Desperate to save his family, a poor Indian boy turns to black market blood trafficking.
HOW IT RATES
**Feel free to message me for the latest draft. This one is outdated.** An Israeli spy goes deep undercover to rescue a captured soldier in the Gaza Strip. His mission is complicated when he forms an unlikely friendship with a Palestinian child.
Other Submissions by Michael Keller
An apathetic academic grudgingly takes a job teaching writing at a juvenile prison.
A hedge fund analyst, sent to appraise an African mine, is kidnapped by child soldiers and dragged into a war.
Reviews of Insurgent 14
by Cato on 06/05/2013Insurgent delivers a finely paced and plotted ride. Timely and well crafted, it follows a strong visual line throughout. It's the sort of story that's made for the screen. We're drawn into empathy with the main character; he's supported by well differentiated characters surrounding him; and our hopes and expectations for plot are not disappointed. While the screenwriter... Insurgent delivers a finely paced and plotted ride. Timely and well crafted, it follows a strong visual line throughout. It's the sort of story that's made for the screen. We're drawn into empathy with the main character; he's supported by well differentiated characters surrounding him; and our hopes and expectations for plot are not disappointed.
While the screenwriter took some effort to draft a morally balanced storyline (a worthy artistic concept in the abstract, but difficult to adhere to in execution), that effort, in itself, feels just a bit on the nose, especially given the real life context from which the story material is drawn. That may be an insoluble problem, but it's a problem that also still nagged at me in this draft. By selecting a protagonist from one side and crafting the story outcome as a rescue, the moral calculus ends up tilting dramatically in one direction primarily. There are complications here that attempt to again balance the moral calculus in the end, but the overall story is one that pits the forces of order fundamentally against the forces of disorder. It becomes difficult, then, to rely on an irony of two sides that face a similar, or identical, moral dilemma: after all, only one side has been cast in the role of the heroic rescuer. To pursue the moral set-up as advertised, we'd really have to see the Israelis squeeze the Palestinian kid at the end. As written, we experience this moment primarily as moral argument. For the moral equivalence theme to be dramatically brought back into balance, though, I think we'd need to see this happen--and the protagonist, too, would have to see it.
Other reviews have suggested that this character's ability to infiltrate extremist groups is stretched to the breaking point. I felt that as well, but the screenwriter did a fine job of giving us plausible grounds for suspending that particular disbelief, especially the scene in which the protagonist develops his credibility. The writer also raised the issue explicitly far into the film, so this potential weakness was exploited artistically--a superb solution to a really tough problem in a two hour story. Elegantly done.
The shoot 'em up scene is both required and sound, but it needs, in my opinion, one minor fix: they have to be able to hide while the gunship tears the place up. That just needs to be made visually clear, perhaps with a tiny bit more description as to why they're safe. FYI: some officers have radioactive chips embedded in a forearm. That way, sensors always know exactly where they are (inside of three feet.) Could be a solution.
It looks like you're re-writing--not sure which version this is. Having lived in the Middle East, I would suggest that you go back through and take some of the Palestinian dialogue off the nose just a tad. Much of their speech is like ours. The references to seventy two virgins, etc., feels a bit like exposition. Personally, I'd also have the girl pull out but not display the knife in her first interaction with the protagonist. In that part of the world, they usually don't rattle much before they strike. As a trained intelligence officer, he'd be aware of it and take the same action. Makes him more observant and deadly; her more lethal, too, i.e., that she understands real violence and is not much interested in brandishing threats.
You've really capitalized on some iconic images here: the fence, the tunnels, the beatings, the cafes, etc. Even the mentor in Mossad. Very deft handling of these images, situations, and roles.
I should also mention that as brisk as this is, and as easily filmed, this screenplay should hit a sweet spot for funding. Although it's not an ultra-low budget film, it wouldn't take ten million to film. Perhaps not even five. That really opens up niche marketing possibilities. Released even on a couple hundred screens, this could gross twenty million easily. Add a star or two and the numbers change (and screens) but not the ratio. That's a really savvy accomplishment. Overall, really very well done.
by ischneid87 on 08/11/2012THE INSURGENT is an intense war/thriller film taking place in the highly volatile Gaza Strip. When Avi Ben-David is deployed to rescue a captured Israeli soldier, he forms an attachment to 8-year-old Ahmed, an aspiring Jihadi. The biggest strength of this screenplay is the multiple levels of conflict that exist, especially for Avi. On the surface the Palestinian/Israeli... THE INSURGENT is an intense war/thriller film taking place in the highly volatile Gaza Strip. When Avi Ben-David is deployed to rescue a captured Israeli soldier, he forms an attachment to 8-year-old Ahmed, an aspiring Jihadi.
The biggest strength of this screenplay is the multiple levels of conflict that exist, especially for Avi. On the surface the Palestinian/Israeli conflict creates tension in almost every scene throughout. Underneath that is Avi's quest to retrieve Ilan. Underneath that is his newfound affections for Ahmed and his sister Layla. These three levels of conflict play very well off of each other as each of the primary character's desires seem to run contrary to each other, creating a story rife in organic conflict.
The hook (more specifically the surprise twist on p. 4, serves an a very effective opening in that it sucks the reader in with intrigue and it reveals the protagonist in surprising fashion.
One small technical note would be on p. 9, which provides the superscript "Tel Aviv, Israel" inside of an apartment building. This super would be more effective if it was placed over an exterior shot of the city, providing a great contrast between Israeli and Palestinian society.
The decision to have a suicide bomber blow up the club Ilan and Avi are frequenting is questionable because it's a gruesome image that falsely introduces conflict, and has very little bearing on the story's actual conflict (Ilan's capture) except for the fact that Ilan mentions it inside the tank. "Is this the bomber's house?" (16). It can be misleading (not to mention expensive) to have such a tragic event precede the story's actual core conflict which is Avi trying to rescue Ilan.
The ending is very powerful because of its bittersweetness. While Avi did manage to rescue Ahmed, his actions led to the alienation of Layla, the story's potential love interest. It's an ending that really tugs at your heartstrings and leaves the audience conflicted over whether it's good or bad, which is awesome. The ending could stand to be strengthened, however, by bringing the Ilan subplot full-circle. Ilan started out as an under-confident nerdy young man who effectively repelled the ladies. Perhaps in the same scene Avi nurses his drink at the bar, (100), Ilan can be talking to some ladies, though this time he's more successful.
Finally, it's hard to understand how Avi gets Ahmed back to the Gaza Strip so easily on p. 101. The first time he snuck into the Strip he couldn't get past the checkpoint and had to rely on a smuggler to get past.
Shortcomings aside, this is a gripping script filled with intense conflict that is enhanced by a more heartfelt "human" element. Avi's transformation from war-weary, unsympathetic veteran to Ahmed's pseudo father helps offset the intense violence. Good work. read
by Elsabe on 07/10/2012You have an interesting story to tell but I felt you take too long to get to the story. From p 20 onwards I was quite interested to see how the story develops. However, the first 20 pages could probably be reduced to about 3 pages to set the scene. If I did not commit to read and review the whole script, I may have given up after the first few pages, because the violence... You have an interesting story to tell but I felt you take too long to get to the story. From p 20 onwards I was quite interested to see how the story develops. However, the first 20 pages could probably be reduced to about 3 pages to set the scene. If I did not commit to read and review the whole script, I may have given up after the first few pages, because the violence seems to be mindless and with no purpose.
You managed to create strong characters with Avi and Ahmed (who will probably spend his life stopping the violence – well done). I would also not be surprised if something happens between Avi and Layla in the future, because you planted a beautiful seed in the scenes between them.
As for Ilan, I feel that you need to work more on his character. Apart from him being Jewish, what else makes him important enough to rescue? Is he the son of someone important? Does the decision maker have some personal score to settle and is he using Ilan’s rescue for that? Does Ilan have some genius that is irreplacable to his government? And is Ilan really a coward or is there some strength in him?
I am also not sure how a man needs to work with a smuggler at the beginning to cross the border, but at the end he can drive across the border and deliver the boy home.
I would say that overall you have a good story, and with some work it could become really interesting.
Here are some additional comments that I made while reading:
By p. 15 still only many shots of violence and no story yet.
p.20 too much background? “We have a situation” but still no indication of who the protagonist and antagonist are.
p. 26 “You want me to LOSE my job?” Loose = not tight, lose = no longer have it.
P 26 “I thousand” does one mean anything. It should be “one thousand” (preferable when dealing with numbers under a hundred) or “1 thousand”
p.30 – if this is his first visit to the house, how can his palm print be used for the scan?
p. 32 – Not sure if I am convinced that a man can slide past a pistol that is shoved in his face.
p. 33 – where did he get a phone from? I am getting confused.
p. 34 – It does not quite make sense that Ilan would acknowledge his pain but still not cooperate. I would say let him deny the pain but the tears will prove the opposite.
P. 34 – is it the same day or a different day? How did Avi become aware of a commotion?
p. 37 - Why did Avi want his brother to shoot him? Like any action I feel that a violent action must be justified.
p.57 – why would Mufid want to single out Avi to thank him for his bravery?
p. 63 – you describe a primitive, poor environment and a man who does not have anything to pay a smuggler with, but Avi has a listening bug that can be monitored from somewhere, and he has a phone to contact the Mossad. Where did he get it? You may want to introduce the supplier of the bug and phone earlier in the story?
P 71 What are the specialists listening to? What is the context of the scene?
p. 82 It is still not clear why Ilan is so important and why anyone should be listening to his broadcasts or try to rescue him.
p. 82 How did Avi get to the apartment with blood on his hands after breaking a man’s neck elsewhere?
p. 96 Is that a “people house” or the people in the house? How does the gunner know from the infra red view who is who with so many bodies in the house? Why do the armour piercing rounds not have any effect on the helicopters? read
by Buchu on 07/05/2012Reading this screenplay was a great pleasure. The writer clearly has a strong grasp on how to structure a plot, build tension, pace the action, and resolve everything appropriately-- that latter point being the biggest masterstroke of this particular story, as I will explain below. Anyone not directly involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict, but who has at least some understanding... Reading this screenplay was a great pleasure. The writer clearly has a strong grasp on how to structure a plot, build tension, pace the action, and resolve everything appropriately-- that latter point being the biggest masterstroke of this particular story, as I will explain below.
Anyone not directly involved in the Israel/Palestine conflict, but who has at least some understanding of it, will be wary of any story that addresses it. My academic background made this worry particularly acute while I read Insurgent. But I was encouraged by the opening credits montage "an Eye for an Eye," which clearly established this regional conflict as morally ambiguous (to any charitable audience.)
As the story progressed, there always loomed the fear (for the reader/audience) that the story is about to take a side-- but it never does. I imagine that to some reviewers, this moral ambiguity is irksome-- but such ambiguity is precisely what is required when a film addresses something as polemical as this conflict.
And ultimately, as I noted at the beginning of my review, the writer manages to create a 3rd act that resolves the story, without trying to imply which side is righteous, and which side is evil. That's brilliant.
Now some (potential) drawbacks.
The relationship between the protagonist and the (only) female in the story, is as clichéd as any male lead/female support relationship possibly could be (until the 3rd act.) Also somewhat clichéd was the little episode between Avi and the disciplinarian teacher. And finally, to a lesser extent, the scene where Avi needs to "gain credibility" via a gunshot wound from his brother… well, I found that a bit hammy.
Granted, many readers will find a touch of predictability a good thing… but I am sure just as many of us are tired of it. To a small extent, such clichés clash with the real life complexity of the politics in that region, which the writer has otherwise done justice to.
An element of the story that will be perceived by some as a weakness, but by many also as a unique strength, is the fact that there is not a single reference to the west. All of the characters are Israeli or Palestinian-- I can't think of any other movie that deals with regional conflict where there are no American or European agents/soldiers involved. I find this refreshing, but wonder if that's something the industry is ready for.
I'll end by saying that this screenplay, in my imagination, evoked images in the style of Black Hawk Down, or anything in the visual style of David Fincher-- richly textured and dark. I truly believe that this story, translated thus, could be a classic.
Thanks, Michael Keller-- Insurgent was real fun to read and review.
"Soldier" misspelt on pages 26, 54, 58
"Layla" misspelt on page 57
"As" misspelt on page 75
"Transmission" misspelt on page 77
See grammar on page 96 ("...view of the people [in the] house.")
"The" misspelt on page 98 read
by Illuminist on 07/01/2012I can't say enough good things about this script. In short, its a first rate action drama! It grabbed my attention right away and kept me riveted until the end. The author has an exhaustive knowledge of the Israeli-Palenstinian conflict and uses three dimensional, realistic characters to tell the story. I usually read a script with pen in hand to make notes an corrections... I can't say enough good things about this script. In short, its a first rate action drama! It grabbed my attention right away and kept me riveted until the end. The author has an exhaustive knowledge of the Israeli-Palenstinian conflict and uses three dimensional, realistic characters to tell the story. I usually read a script with pen in hand to make notes an corrections as I read. With the script, I put the pen down by page three. The author has presented a meticulously clean, impressive script. It even looks clean on the page. The following notes were the few areas I found that could use a little tweaking.
I think all character names should appear in CAPS, throughout, even in description. I felt that on page 8 the character with the eye patch came across as a little cliche. I would have preferred to see a damaged face, maybe grossly disfigured. I also think that Malik, fidgeting in the interrogation room might actually be an insert shot the way you have it. I do love the warning at the end of the scene about wearing eyeglasses.
On page 20, maybe you can save a line of dialog and start the scene with "Avi, we have a situation." Just a thought.
On page 28 - a 17 year old smuggler conjures up images of a resourceful, ingenious kid, though impoverished. The trap door covering a hole in the flooe behind a cabinet seems a little of a disappointment. I would have liked to see some low tech, but clever solution to getting to the tunnel.
On page 35, Avi pauses to access the scene. You have Avi pauses to asses the scene.
Overall, a thrilling read. read
by brabbit on 06/29/2012CONCEPT - A mixed bag. On the one hand, the setup is coherent and dramatic. The character's task is clear, as is his motivation. If he doesn't find a way to save the boy, the boy will be killed. The setup reminds me a bit of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. In both cases the drama stems from the need to rescue someone before they are killed, although the subject matter of the two scripts... CONCEPT - A mixed bag. On the one hand, the setup is coherent and dramatic. The character's task is clear, as is his motivation. If he doesn't find a way to save the boy, the boy will be killed. The setup reminds me a bit of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. In both cases the drama stems from the need to rescue someone before they are killed, although the subject matter of the two scripts is obviously a lot different.
The basic setup is not bad, but I think it lacks punch. For one thing, the stakes are low. The only thing at stake is one life, and the person in question isn't particularly important. That alone might not be a fatal flaw (it wasn't for SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), but the problem is compounded by a lack of originality and intrigue in the milieu and the task. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was interesting not only because the hero's goal was sympathetic, but also because the MEANS to achieve the goal were extremely unsettling and memorable. Here the means are completely straightforward. A soldier doing soldier things, in a plain setting that we've seen many times before. I don't think the concept alone is going to get anyone's attention.
CHARACTERS - Not bad. The lead is a bit generic, but you've done a nice job of humanizing him and showing his emotional responses to his occupation. Good work. I also liked the back story of Ahmed. It made his actions much more believable. I felt he was probably the strongest character in the story because he had the most fully-formed persona. The villains and other supporting characters were mostly generic.
DIALOGUE - Good. Very crisp and concise. There weren't a lot of memorable lines, but the dialogue was very sharp and effective. It almost never distracted me, and did a good job of efficiently and effectively communicating the necessary information.
STORY/STRUCTURE - I have mixed feelings about the story. As I said earlier, I felt that the concept itself presented some inherent weaknesses. I have read a lot of sold specs, and they are all more distinct either in terms of milieu/setting and/or in terms of offering a unique slant on a story. This is pretty straightforward stuff.
Having said that, the pacing was excellent. This script was an absolute breeze to read. I thought you did a great job of transitioning from scene-to-scene and making sure the story unfolded in a very coherent and easy to understand fashion. That is no small feat, so I commend you for it.
I really liked the first half of this script. I thought it petered out a little bit after the midway point. In my opinion the biggest issue is that the task is simply too easy for the hero. I thought for sure that his new friends would eventually uncover the truth about his identity, but Mufid is the only one who figures this out and he doesn't last long enough to do anything about it.
When I look at your story, I don't see a lot of obstacles for the hero. Everything comes pretty easily. The Palestinians welcome him into their arms and introduce him to some of their most trusted contacts even though they barely know him. This was more believable in a movie like THE DEPARTED because the undercover character had a family connection to the mob boss who trusted him, but here it just felt too easy. I don't think a real criminal organization would trust someone with such sensitive information until he had proven himself over the span of years, so that was a bit of a problem for me.
In general, I don't think there were enough downbeats. There was basically no second act low point. Regardless of whether you believe in screenwriting formulas, I would argue that conflict and setbacks are one of the most effective devices for arousing tension in the audience and ensuring that they remain invested in the drama. There wasn't enough of that here for my taste.
OVERALL - My favorite thing about this script was the quality of writing. While I felt the plot could have been stronger and that the setting/concept could have been a lot more dynamic, the quality of the writing was excellent. Very smooth and fluid. Easy to read. Easy to follow. That's something to be proud of. I think you know how to tell a story. I just don't think this particular story is the best vehicle for your talent. I gave you a "good" rating overall. This is definitely an above average effort compared to what I have read on this site, but the lack of dynamic qualities will most likely limit its commercial prospects. read
by bishop76 on 06/29/2012First off Mr. Keller, I'd like to congratulate you on finishing your screenplay. I know it takes a lot of dedication and time to finish and for that I commend you. Now as for your script, I can honestly say it was one the few war-themed scripts I really liked! And that's saying a lot, especially in today's cinema where I feel most war films lack the basic of screenwriting elements,... First off Mr. Keller, I'd like to congratulate you on finishing your screenplay. I know it takes a lot of dedication and time to finish and for that I commend you. Now as for your script, I can honestly say it was one the few war-themed scripts I really liked! And that's saying a lot, especially in today's cinema where I feel most war films lack the basic of screenwriting elements, and that's characters. And no, I'm not talking about cardboard cut-outs or cliched soldiers that you see in many of today's "modern" war films, where directors expect you to care for the characters by simply hiring A-list actors just so you could put a face on them. One of the problems I have with films like "Black Hawk Down" and "The Thin Red Line" was that there was just TOO much characters and no one to really pay attention too, let alone care about.
No, your script was very well written, I only found one typo error and it didn't bother me that much, granted I wouldn't have found the typo if I didn't reread a couple of your scenes. The first thing that grabbed my attention and hooked me in the story was how you introduced our main protagonist, Avi Ben-David. I thought the covert op was very well written, and describing the way he implemented tracking devices on each of the terrorists through a quick flash back, genius. As the story went along and our hero through his journey, I wondered what other spy skills he would apply to help him get out of similar situations. And I'm happy to report there's at least two more scenes like this where our hero has to rely on his special set of skills to escape utter death and exposure, the Safe House scene in particular got my mind racing as I thought "HOLY SHIT! How's he getting out of this one?" No, from a story prospect you hit all the right notes Mr. Keller, there were strong goals, high stakes, and the script was tightly paced and packed with suspenseful scenes such as the one listed above that I thought just WORKED.
But what the script had going right for it also had a few "wrong" things going for it as well. My biggest complaint is that some of the characters felt like they had no real depth to them, Abu Malik, Abu Nazim, Abu Taysir for example all seemed exactly the same. I couldn't tell each character apart, but I knew they were "Bad Guys" from the way the script portrayed them. Another thing that bugged me was the POW Ilan who I felt was shallow, he's probably the least developed character in the story and for some odd reason I just couldn't connect with him. Yeah I feel bad that his character goes through torturous hell, but we don't really KNOW anything about him to care. There's no back story, the only thing I knew was that the kid couldn't get laid to save his life, he's very unkempt, loves to play video games, sucks at dancing, and that he's somehow very important to Israel, I mean he has to be for Avi to go rescue him, right? Also the reason why Avi has to go and rescue him is sort of unclear, at the beginning of the script Ilan is shown to be just a slacker with no important ties to Israel other than he's a soldier. So it kept popping up in my head that whenever Avi was in hot pursuit to save Ilan, I kept wondering "Why is Ilan important to Israel again?" Was he the prime minister's son? Well no, but I don't see why Israel would send in a pro agent like Avi to rescue him when he was of no real importance to Israel. He's just a soldier, a soldier the antagonists hope will give them information on their base, it doesn't really go anywhere (cause honestly, how many soldiers do you think the Jihads keep prisoner? Last time I checked, they kill anybody with no real value to them) Now maybe if he was, let's say, the colonial's son, or maybe Yalom's nephew. You know, someone of importance who knows SECRETS or maybe some military plans, it would raise the stakes that much more than him just being a regular soldier. Also it leaves a sense of urgency, especially if Ilan turned out to be related to Yalom. But that's just my two cents.
As for Ahmed and Layla, I thought these two were very well written, their back story's are tragic (In a good way) and each person has a flaw that relates directly to Avi's flaw. A connection you establish real well after Avi takes refuge in their house. The only problem I had with these two was I felt they were introduced too late in the script, Ahmed's introduced on page 36 and his sister on page 41. Now that's not a problem, like I said these two are well developed, it's the forced love story you try to cram between Layla and Avi that I found lacking. If your gonna have a love story with two characters, make sure they have scenes where the audience feels the "chemistry" between them, I couldn't sense any in here and felt that it was just wasted material. Heck, at the end they don't even get together, in fact Layla SLAMS the door right on his face and the script ends with Avi driving off, saddened. Bummer.
But other than the issues mentioned above, the rest of the script was great! Now is it perfect? Well, from a story perspective -- just establish Ilan better and give him a back story, or reason for audience to care about him -- and your good to go. And unless you still want to keep the love story between Avi and Layla I'd add in some scenes where they "Connect", or something that shows strong chemistry between the two. It adds more to their relationship and makes us care about them getting together. But as it stands the script is very well written, tightly paced, and packed with some great suspenseful moments. After another rewrite or so, I'd say this script would be ready for the big screen. Now I hope this review doesn't discourage you in any way as it was not my intention. I'm just trying to help your script improve as much as I can, as I stated before this is a really well written script, with good grammar and scene descriptions. This would be something I'd love to see in theaters one day! I just hope this review helped you out in some small way or another. Well, I'll conclude my rambling by saying thanks for keeping my interest throughout with your script and keep up the good writing! read
by R_Stirland on 06/26/2012A very enjoyable and exciting script. The characters are likeable and well drawn, and the action / thriller scenes are just that – thrilling and tense. Undercover / hostage rescue plots have been done before, but the setting makes it feel fresh in your script. I don’t know huge amounts about the context of Gaza conflict – but the way you’d written the story, I didn’t need... A very enjoyable and exciting script. The characters are likeable and well drawn, and the action / thriller scenes are just that – thrilling and tense.
Undercover / hostage rescue plots have been done before, but the setting makes it feel fresh in your script. I don’t know huge amounts about the context of Gaza conflict – but the way you’d written the story, I didn’t need to , which is a very positive thing. It makes for a engrossing backdrop for the screenplay, but isn’t overwhelming in any way.
The structure is great, really worked for me. You have a nice introduction to Avi at the beginning (in fact most of your character introductions are very well done), then the set-up with Ilan, and after that everything flows very nicely, with tension building and the personal and professional stakes rising throughout. No issues immediately jumped out to my eyes.
There’s a nice balance to the screenplay with the treatment and depiction of both the Israeli and Palestine sides, highlighted at the climax (as with any conflict, both sides are flawed, but potentially redeemable), and I particularly liked the ambiguity and sombreness of the ending.
Ari is a great lead character. A tough action hero, conflicted, likeable, noble, and easy to root for.
I also engaged and sympathised with Ilan immediately in the story – his return at the end of the screenplay is the most positive note at the climax. To give this more impact, you could re-unite him with his mother here, after all you took the time to introduce her earlier.
Formatting wise – the script was excellent, I can’t remember picking up on anything that I thought was off.
I’ve made some page by page notes of things that came to mind, and that I picked up on whilst reading the screenplay below. The main things that I found issue with was that in some cases certain sections of dialogue could read a little too on the nose, or seem a little flat, but for the most part I found it an easy and pleasurable read
PAGE BY PAGE NOTES
Nothing major, but I’m not sure you need this, ‘(or English with Arabic accents)’. I’d say just leave it after you’ve mentioned that they speak in Arabic. If the script gets made, that’s something for the producers and director to worry about. By giving two options in the screenplay itself, it makes it seem like you’re not certain yourself.
The occupying Zionist pigs won’t be able to hide in their tanks anymore. This weapon can pierce
the Merkava’s armor and turn it into an oven, roasting the infidels inside their own cursed war
This dialogue felt a little overly wordy and stilted. In my opinion you might want to strip it down a little.
Some good powerful images, and exciting scenes up to this point.
They’re all the same.’
This line didn’t feel right to me, it seemed too dismissive of Avi’s adversaries. Something more toned down, like ‘He’s playing to type’ might work better.
I like the way you introduced the character of Ilan through the club scene, and now the tank. Immediately and effectively engaging the reader and making us sympathetic to him.
I’m not really familiar with army protocol, so this question may be irrelevant, but would Ilan speak to freely to his superior officer here? He doesn’t address him by his position, if just seemed a little informal in the situation. But again, I’m not familiar with what is the norm!
‘Fidayi 2 aims the second launcher and it also blows up on him.’
This sentence seems a little bland. I know it’s essentially a repetition of what has happened before to the other launcher, but try to find another interesting way of describing the action.
Thrilling action scene.
(back to Ilan)
You’re going to crack like an egg.’
It might just be me, but this came across almost like a one-liner, it might be worth considering a more menacing alternative, to increase the tension further.
I’m enjoying the script so far. It’s lean and efficient, but still has lots of incidental detail that is helping to draw me into the world and the story.
Nic e raising of the stakes for the protagonist.
It seems a bit of a co-incidence that Itzhak is stationed on the front line here. Appreciate that you have set this up earlier in the nightclub scene in the story, but it feels a little forced and convenient here perhaps.
This seems very reckless of Avi. It works in the purpose of the story – he’s in a race against time, but I don’t know if you could get round it another way without having him walk uninvited into the enemy’s den.
I like the depiction of Khalid. He’s clearly a ruthless character, but he’s still human, and isn’t coming across as one-note, which is often the danger with antagonists.
Have you ever heard of a group
called Ukhuwwa Al Shuhada?’
Again, this seems a little reckless the way that Avi just drops this into the conversation. For a master insurgent, could he do it in a more subtle / tactful way?
Great character introduction for Abu Taysir.
Do you supply them to most of the
cells in Gaza?’
Again this question from Avi seems a little clumsy. It helps to raise Mufid’s suspicions, but contradicts Avi’s expert behaviour in other areas.
Why does Layla have a low status in the community?
Some of the actions in this scene are a little unclear and could do with cleaning up. Avi appears to walk out of the classroom, but then further down the page he walks out again whilst answer the teacher’s question.
Do words really mean anything if
you have to squeeze them out of me?’
This line is nice, but seems a little lucid for someone in Ilan’s state. It might seem more natural if he just said something simpler like, ‘Then what does it matter?’
It’s a nice character touch for Ilan to have some nice action hero beats – but is he in the right condition to be proficiently shooting people? It’s not a problem, but it would be worth emphasising in the actions that he’s struggling more than it appears at present.
by Gregory Mendoza on 06/22/2012Insurgent is a fast paced script that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. The concept was fantastic. I liked how instead of just being about middle eastern conflict, it was also about an Israeli soldier taking care of a Palestinian kid while he’s under cover trying to save one of his own. The Israeli and Palestinian lifestyles were compared and... Insurgent is a fast paced script that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
The concept was fantastic. I liked how instead of just being about middle eastern conflict, it was also about an Israeli soldier taking care of a Palestinian kid while he’s under cover trying to save one of his own.
The Israeli and Palestinian lifestyles were compared and contrasted throughout the script from the freedom of Ilan’s home while he’s playing video games, to the more relaxed atmosphere of the Tel Aviv night club that is eventually blown up by a suicide bomber, and the people of Gaza’s day to day life including the protests against the Israelis and the Israeli military rolling over their homes with tanks. I think the comparison was best made when Avi asks Layla if the Israelis were the one’s who blew a hole in her wall and she responds "Probably. Or maybe it was the Fedayeen. It’s not always clear...”.
The characters were written really well and they seemed like a genuine people. Particularly Avi, even though he was undercover pretending to be what he considers the enemy. He’s a ruthless solider, shown in the beginning of him wiping out the Jihadis in the first montage of the film. Including two kids in their 20’s. I didn’t understand why those guys would have banter about a bet on I’m guessing a football (Soccer) match early on, since they were killed very early on, but what I came to realize as the story progressed is that the writer was humanizing these Jihadis, making the reader understand that these “terrorist cells” are still comprised of humans. Avi is still a ruthless solider at the end of the film, even though the rest of the story was about him protecting Ahmed and his sister and this is shown during the final speech where he tells Ahmed that “Ahmed, I want you to know I love you like a son. But if I had to, I would kill you and your family and everyone you know -- because it is my sworn duty above all others to protect Israel.”
Ahmed is one of my favorite characters mostly because the boy idealizes a man for what he deems to be heroic actions, but to Avi are evil actions. The boy is similar to kids in the western world who play video games and cops and robbers growing up, except he takes it a step further. He’s a kid that doesn’t understand why the violence is occurring, but understands the reward system of dying for a cause and then getting something in return, even though he doesn’t understand the purpose of the reward of 72 virgins.
I think the ending came a bit quick after he takes Ahmed home, I was hoping for a little bit more, I’m not sure what, it could just be that it was wrapped up in 2 pages. I just didn’t feel like after all of that Avi would just drive into the darkness, but that’s why film is subjective, right?
by bccarter on 06/21/2012First, the positives (which are many): the script is written with an economy that suits the genre well -- that of the international thriller. You have a strong command of the action and seem to understand the world you've created inside and out. The dialogue is convincingly organic and even has some nuances that make it believable. The script comes across as well-researched,... First, the positives (which are many): the script is written with an economy that suits the genre well -- that of the international thriller. You have a strong command of the action and seem to understand the world you've created inside and out. The dialogue is convincingly organic and even has some nuances that make it believable.
The script comes across as well-researched, which is important for this genre. Nothing comes off as improbable, and the relationship b/t Avi and Ahmed is the true strength of the script; Avi's empathy with Ahmed, the way that he seems to identify with the young man as a version of his younger self, is touching and serves as the key fulcrum in the story.
The lone criticism I have of the script pertains to Avi's arc as a character. From the time he infiltrates to the time he executes his daring escape plan, we don't see him change much, nor do we ever see him in any truly vulnerable situations. What did he learn? There's a hint of this in the ending when Avi essentially relinquishes his unquestioning loyalty to Mossad because of their treatment of Ahmed, but that's almost too easy. We already know that he likes the boy.
As is, Insurgent is essentially an action film, and a very good one. But it has more promise than that -- it could be a more complex, psychological story, and at times it seems like that's where it wants to go. With one more draft I think it can get there. read
- Writer: Michael Keller
- Uploaded by: Michael Keller
- Length: 101 pages
- Genre: action, drama, political
- People are understandably very touchy about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I tried to depict it even-handedly. It's so overwhelmingly complicated and the truth is hard to sift out of so much propaganda.
- Bio: www.GrayAreaProductions.com
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