Screenwriting course – Assignment 3

A full page on The Search

Character outline:
Lara is a 28 year old primary school teacher who is married to Rob, an ex-soldier and current UN peacekeeper, who is in Afghanistan. She appears neat, dedicated and a perfect wife. She is having an affair with a colleague, James as she is desperate for attention and enjoys the romantic cliches. She spends a lot of time on her own in the evenings in her tidy, sparse home often not reaching out to friends and family as she feels they don’t want to be concerned.

Images I Like:
Cross-cutting of sex with explosion as the opening image. Close-ups on both so they seem abstract and confusing.
A long shot that zooms in to a close up on an empty house with a separation letter from Lara while the phone rings and rings. We focus on a photo of him proposing with a heart shape of candles with ‘will you marry me?’ in stones.
Gets in to the car passionately kissing James as her mobile goes. She ignores it, until she can’t any longer. The sound and visuals become blurred and we see her pained reaction.
Shot looking from her pov at the airport waiting to see what he looks like, be shielded (by people and screens) for a long time until a reveal of his damaged face and that he is in a wheelchair. He doesn’t need all of this for long, but it’s the initial trauma. The camera spins to see her muted reaction, although she looks happy and ecstatic to see him, her eyes reveal her turmoil.
A montage of dealing with the physical rehabilitation and how she throws herself in to it because she feels so guilty.
Slow reveal of the mental damage that has been done – nightmares, flashbacks and anger outbursts interspersed amongst the montage. Scenes in which he doesn’t understand how he is hurting her feelings, that he is cutting her off or almost getting violent. We continually see her reaction in close-ups and how she is struggling to cope. The relationship keeps deteriorating and she meets up with James one night after saying she was going to a ‘wounded wives’ support group. They have an angry and sad sexual encounter in a car. We see a close-up of her face that shows a mixture of disgust, lust, desire and pain.
While she is away, we use a tracking shot in the house to find Rob having discovered her leaving note. She had tucked this in to a book when she brought him back from the airport.
She comes back to a seemingly empty house and in a panic looks all around to find him. He is out in the garden, which is covered in candles and he recreates the engagement picture, but with ‘I’m sorry.’
She realises that her husband is in there somewhere and they look at each other properly for the first time.

Themes:
Communication and lack of
Rehabilitation – emotionally, physically and of relationships.
Guilt
War
Love

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