Gregory: Gave this a read:
INT. THE RAHMAN RESIDENCE - DAY
Since most would be unfamiliar - I think a one line description of the house would be helpful so we know what they are leaving.
And finds a thin, expensive pair of silver-rimmed eyeglasses
and puts them on.
You need a He or a Esam in front of this sentence.
I don't think you need the CUT TOs
Nasim! We had a deal!
It's okay, Shayma. You'll be okay.
Didn't care for these lines - did not nearly have the emotional impact of the ones that follow - I would delete them and would they also not have had this conversation on the ride over?
What's that Nasim? Why were you
shouting for Esam?
It's nothing. Just go.
Tell me what's going on, Nasim! Why
do you still have that money?
It doesn't concern you.
That's enough to pay for Esam!
Isn't it, Nasim? Isn't it!
I think this exchange goes on too long - you really only need the last line of dialogue from
Shayma as she looks at the cash.
On page 7 where the COAST GUARD shines a light on Esam - I think Coast Guard is too benevolent and non-descript - I would make it a Syrian Military Patrol Boat.
One logic question - I was confused by Nasim saying it was his family - thought it was Esam's family. Did I miss something?
I found the ending way over the top and the dialogue far too preachy and unneeded. As if you want the reporter to tell the entire theme of the story and cram it down the audience's throat. You have once desperate dead women and children on a boat. A grief stricken father that had to make the ultimate Sophie's choice. All of the horrors of war and the refugees. You don't need to add a lecture from the reporter. It is already there.
I also did not understand why Nisam rather than Karam survived - in the prior scene it was Karam taking the last precious drink of water.
I found Sophia's speech at the end as over the top - the message is already in your story, you don't need a speech from her. You don't need the rag doll in the camera - you have dead women and children - that is enough.
A suggested twist:
Karam is the smuggler. Maybe at sea he and the little girl are the only ones left conscious. Karam, rather than saving himself gives the last of the water to the little girl. Maybe he even stuffs the money into her pocket. When they are found she is the only one alive, one arm around her doll and one arm around her dead brother. It would provide a sense of nobility at sea. Just a thought.