Hey Matt- it's been ages since I've read the mine, so I can't really compare this version to previous ones I've read. I'm not going to really bother commenting on dialogue, your structure, your format, because they were all great in my eyes.
A vague recollection I had about the story from way back when was that it was static at times, but you've really kept the narrative and action moving on this version. I think it was full of action and you captured the essence of the warfare for the most part.
Characters- I thought one setup you didn't really payoff was Mary's anger at Jack going back to the war. I think that is subplot you should carry through out act II to show how that reconciliation occurs. Your characters were strong and nuanced nicely. good job.
This is a strong screenplay that needs to find a director/producer that is looking for a unique war script. Great job Matt.
I have a few notes below that address specific issues on specific pages. If you think any of these comments could be applied to other parts of the story, then it may make sense to make those edits as well.
pg 1 and 2- I may be all wet here, but because the point of this scene is to point out the futility and horror of trying to fight above ground (thus neccesitating the tunnelling), I think you need to have this opening battle sequence be a little more graphic. It seemed a little antiseptic. Just a small example, the grenade is thrown and next thing we see the gunners are dead. try to capture their fear as they realize a grenade has been tossed in their midst, have some soldiers not die immediately, have them missing a leg screaming in a mix of pain and horror. You need to make this scene as gruesome and futile as possible to then have the tunnel make perfect sense, of course we'd want to build it rather than go through this hell again.
pg 5 same here with the aftermath, you should make us smell that burnt flesh, be vomiting over the pure disgustingness of the carnage, feel that mud sticking to our boots. It's a little to matter of factly for what you need to accomplish.
pg 10- hard labor- isn't what they're doing hard labor. Might be a good place to show a little personality, tell a little joke about already being in hard labor.
pg 14- having the general tell mueller that he's one of the best before he got wounded is a little too expository. By bringing him back, that goes without saying that he's one of the best. General should just say he needs him back.
pg 25 whats the water table- nice little detail.
pg 28- what if on mcculloughs second dialogue he just said the last sentence. It shows his disdain for all the stuff he was saying in the lines above, without the preachiness and with a ton of subtext.
pg 37 - this is the first scene with Meuller for over 20 pages. I'm wondering if you introduced him too early to begin with. Either introduce him after the welshmen are in Belgium, or have a couple more scenes with him intersperced to show his parralell journey to the front.
pg 46- nice use of the voice over!
PG 59- Is triangulated an early 20th century term. It strikes me as a newer term. could be wrong, no big deal.
Review of: The Mine
reviewed by bthielke on 10/10/2007
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