I CARE A LOT: A lesson on theme in screenwriting. No spoilers. Now streaming on Netflix.
THIS IS HOW YOU DO THEME. Every writer has something to say. Blah, blah, blah... You want to change the world. You care about a subject matter so you force it down the viewer's throats with speeches, sermons, and monologues forcing your audience to choose a side.
But what if you told a compelling story about a character (we love or hate) having them living fully and guilt-free on one side of an issue while SHOWING us the bad parts of the issue?
The way our elders are treated in facilities can have their rights stricken from them, and are completely taken advantage of by random people thanks to our flawed justice system is a huge conversation right now. Especially in the wake of #FreeBritney who isn't an elder but has suffered from mental illness and been deemed unable to care for herself and her finances. She's now a ward of her father.
While watching this film, I wasn't rooting for the protagonist at all. She has absolutely no redeeming qualities. That's an entirely different post. However, what I was doing was paying attention to how easily someone can pull off what Marla is pulling off. I yelled at the TV more than a few times, "Not my mother!" It scared the life out of me without ever saying out loud: Our elderly shouldn't be mistreated. The writers simply mistreated them knowing that we all have parents and will ultimately be moved by how the elderly are being taken advantage of to possibly pay a little more attention to the future plans for our loved ones.
Mission accomplished, and there was no on-the-nose dialogue to make it happen. My kind of film.
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