The Godfather is often quoted to be the best film ever made. What Francis Ford Coppola and his team created with that movie goes beyond simple theater entertainment. The film became ingrained in pop culture; quote moments and characters. They have all become part of cinema history. The Godfather is top tier when it comes to cinema, everybody knows that. What very few people know is just how hard it was to make it. The Offer, the new Paramount Original, is here to try to educate us on the matter.
In the age where streaming services are betting on superheroes, action, horror, and genre stories in order to convert people into subscribers, Paramount is choosing to bet a period piece retelling the making of The Godfather. If this was a good choice, only time will tell, but without a doubt Paramount+ has something here, as the show is not only educational but also quite entertaining.
The Offer is a miniseries directed by Dexter Fletcher (Venom, Gangster Squad) and stars Miles, Teller, Juno Temple, Matthew Goode, Dan Fogler, Patrick Gallo, Colin Hanks, and Giavanni Ribisi. The show tells the story of producers, directors, and actors on the road to making The Godfather the legendary film it is. On the road, they will find a studio that doesn’t seem to believe in the project, and even the mafia itself, which thinks the movie makes them seem like a joke.
The Offer is directed in the first place to a very specific type of audience, cinema buffs. People interested in the history of cinema will eat this miniseries up like it was the best steak they have ever eaten. Fletcher and his team have really made this into quite a production. Each episode manages to conjure the 70s back to life, and the actors do a fantastic job playing some of the most famous people in Hollywood from that era.
Fletcher’s direction finds the director in a very comfortable position, as the show doesn’t really have to rely on a huge budget of visual effects to make the story come across. Fletcher only has to focus on the details that make the piece seem believable, and he does thanks to an amazing production design department that transported each set five decades back, and also a wonderful team in the clothing department. Some of these actors really seem like they are traveling through time here.
The story is snappy and quite entertaining. The episodes have so much story to cover that they don’t really stay in one place too much. It is a lesson the series is taking into consideration, just like when Mario Puzo himself had to adapt his own novel to the screen. Keep it nice and simple. The Offer does the same thing, so there is always something happening, the wheels are always moving just like Hollywood.
This simple approach to the storytelling makes the show easy to follow, but it also brings some caveats with it. For example, there is always a sense of disjointed pieces. Yes, the story is easy to follow, but some scenes feel like they were longer and were cut in very strange places. It could only be a problem with the editing, but it is noticeable, especially as we start to jump more and more between the different sets of characters. Sometimes it feels like the characters are not even in the same show.
Maybe, the point was to make the show feel just as chaotic as the production of The Godfather, and if that was the goal, then it was a success. Moving, the issue remains, but it is something that will bother very few people.
In other order of ideas, if the show is aimed at cinema buffs, what about everyone else? Do you need to be a cinema buff or have seen The Godfather in order to enjoy The Offer? I would say no. The show manages to stand on its own as a show about the right people, in the right time, and having the right attitude. It is, just like The Godfather itself, a story about the American Dream, and that is more often than not, a universal feeling.
Miles Teller plays Albert Ruddy, a character that embodies the American Dream. Ruddy cannot stay in one place for too long. He has been looking for his true calling all of his life, and when he becomes a film producer, he finds it. Ruddy is the start of the show and the one character that serves as common ground between the filmmakers, the executives, and the mafia. Teller does a fantastic job and brings his charisma to the role.
Out of the rest of the cast, Juno Temple stands out once again. The actress who is now worldwide famous thanks to her role in Ted Lasso, keeps being on fire, now with a role that fits her natural charisma like a globe. Dan Fogler, also manages to be a highlight as Francis Ford Coppola, the dangerous and risky young director.
The show brings all these wonderful characters and paints a picture of Hollywood that is not easy to forget. It is true that it might color the Hollywood of that era with maybe too many pretty colors. However, be it in that era or in current times, there is no doubt that there are still people working in the filmmaking industry that love film with passion. It is from them is that we get the films that become truly legendary.
The Offer is entertaining, and it will also teach you a couple of things about the industry that has kept countless millions of people captivated with moving pictures projected on a screen. It will not be for everyone, but even those without any prior knowledge or no interest in the matter will be able to find something here.