The Arriviste

Directed By: Pascal Santschi

Starring: Eamon Speer, Mark Fernandes, Gary Devirgilio, Tom Morwick, Raymond Turturro, Paige Ambroziak, Sam Charny, P.J. Cross, Pascal Dinoia, and Heike Muschik

Sobriety Test is adding something new to the Reviews section of the siteā€”the "Up & Coming Movie Reviews" section.  This new column will feature reviews of low-budget movies from independent and/or amateur filmmakers.  In the inaugural review for this column, Sobriety Test is going to tackle Pascal Santschi's The Arriviste.

William Laumer (P.J. Cross) seems to be the center of attention these days.  His crimes seem to have caught up with him.  William tries to blackmail Harry Feldman (Sam Charny), and it backfires.  His chopped up cadaver would serve as evidence of this if it could be found.  Regardless of whether the authorities recover his body, William's alleged death certainly stirs up enough controversy.  Nick Laumer (Eamon Speer) has to pick up the pieces of his brother's mess.  With a corrupt cop on his trail, a fraudulent insurance rep bent on screwing him out of his brother's life insurance, and an opportunistic private investigator getting in his way at every turn, Nick must figure out what actually happened to his brother.

The Arriviste is a solid guerrilla movie that's pretty entertaining.  It's a film that's undeniably authentic.  Having been filmed on the streets of New York and probably in the apartments of cast and crew members, The Arriviste is a gritty depiction of opportunism and corruption.  Everybody has their hands in the pot trying to capitalize on the alleged death of William, including Eamon Speer's Nick.  The film offers a dark, grim outlook on the downside of ambition that works quite well on the big screen.

With this being a low budget production, there are some drawbacks to The Arriviste.  For instance, there are times at which the visuals on screen are pretty grainy.  To an extent, this adds to the authenticity of the film.  However, it gets a bit annoying after awhile.  Another issue is the score.  For the most part, it complements everything happening on screen quite well. The only problem is that the score overwhelms the dialogue at times.  It goes from being strong background music to serving as a distraction that takes away from the film.  The filmmakers just need to turn down the volume a little on the music.

Though it has some problems, The Arriviste is a worthwhile movie that you'll definitely enjoy.  While it's pretty dark, there is quite a bit of comic relief, particularly from the hobo with OCD.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one. Pascal Santschi's The Arriviste gets a 0.06% rating.