Middleman (Chris Capelluto, 2011): USA

Reviewed by Kathleen Amboy.  Viewed online at YouTube.

Jeremy Coulter (John Mingione) is a fast talking, used car salesman with an economics degree from NYU.  He is  struggling to pay off his $150k student loan when approached by Harley (Edward Ryan), an insidious minister of evil, who asks him “have you ever sold anything bigger than a car?”  He then offers Jeremy a job, apprising him that “salesmen are the middlemen between what you want, and what the world has to offer.”

When suddenly a suspicious mob of disgruntled customers encircle Jeremy and attempt to jump him,  out of nowhere, he pulls a few black-belt punches and escapes unscathed to the apartment of a female acquaintance named Natasha (Cyce Sadsad).

With the loan weighing heavy on his mind, and at Natasha’s urging Jeremy accepts Harley’s offer, which is to use his business acumen to sell a $15 billion loan to a third world country, and in turn absolve his student loan.

Soon after they arrive at a small country near the Baltic Sea, and Jeremy successfully sells the loan to the Prime Minister, but not before he has an act of consciousness in his deal with the devil.

Middleman is a 17 minute adrenaline rush of action, humor, and  intrigue with a socio-political message.  It’s about prostituting yourself for more and getting less on all levels.

Good camera work with unsettling viewpoints, shaky cam, and distorted close ups on the vile and sinister Harley.  Impressive work by Capelluto who shot the film in 4 days on a $600 budget.

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