How To Read A Screenplay (Part 5): Metamorphosis

Elizabeth Taylor reading a screenplay.
  • Where does the Protagonist begin their psychological journey?
  • Where does the Protagonist end their psychological journey?
  • What stages of development do they go through from beginning to end?
  • He is an old man living alone.
  • He struggles with a body that works against him [e.g., bad back, needs to use a cane to walk, must ride an escalating seat up and down the stairs].
  • He wakes in the morning, eats his bran cereal, ties his bow tie, walks out the front door, then proceeds to plop onto a seat on the front porch, nowhere to go, nowhere to be.
  • Even his house exists in a state of Disunity, surrounded on all sides by mammoth skyscrapers, the last vestige of the past amidst the pull of the future.
  • His engrained behavior is to be alone, but Russell, Kevin and Doug won’t let him.
  • He habit is to be a curmudgeonly old man, but Russell’s boundless enthusiasm for exploration, Doug’s immediate and unconditional love, and Kevin’s tricks constantly assault his ability to wear his gruff mask.
  • Even his old body is forced to accommodate itself to new circumstances, oftentimes setting aside his walker, even running albeit trying to escape Kevin and Doug [to no avail].
  • Carl listening to Russell talk about his favorite memory of his now absent father [sitting outside the ice cream parlor counting cars].
  • Carl promising Russell they will help Kevin get back to her babies.
  • Carl begrudgingly accepting Doug as a companion.

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