This writer has created very authentic characters with some touching interactions and nice naturalistic dialogue. He's good at creating slice-of-life situations, however the screenplay takes a while to get going and in the end I felt that there wasn't enough meat for a feature screenplay. As I read the script, I felt that I was waiting and waiting for something to happen.
At around page 25, I was thinking "Where is this going?" I was looking for some sort of shake-up, perhaps some suspense, an inciting incident to tell me what the script is about and to propel the story forward.
I hadn't read the logline before reading the screenplay; at page 25, I went back to look at the logline in order to see how the writer described his story. He wrote that the script is about a teenage boy waiting for his mother to take him to school. Well, Rhys does do that at one point in the script, but someone waiting for someone else doesn't seem like a story and doesn't make for an attractive logline. "Waiting for Godot" may be the only script about waiting that has gained any popularity.
Page 26 -- Rhys suddenly has a change of heart. What triggers it?
Page 28 -- Here's where we find out what happened with Rhys at school. This felt like a long time coming and it didn't feel like a strong event. I was confused by what exactly happened with Rhys -- was he kicked out of school? I don't think that's the case because they expect him back. But I think that having him kicked out for something a little more significant and more related to his home life would be a stronger propeller and give the story more emotional depth. Right now his being out of school seems neither here nor there as far as a story element goes.
Page 31 -- Why does Susan tell Rhys to find out if it's okay? Why not just take him? It might be a stronger character move. There are faint hints of something going on here, but that's all they are at this point. Rhys seems to accept what he's told without pushing for answers. He doesn't make strong moves. So right now it feels like the writer wants to hide something from the reader until much later; but that's the part of this script that isn't authentic. It feels like artificial suspense because Rhys doesn't push.
Page 33 -- Susan re: kiss on the cheek, "you could if you wanted to." Great moment.
Page 36 -- There are certain scenes that I felt were extraneous in that I wasn't sure what their point was. I was looking for each scene to either propel the story forward or provide us with new information. But, for example, when we just see Rhys running his finger along Clive's face -- what is that scene there for? Does the script need it? Same with the party scene on page 63, where Rhys and Clive exchange a glance, and on page 75 when Rhys simply looks at a photo. What do those scenes do for the story other than make the script longer?
Page 46 -- At this point, I realized that I was over halfway through the script and still didn't know what it's about. Very little revealing of information stalls the story and creates the impression that the writer is trying to string it out.
Page 48 -- Fantastic. Susan pushes Dan the bully. I was excited that a character finally DID something, made a strong move. Still, I was confused as to how Susan knew that Rhys and Dan were there.
When I was more than 2/3 of the way through the script, I thought to myself that I still didn't know what Rhys' trouble at school had to do with anything. How does it play in? This is just a suggestion and could be a poor one, but what if Rhys really does something bad to someone because of an example set by his father? Maybe the way Clive views women causes Rhys to intentionally mistreat someone? Then the event is tied to the emotional core of the story. It would also cause Rhys to struggle more with how he feels about his mother -- a woman. And it would force Susan to struggle more to gain Rhys' trust.
Pg. 69 -- Wasn't sure why Rhys agrees to live with Susan. She just told off his only friend.
Pg. 84 -- The "reveal" is happening 84 pages in, and it's not a big enough reveal for us to have waited this long. At the risk of beating a dead horse, it feels as if the writer stretched out a script to full length, intentionally withholding information, with the sole purpose of getting to that reveal. If this was a short film, it could possibly work, and like I said above, the writer has the chops to create authentic slice-of-life imagery, character interaction, and scenework. But as it stands, I don't think there's enough here for a feature film.
Review of: A Boy's Eyes
reviewed by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 10/18/2011
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