A journey of survival, fueled by revenge, as a woman seeks retribution against her father for trying to kill her as a child.
SummaryMaggie’s story begins when Preston, her father, takes her to an obscure prison in Latin America when she is just 10 years old. Preston pays the prison director, Cesar, to have her killed. When Maggie’s adult cellmate, Selena, discovers Maggie’s fate, she offers herself to Cesar and saves Maggie’s life.
Years pass until both Maggie and Selena are purchased from Cesar by Nathan, a wealthy jewel thief, who plans to use them as accomplices. Nathan trains Maggie on how to adopt the identity of his victims so he can steal from them. Over the years, Maggie accumulates a great deal of wealth on her own. Her success with Nathan comes at a price as he is dominating and sadistic toward her. She formulates a plan to escape Nathan’s control, reunite with her mother and get revenge on her father and sister. In order to realize these goals, she must play her father, sister and Nathan against each other while assuming her sister’s identity.
This is a revenge story. But most of this script is the confidence game. She is lifted in prison by someone who wants to use her for cons, another man exploiting her. In a con game the audience either likes to know what’s happening and watch it unfold, but there has to be a chance of failure, otherwise there is no tension and reward for success. Or the audience does not know and watches it unfold as do the unsuspecting foils. The father does get surprised, and does get his deserved ending. But you did it off screen. We didn’t see him suffer as Maggie wanted, which is what we wanted. No reward for patiently watching the whole movie. We as the audience want to participate in the vengeance. It’s cathartic. If the audience hears that her father was killed, they are sympathetic. If they see her do it, they are empathetic. A much different feeling as a viewer.
While her mother cried on the tarmac, why did she stay with her husband? When her daughter says “it’s better this way” all parents, who are adults, would turn to her and say “what the fuck do you know?”. You could say that her time in the mental institution is the price she paid along with the living knowledge that she let her own flesh and blood be taken away from her without a fight. So when you bring her back in the end, its seems there should be more remorse and guilt from the mother, verbally. Otherwise the reunion is too easily accepted. Because most daughters would say “why didn’t you come for me? Why didn’t you try to find me? Why did you stay with him after he did that?!”. In a revenge story there is going to be real anguish felt by most of the participants. The mother doesn’t seem to feel guilty, and the daughter forgives her totally without a reference to that terrible day on the airstrip. Because Maggie didn’t deserve the violations she experiences, we want resolution along with the revenge. I understand many people suppress horrific things and seem to function normally. In a movie we want to see that struggle to suppress the pain or the rage; we want her to seem inhuman in her focus for revenge. In a good revenge movie the protagonist always pays a price. What price does she pay? I know she suffered mightily in prison let alone being ripped away from her family. What trait of suffering does she she exhibit in the script?
So that brings up her hooking up with Peter. Rape victims often go through a lot of therapy before becoming intimate again. She got none. Unless she is blocking it so she can endure the sex with Nathan, her flirting with Peter is odd.
I don’t know you but it’s beyond challenging writing about female rape as a male. If you want to escalate the anguish the audience experience, Selena should be hearing her cries of pain during the rape, almost to the point of going crazy herself. Can you imagine listening to a young girl being raped for hours just a few feet away from you? You have to decide what type of con/revenge movie this is. Is is light like Trading Places, or heavy like Red Sparrow? You based it on banishment – torn from her family. But rape and years of abuse does something to a human being. She was far too normal, and innocent with Nathan, for someone to have survived years in a prison. A revenge movie explores the dark side of human nature. If you can bring this out when we see Maggie on screen then the audience will be pulled into your story.