Friday, February 25, 2011

'Salt': (Too much) Mystery ≠ Tension

by Tristan Mahlow

Recently I sat down, read the Kurt Wimmer screenplay 'Salt' and afterwards I watched the movie with a good buddy . I won't give you a plot summary as you can find this anywhere on the net (see the links down below).


I rushed through the script, as it was really intense, thightly written and exciting. So I was naturally wondering how it would translate to the final product. After watching the movie one big flaw stood out for us:
Most of the time the viewer was left not knowing anything about the character and her intentions.
Until the final minutes of the movie it is left unclear wether Salt really wants to kill the President or not. While reading the script it didn't matter that much to me, but while watching the film it became blatantly clear: How can the viewer relate to the protagonist? We get a glimpse of a backstory, but her lovestory - which might be one of her motivators - isn't really developed in the movie (it was clearer in the draft I read).
So while the action unfolds as the movie progresses, we, the viewers, had to take the backseat; it was unclear what we should hope for, what we should fear - we weren't emotionally invested in the movie and were only left with good-looking action sequences.

What was your impression reading the script or watching the movie? Any idea how to make your protagonist mysterious, but not a total blank for the viewer?

Have a nice day,
- T.

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