SHORT FILM SCRIPT ANALYSIS: THE THERAPIST

 

 

 

 

The script contains few aspects of concern that deserve some recommendations for improvement as follows. The foremost aspect centers on the general structure of the script where character positioning and directions on present scenes and flashbacks become unclear and effectively distort the flow of the story, primarily at the end of the story. Hence, a recommendation to improve the script centers on altering its general structure. For instance, switching the position of the stage directions and the actual monologue would ensure the directions are clearer relative to the conversation as often the case in traditional script structures. This involves moving the character lines prompt to the left and including a colon next to the words spoken rather than placing the character name on top of the dialogue. The version used, though reasonably unique, leaves the stage setting and directions underrepresented whereas the recommended inversion ensures they become active rather than the current passive state. This is important for the script mainly because it applies the continuous interchanging of stage direction and Dr. Vaughn’s monologue.

In terms of improving the story, some aspects of the script deserve evaluation to improve the flow of the story. For a complete script, this one lacks various aspects of character direction on set and clarity on the events in the present and in the few flashbacks used. The script clearly intends to ensure a lengthy sense of mystery until the end but unfortunately makes some aspects unclear including the part Dr. Vaughn plays in the death of Lucy or if in fact, the dead woman in the final scene is Lucy. The script clearly describes a scene where he murdered a woman by strangling her with a headlock. Moreover, the conversation seems to leave several questions unsatisfactorily answered, the main one being Dr. Vaughn’s secret and who exactly he thanked for having come to him alone. The implied secret seems to be the fact that Dr. Vaughn suffered some form of sexual attraction to corpses. Considering the conversation ends with him calling Inspector Heritage, it seems rather incomplete and confusing since earlier sections of the script implied that she was conversing with the Inspector all along.

Hence, the foremost clear aspect that requires some attentions is in the final section of the script before the flashback of Dr. Vaughn calling for the police. This section lacks direction on the fact that it is a flashback after Dr. Vaughn says, “That’s why I called you.” It immediately shifts and continues to ‘Dr. Vaughn pick up the phone and dials.’ This slight lack of direction builds confusion in the script since this pivotal moment that informs the viewer or readers (in this case) that the woman previously believed to be the one listening to Dr. Vaughn is in fact the victim, Lucy. In addition, the lack of clear direction builds confusion where Dr. Vaughn seemed to direct the entire conversation towards the corpse building confusion as to whether the deceased woman was in fact Lucy since it makes no logical sense for him to converse about her with her corpse. His earlier reference to the Inspector adds confusion by making it unclear as to whether Dr. Vaughn directed the conversation to the deceased woman or the Inspector especially when one considers the fact that the story ends with Dr. Vaughn conversing with the corpse.

Overall, the story would improve tremendously with less mystery and more stage direction and indication to instances of flashbacks and present scenes. As it stands, the only way the script would make absolute sense as in its current state is if Dr. Vaughn was in fact conversing with another character, possibly the mannequin. He could not have directed the conversation to an absent inspector or his victim, leaving only the mannequin, which he would then have had to christen as the ‘Inspector’ earlier mentioned where he says, “I’ve given you her file, Inspector. It’s all there.” In addition, perceiving the story from this perspective allows the development of the perceived agreement Dr. Vaughn mentions between him and Lucy being his turning himself in after murdering her. Essentially, making clearer what the secret and agreement were would significantly improve the story.

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