“A SMARTPHONE lies over a table, BUZZING intermittently like a
wounded fly that can’t take flight.”
- Good prose.
“She FREEZES. Spots a dozen SHOPPING BAGS lying sprawled on
the floor. A black fancy dress spilling out from one of them.”
No. That - that didn’t work.
- Ha, I liked this moment.
Her eyes land on an ice cream BUCKET that lies toppled on the
tile floor. Its contents melting into a surrounding pool that
grows like blood around a corpse.
Eating like a pig doesn’t make the
pain go away.
There’s a few CUTTING SCARS on her arm.
Even the pain doesn’t make the pain
- Great visual storytelling here as you show her attempts to alleviate her pain, her loss. From the money to food to self inflicted wounds. Punchy and effective while also injecting some humour of the darkest kind.
I love the frantic rhythm of the prose (the scenes don't merely CUT TO: they FLASH TO
which reflects the fevered frenzy of Nadia's mindset and ramblings. Form matching content.
Yes - yes - I miss him. I don’t
want to miss him anymore. I want to
forget him. And I want to forget I
forgot him. So I don’t miss him and
I don’t miss missing him. I don’t
want to burn like the moth. Tell me
how to forget him –
- What she really needs is that Lacuna Inc. Patented machine from "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind"
Relatively painless and no creepy man appear from thin air asking you to breathe incense. All you get is Kirstin Dunst and Mark Ruffalo dancing semi clad on your bed!
His touch... his taste... his
smell... makes everything go away.
- I'm starting to think Jack isn't a person, instead representing her dependency on a certain drug or something. She seems to refer to him in those terms anyway.
It’s been long without “Jack”
- Oh so it’s actually as literal as Jack Daniels? Ha!
“Mr. K. is now gone... or probably was never even there”
- I think we can 100% assume he wasn't. I wonder does Mr. K represent something or someone? Rather then it just being another figment of her imagination.
“bottle that Mr. K. took is still MISSING.”
- Or maybe he was...
“She notices she’s holding the bottle in her hand.”
I really liked this.
You're exploring a theme we've seen a million times before: addiction, yet you managed to bring a somewhat fresh and wholly immersive perspective to it. There are so many pitfalls with this topic, simplistic moralizing, didactic finger wagging, a redemptive protagonist, the human spirit triumphing over adversary narrative, hitting rock bottom before soaring above it all, etc. It’s so easy to resort to the same cliches we see in these types of stories time and again that you must be extra mindful to bring something original to the table, a new treatment of a familiar subject.
In this regard I think you succeeded. Mainly through the crazed internalizing of Nadia's character and the immediacy that brings. It’s the immersive quality I mentioned above where we feel like we're right inside her mind, feeling every inch of her struggle.
I don't have personal experience of being seized in that kind of all consuming vice-like grip of addiction but this felt pretty close to conveying the obsessive, one-track state of mind of someone abstaining from something every fibre of their being is craving.
Even though I copped that Jack wasn't a person before it’s revealed (and I’m often slow on these things, other may catch on sooner) it still worked well. Perhaps if you toned down some of the more pointed lines which give this away it might withhold the twist longer but then you will be sacrificing some of that maddened aspect to Nadia's ranting which gives the script its edge.
Its testament to the work when I found myself almost welcoming her capitulation at the end. Yes, it is a tragic conclusion (or rather a “back to square one”) and I know I shouldn't be promoting her succumbing to her "flame" but jeez, anything to stop this insanity, anything to give her some peace, however ephemeral it might be. I felt I'd witnessed her go through so much that my empathy in seeing her get a temporary rest-bit from her demons overrode any concern over her essentially falling back into the abyss.
I also detected some of that in your handling of the scene which some might have a problem with it. I mean, you really emphasize the beauty of the whiskey being poured, splashing over the ice cubes, her arched silhouette against the TV conveyed with "first kiss" and "lover's touch" analogies. The whole scene takes on a sexual almost ethereal quality in contrast to the bleak, squalid surrounding we'd seen thus far.
However, I don't have a problem with it. It’s a matter of staying true to perspective, whose eyes we are seeing this through. This is very much a 1st person narrative all from Nadia's point of view so it makes complete sense to sensationalize and glorify it they way you do. It also gives you an opportunity to get in some cool, poetic visuals
Now I’m off for a bourbon and coke.