The Offer Season 1 Review: ‘The Godfather’ behind-the-scenes is as legendary as the movie itself

STORY: The series is based on Oscar-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’s extraordinary vision and behind-the-scenes experiences while working on the legendary Hollywood film ‘The Godfather.’

REVIEW: Series creator and showrunner Michael Tolkin’s drama provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film ‘The Godfather,’ as seen through the eyes of producer Albert S. Ruddy (Miles Teller). Rudy quits his job at the Rand Corporation in order to give a shot in Hollywood. Despite knowing very little about the business of making movies, he was adamant about working for this crime-based film ‘The Godfather,’ which was named after Mario Puzo’s novel of the same name. Another fascinating aspect of the story is how Puzo came up with the idea for a novel about the Italian-American and Sicilian mafias, and how his wife was the one who suggested turning his mafia plot into a family-centric one. It also examines how a novelist struggled to write a screenplay and how Francis Ford Coppola helped finish the story and get the project moving. The series attempts to create tension by speculating on whether or not the film will fall apart before its premiere. Guess what, though? The end result of all this commotion is already known.

The anticipation of seeing the making of the legendary film ‘The Godfather’ is palpable. However, the treatment of this limited series appears sloppy and chaotic at first glance. It’s the second episode that begins in earnest to tell the story of the film’s creation. Each episode, on the other hand, follows a consistent pattern: a problem arises, panic ensues, and only Ruddy is left to solve the problem. However, as characters mature, they become more familiar and endearing. And to give it a more realistic look, this biographical drama recreated the historical sets of paramount studios.

The entire series revolves around the film’s main creators, producer Albert S. Ruddy, writer Mario Puzo and co-writer and director Francis Ford Coppola. Initially, Sergio Leone was the studio’s top choice to direct the film, but he turned down the offer as he didn’t like Puzo’s novel; as a result, the film was offered to Coppola, who turned it into an acclaimed masterpiece. ‘The Offer’ also introduces many other characters—Frank Sinatra, LA gangster Mickey Cohen and Joe Colombo (a rising crime boss in the New York City Mafia)—who vie for control of the film’s production and have darker plans for it. Although we already know that ‘The Godfather’ was a success and won awards, still, the series is undeniably engaging and takes the audience on a journey through the film’s production and the challenges (budget, approvals, threats, Al Pacino’s casting, and so on) that everyone faced. However, the story is overdramatised at times. Even the plot of the real-life mafia takes up a significant amount of screen time, lengthening the series. Though, the narrative does place an emphasis on the families who inspired The Godfather’s script and played a crucial role in ensuring that the film was made.

All characters—inspired by real people—deliver believable performances. Anthony Ippolito is impressive as Al Pacino, capturing the self-doubts of a young actor. Dan Fogler exudes maniacal obsession as Coppola, demanding that everything be done his way or the highway. Patrick Gallo gives a well-balanced performance as Mario Puzo. Miles Teller delivers a solid performance as Ruddy, the only person who remains upbeat and optimistic throughout the duration of the project. Juno Temple is fantastic as his know-it-all secretary Bettye McCartt. Joe Colombo shines as Giovanni Ribisi, a crime boss who protests the film in support of Italian-American civil rights. Matthew Goode offers the most entertaining performance as a film producer and studio executive, Robert Evans. The film’s production was overseen by Charles Bluhdorn, the CEO of Gulf & Western, whose character is convincingly played by Burn Gorman in the series.

‘The Offer’ is a slow burner throughout and a very long affair to watch, with each episode lasting an hour. Despite this, thanks to Paramount’s high production values and the way the story progresses and characters develop, this 10-part series drama is consistently charming. To summarise, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that, like other popular crime dramas such as ‘Better Call Saul,’ it provides good content to watch for viewers while also providing a good learning experience for other filmmakers.


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