Newly released French crime drama series Dealer follows a camera crew of two, who get more than they bargained for when they end up in the middle of a drug-dealing ring and find themselves dodging bullets, running for their lives, and unable to leave. Set in the south of France, the mini series is composed of ten bite-sized episodes lasting an average of ten minutes each.
The story concerns video director Franck and his assistant Thomas, who are sent to a rough neighbourhood to film a rap music video. The aspiring rapper is Tony, the leader of a gang who has just been released from prison. During his time in jail, Tony made and unofficially released a song that caught the interest of a record company. Franck is sent to get footage depicting Tony’s surroundings and his day-to-day reality so that the video feels raw and authentic.
Unfortunately for Franck and Thomas, it is clear from the get-go that this is no ordinary job. They are immediately thrown into a battlefield and, before they even get their bearings, find themselves involved in a shootout. In spite of the unabating tension and the fact that they’re treated like a nuisance, they continue to film the intensifying drama unfolding before them. The shaky handy-cam view, which features in most scenes, transmits the feeling of unsteadiness and their fear, and communicates the sense of urgency that drives the action.
Snappy and dynamic, Dealer is a sequence of sharp clips that plunge the viewer into the thick of the action. The plot keeps the thrill alive by placing Franck into one high-risk situation after the other, without respite. Although it has a docudrama, fly-on-the-wall feel to it, the characters don’t develop so deeply. They do, however, gradually begin to expose hidden layers of their personalities that give an insight into their motives and behaviours.
Dealer is a cursory but thrilling peek at the tough reality of a crime-ridden neighbourhood and the perils, but also importance, of documenting it. While lacking the realism expected from its format, it is engaging and devoid of dull moments.
Dealer is released on Netflix on 10th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for Dealer here: