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Jaie Laplante

Jaie Laplante is the Miami Film Festival's executive director and director of programming. Learn more about Jaie on Programmers.