An excerpt from my script review for Arkansas which will be available 08/03/20:
3.) Quality of Characters
Easily the highlight of this script.
“What is the most interesting way your character can say that?”
The above is a good question to ask yourself when writing dialogue for your characters, now take that question and expand upon it with your cast.
“What’s the most interesting way your character can react to this situation?”
That’s what I liked about this script, the unique characters and their unexpected reactions.
Does it work each and every time? Nope.
For instance, there’s a spot where Johnna is trying to sell a wooden scooter, because it’s America (?), and can’t so she saws it in half.
Fucking random, and didn’t exactly make sense in the larger story, but it didn’t take long and felt original.
Our main characters, Kyle and Swin are promoted and paired up to make drug runs for Frog.
Being polar opposites, Kyle doesn’t say much which leaves Swin to fill in the blanks with his “aggressive thinking” that is both annoying and condescending.
Kyle never really seems to mind, just takes shit as it is and deals with it.
Someone snooping around a truck loaded with drugs? Kyle gets a gun and is prepared to do what is needed, even if he hates guns.
This works, making Kyle “feel real” (not liking guns or killing people) and is refreshing because he makes decisions like a rational criminal, if there is such a thing.
And despite being a bit of a dork, Swin somehow charms Johnna into dating him.
(She’s an odd duck for the cast, but fits in better later once shit hits the fan.)
Bright’s their boss, and a fucking park ranger who stumbled into Frog’s network.
And there’s Frog himself who seems to stumble into the drub distribution business and does well at it.
(Loved his bit with Almond, and how Almond wasn’t really upset with the outcome since Frog did what he was asked.)
But my favorite part…
Tim and Thomas.
Two “corn fed” Midwest boys who decide to pull up roots and head to Arkansas with Frog to establish a drug empire.
What works is they’re not exactly twins (born 11 months apart), but they’re both mean and lovable at the same time.
Also a bit on the simple side.
It’s hard to explain, but they have Frog’s back throughout, and it was a pleasure to read scenes with them in it.
My one criticism in the character department was Barry.
I was hoping for more of a payoff there, but this felt like another example of an ”out of place” scene that was included just to have some clever dialogue with our two mains.
Remember that the more connections there are between multiple characters, the better, and Barry should have been linked back to Frog or Her in some way.
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