An excerpt from Reals’ script review for Memory (2022) which will be available 07/11/22:
The Opening – I really like this opening, where a gangster is killed when he visits his elderly mother in the hospital. The writer does a good job of making it horrific, without making it gratuitous.
The line in particular that got me, was:
Unable to move, unable to speak, Maria watches helplessly as her son is murdered in front of her.
That’s a pretty startling image and stuck with me.
Straight To The Action – I also commend this script for not wasting time and getting right into the action – by page 10 we’ve already had a major trafficking ring busted, a target killed, and it has been established that Liam Neeson is struggling with memory loss.
The writer kept me reading and kept the story moving, which is exactly what you want.
The Description – Some of the description really stuck out, as mentioned above. Another example that I liked, from page 13:
Twice as much. The job’s for two.
Don’t you have a brother in Phoenix?
The threat is clear. The money’s the carrot. This is the stick.
Character Descriptions – As a sub-note to the previous section, I really enjoyed some of the character descriptions as well.
For example, on page 23:
DET. DANNY MORA – Men’s Wearhouse Suit, Supercuts Haircut, lifetime NRA membership –
The Notes – I liked the idea that Alex has to write things on his arm to remember them. Little things, like his hotel room, phone numbers, etc.
It reminded me of Memento, but instead of tattooing the notes on himself, he just wrote them down. This makes sense – if you’re losing your memory but don’t want anyone to know, you’d probably have to resort to something similar.
It’s little touches like this that make the world feel lived-in and the characters seem like real individuals.
Dialogue Exchanges – I liked the dialogue exchanges in this: they were quick and got the point across without spending too much time on exposition or filler.
One example, on page 20:
Listen to me… I didn’t say anything. Said nothing. It wasn’t supposed to go this far…
Alex has heard this story too many times.
If I’m here, it’s gone too far.The Police – Particularly Vincent and Linda, actually seem to do their jobs. Normally in these kinds of scripts, the cops would be inept or would miss things, but right from the jump Vincent and Linda know that their boss is involved somehow and that things are pretty bad.
On page 26, as they figure out their boss is involved with the wife of a murder victim:
(a long moment.)
We. Are. Fucked.
I like this, because most scripts would use this as a (predictable) reveal later on, or would have wasted a lot of time as the detectives tried to figure out what is going on.
Davana Sealman – She is an interesting villain because she is a real threat. She is ruthless, cunning, and doesn’t have any morals to slow her down. Plus, she is rich and powerful, so she is a legitimate threat, whereas many bad guys in these sorts of films are not.
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