Thursday, May 8, 2014
Here's the Deal (orig. Somos Gente Honrada) 
Here's the Deal (orig. Somos Gente Honrada)  [IMDb] [SC]* (directed and cowritten by Alejandro Marzoa [IMDb] [SC]* along with Miguel Ángel Blanca [IMDb] [SC]* and Juan Cruz [IMDb] [SC]*) is a bitter-sweet comedy from Spain that played recently at the 30th Chicago Latino Film Festival.
Set in contemporary Spain (Galicia), it's about two friends, middle-aged -- Manolo (played by Miguel de Lira [IMDb] [SC]*) and Suso (played by Paco Tous [IMDb] [SC]*) -- who both seem to have been dumped at the side of the road by the economic dislocations of our times. Manolo once had a construction business building vacation condos until the real estate boom dried-up thanks to the 2008 world-wide financial crisis. Suso used to run a newspaper kiosk until the internet boom rendered his quaint little neighborhood store obsolete.
So what do the two do? They meet each afternoon by the river flowing through their seaside town to go fishing. Well one evening instead reeling-in "a big fish," they reel-in a plastic-covered package that turns out to contain 10 kilos of cocaine. Wow. What to do? Both know that to do anything with the package (other than turn it over to the police) would be illegal and almost certainly dangerous BUT THEY FOUND 10 KILOS OF COCAINE and the street value would make A LOT of their current financial problems go away: Manolo's business had completely collapsed with the only people calling him being creditors threatening legal action, while Suso's been reduced to depending on his father-in-law to keep his family afloat with his father-in-law making it absolutely clear that he thought of him as a "complete loser of a man" and his daughter's "biggest mistake." On the other side of the coin, Manolo's 20-something daughter is dating a cop and Suso has a college age son. Could they bring themselves to basically sell drugs to "their kids" or at least "their kids' friends" (their kids' generation)?
So this then is their dilemma: Is economic survival / reestablishing a certain level of financial dignity (even if it's based on a lie, indeed, crime) worth the cost of not being able to look one's own kids in the eye? (Spanish title of the film is "We're Honorable People" after all).
The rest of the movie flows from there. Since this is "a comedy" after all ;-), I can assure readers here that there is a "happy ending." ;-)
But wow, what a story with a lot of heartache ... yet ever told with a gentle smile.
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