Urban Drama

Mark Moon Molson


The plot is wonderfully full of tension throughout, which is nicely complicated by the fondness we start to have for these characters who are so obviously, sooner or later, headed for doom. The trajectory is clear, the action rises towards an anticipated (though not necessarily predictable) climax, and the inner journeys are as clear as the outer ones.

Though all the characters are richly developed, it would be nice if the storylines of Black and Third were punched up a bit so we have almost invested in them as we do in Markees and Adrian. These latter two are having a life-changing night. Are the other two just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Would things have panned out differently without them? What are their back stories?

Story points here and there could use some clarification. Why is Adrian just attacking the Jamaicans for no reason? If the point is that blacks are racist against other nationalities of blacks, this should be brought more to the forefront. Why are they fine with Puerto Ricans? Why isnít Adrian disgusted with the African Val from the beginning? This issue might unite things better if the reason Adrian pushes Markees to go through with the murder is not to prove a point about his lack of follow-through, but because heís also prejudiced against Val. The way things pan out now, the setup with the Jamaicans never really goes anywhere. It isnít integrated that Adrian thinks the cops will come after him or thatís why he leaves Cookie Ė it just plays out that heís along for the ride.

Also, why doesnít Adrian want to bring the gun into Cookieís house? Because the kids are there? And why would he leave it in plain site on the back seat where anyone walking by the car could see it? Why doesnít he want the other guys to know he has it? Again, if this hearkens back to the Jamaicans make it clear and follow it through. Why donít they just go back and get it when he finds out Markees buried it?

Another thing to consider is how the ending plays out. Having Markees purposely kill both Val and Adrian, then accidentally kill Black could be too much. Killing Val with his own hands after all the build up is hard to top. What he does afterwards turns him into a monster and no better than Adrian. Why isnít killing Val enough to make the point? Or reviving Val because he regrets it and then just killing Adrian? Or deciding not to murder Val (or doing it then reviving him) and then inadvertently killing him any way when he runs down Adrian and crashes the car? This would probably be the most tragic and ironic, leave him a bit redeemable, and allow for the greatest emotional rollercoaster for the audience. Also donít sell the ending short Ė let him realize he also killed his best friend in the process.

Copyright 2010 Mark Moon Molson
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