In New York City in 1972, two men, Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale), are trapped inside a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank they were attempting to rob, together with the bank employees, whom they hold as hostages, when the police arrive on the scene. Over the course of the remainder of the day, while a large crowd gathers outside the bank, the police negotiate with Sonny, who wants them to provide him with an airplane on which he and Sal can escape to Algeria.
Al Pacino is playing the mad mastermind of the holdup, a man with exceptional style when he plays to the crowds outside the bank but apparently quite wild in his personal relationships. He is on one side of the negotiation. And on the other side, James Broderick, FBI negotiator, and Charles Durning, local police negotiator as the representatives of the law.
Primarily based on the true story about a bank theft that turned into a hostage situation, the negotiation started with the local police negotiator trying persistently to resolve the situation but…show more content… Negotiations with the amateur, inexact, emotional local police negotiator gave Sonny much more power, which was clear by the negotiator’s offer “I’ll give you anything you want, Sonny”. Which unfortunately yielded no positive results. Then when the FBI negotiator came with a harsher negotiating tactic. The electricity is shut off, and he lays down the new law. “No more favors, Sony,” he says. “That’s all over. I would like to work with you on this, not against you. I would not like to kill you, but I will if I have to.” This gets Sonny’s full attention, and opens up his eyes to their BATNA. The FBI negotiator figured that the Sonny’s high state of emotional arousal could risk him behaving irrationally, therefore he was successful in first lowering the emotions driving Sonny while still sounding sincere and