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Screenplay Review: Revenge Status

Revenge Status is a suspense/thriller drama written by David A. Seader. The story follows Davis Lock who wakes up from a coma. Wrecked with dissociative amnesia, his past is fuzzy and mixed up.

Davis discovers that his girlfriend left a diary detailing what lead her to commit suicide. In the vein of Taken meets Momento in structure, David seeks revenge on those who wronged his girlfriend, Megan Rawley, and in the process reveals a ring of sexual assaulters he plans to kill.

Though revenge is a familiar concept in film, setting a revenge story in a small town that willfully holds information from the protagonist feels unique. Unlike Taken, though, the protagonist is not a clever guy with a “very particular set of skills,” he’s mentally damaged from being in a coma, and he is initially falling naively into life-threatening or mind-manipulating traps.

A big group of townies - Jimmy Notante, Danny Micheals, Doug Conners, Christopher Ramsey, Sawyer Wilkers and his father Tanner Wilkers desire getting to the bottom of what Davis Lock knows, and in that way appear complicit in what happened with Lock’s girlfriend.

Pretty soon you start to uncover the key moments that led David to desire killing each of these townies. The focus is more often told from the point of view of the townies trying to interrogate David over David figuring things out for himself. It’s an interesting structural choice.

One of the drawbacks to the material is that the plot, while having compelling death scenes and a harrowing reveal to a sexual assault ring, suffers from repeated information, not always in a way that advances the plot meaningfully. The plot is dialogue-driven over being visually led as well.

In the dialogue, though, there are compelling emotional moments. The script had you craving answers and rooting for David to “wake up” from his amnesia in order to see how he is being taken advantage of, and those are elements that add to its potential.

Overall, Revenge Status goes a step beyond the satisfaction of revenge and also looks at the toll the revenge takes on the protagonist. It asks the question: is justice enough? In the end, does it really change anything? Perhaps it may leave you a little crazed like the final scene of Kill Bill: Vol 3 where Uma Thurman lies hysterical on her bathroom floor...or something even worse.

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