Broken Arrows

2009, 3 minutes

A short single scene drama

DIRECTOR’S ANALYSIS OF THE SCRIPT The script contains one single scene, which takes place during the day in the living room. The characters are as follows: mother (Mrs Armitage), daughter (Jesse) and daughter’s friend (named just VJ). The atmosphere of the scene is relaxed at the beginning, when mother seems to meditate on the coach, but since the other characters appear in the living room it becomes very tense and is very tense till the very end, when the mother is left alone again. The change of the nature of the scene is easily seen. Mother lying with her eyes closed wakes up when her daughter enters the room and throws her school bag and asks her to prepare food. Mother doesn’t feel very well as she is dazed and admits that she’s got a headache. This confession doesn’t make any difference for her daughter. Jessie asks for cheese toast for herself and her new (boy)friend. She didn’t even introduce them to each other. Jessie didn’t feel any compassion for her mother state and is acting very selfish. We already know what is relationship between mother and daughter. There is no hierarchy in the family, no respect, no manners and lack of communication. Mother is possibly worried and contemplates her problems. As the scene develops it can be seen that there are lots of concerns relating to the family life. She is divorced, single parent and her daughter is completely disrespectful, selfish and careless and loses her temper very easily. The friend, who she brings with her home is mysterious and a suspicious older man, nearly twice as older as she is herself. He doesn’t say a word during the whole scene until the end when he says one line. He doesn’t even say hello when he enters a room. That’s how arrogant is daughter’s friend. From the way he behaves and his appearance he is possibly on drugs, very drunk and extremely exhausted. His eyes are moving rapidly as he is in a kind of trance and he definitely lost connection with the world around him as he sits on the mother’s things left on the sofa. All these factors make the mother very worried and even more sick. Mother seems to be very loving and definitely overestimates her role in daughter’s life, but she doesn’t have anyone else to love as she has been left by the husband. The whole emotional feelings are focused on the daughter and such approach makes the life of the mother even more terrible and sad. The scipt lacks information where the conversation between mother and daughter takes place. There’s no information when mother left the living room and if the whole conversation has been heard by the guest. Possibly the guest is witnessing the whole conversation between mother and the daughter, but this assumption can’t be fully supported. One change to the script will improve the continuity and sense of the story. Moment when mother leaves the living room and enters the kitchen must be added to make the whole story complete and consistent. Otherwise it would be hard to guess which part of the conversation took place in front of the guest and how long mother was in the kitchen. The final version of the script shows mother leaving to kitchen before she was even asked to prepare the food and it can suggest she expected the daughter to bring somebody or to be hungry. In that way it becomes clear that the situation we observe is not incident but the state, which is typical for this family. The conversation continues and causes new tensions. Jessie makes comments on her mother’s martial status and attitude. She claims the mother is guilty, that the father has left their family, because she tried to control everyone too much including the daughter in the first place. She is rude calling her own mother ‘control freak’. The situation at home is hopeless. There is no solution. Mother doesn’t have enough influence to be able to change daughter’s views. She is very passive and resigned. She doesn’t have enough energy and power over the daughter to make the family life look better. The daughter is terrorizing the whole environment and she seems to play the key figure in her mother’s life. Both women feel lost in the world when men lost their dominating role. There are no leaders, no heroes, no strong men anymore… They seem to suffer that dad left their family, but they react in completely different way. The mother is depressed and spends hours in bed, while daughter hangs around with older men looking for someone who can replace her father’s role. She is still growing up and lack of father is for her great drama, she can’t really cope with. Mother completely doesn’t understand the issue and instead of offering her support she tries to control her actions too much. The portrait of the males in the story is very negative. They are happy to live their own lives, don’t really care about women emotional state and are disrespectful for their needs, dreams and feelings. VJ plays very important part in the story as he represents negative image of the men. Instead of trying to solve the conflict he pretends not to hear anything. He doesn’t care what is going around him. He is very passive and he easily agrees for anything his friend is gonna ask. The whole current conflict is build around him. The only comment VJ makes on the situation is about mother’s look. He claims she’s hot. That may suggest us he completely lost his mind as he became attracted to the women that is far older and possibly not really hot. The drama is clearly obvious when it can be observed that the situation is not likely to change to any extend, in any positive direction. The characters don’t evolve, the conflict remains the same. There are thousands of ways the film can be done. Lots of techniques can be applied, but the most fair approach it would be to present mother’s and daughter’s state as a key problem of the drama. The portrait of contemporary women looking for their dreams to come true, waiting for the prince on the white horse, closed in the dungeons of reality, when man are lost kind. There are only man looking for sex, pleasure, but not for a challenge of true love and strong relationships. Lots of static shoots and close ups, slowly camera movements, intimate lighting can create proper atmosphere. It’s hard to say who suffers from the situation stronger. Possibly daughter can became the drug addict as she continues to hang around with people who can put her in danger and use her depressions and frustrations to manipulate her feelings and seduce her just to have one night fun. Is it really fun? The VJ represents resigned, depressed, boring and weak personality, shadow of true man. Man should be alive, dangerous and free. He’s dead man walking, completely dominated by women, obsessed by women sex appeal, not able to love anyone expect from himself. Every man needs a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. He doesn’t know what’s a battle, lost his sensibility and there are no beauties he can rescue as he wanna just a fuck. Women in the story are hiding their true motivations and feelings. They even don’t understand their own problems. Jessica are in the centre of audience interest. If that’s the case camera should focus on her feelings and actions more than other characters. In this way daughter becomes the main protagonist of the drama and in fact her drama is far more serious than drama of the mother. She leaves the house with hardly known men. It should be also seen that leaving the house without mother’s consent for nights becomes the routine and it’s not just incident, which happened once. Who knows if she doesn’t end up being pregnant or being raped by random man, who uses her call for love to seduce her and promise her bright future just to cheat and use her more as she is very naive and still very young. Mother is in better position. She doesn’t feel comfortable in the whole situation, but she is also not talented enough to be able to understand daughter real needs and danger she is in. She is also missing and thinking about prince on the white horse. The whole scene tell us the story of the broken family, world without real men and desperate call for love and understanding. Possibly adding soundtrack titled High school Lover performed by Air will be the interesting way of presenting the theme and focusing attention on the problems, which are for me the most meaningful in the story. The whole film can also start with flashback with the similar scene to those performed by Meryl Streep in musical Mamma Mia, when the actress performs the song “The Winner Takes it All”. For the ending I see the song “It’s raining men”. Background sound: When the winter comes should add sadness and tension to the film. Script is missing some descriptions of the set design. Some pictures of the father hanging somewhere on the wall will add tension and emotional depth to the scene and are needed to bring more tension to the story. Dialogues sound natural, but the author didn’t equipped director with information how the dialogue should be played. I understand that this part has been left to put own creative energy into the film. The location of the drama in living room and kitchen sound reasonable, but limiting space to sort of cube could serve better the topic.



Members of mandy who have been involved in Broken Arrows