Script Analysis: “Hell or High Water” — Part 2: Plot
Scott Myers
42

Melinda, thanks for cutting trail on this. I got waylaid this week with work. Your analysis aligns with mine pretty much:

Opening: The first bank robberies.

Act One End: I think we can include Marcus and Parker arriving at the Archer City bank which completely locks down the setup, but you’re right, we know where the story is going by the end of P.18.

The Transition is pretty amorphous. There is a lengthy sequence at the Commanche Red River Casino which goes from 47–64. I take that to be the visualization of a ‘false’ future where everything works out for Tanner and Toby, so your take that the midpoint is the rather quiet moment in which Toby goes outside to stare at the stars is a good take, especially since it’s coupled with Marcus staring up at the same stars. Reminds us of the eventual intersection between these two sets of characters.

Act Two End: I think you’re right, the robbery gone wrong, people killed, and now the whole idealistic version of their crime spree goes entirely south. The proverbial shit has hit the fan, so there’s no going back to any sort of innocent, easy resolution. Somebody is going to have to die for their ‘sins’.

The Ending: Again I think you’re right and it’s an unusual Final Struggle, isn’t it? Because it doesn’t involve Marcus, rather he shows up and confronts Toby in an extended Denouement.

Yet another script which has a traditional three act structure yet does not align with cookie cutter page counts.

Reminds us: STORIES ARE ORGANIC! Sure, they may have a Beginning, Middle, and End, but there are limitless variations to fit the holistic nature of characters and story.

Thanks!

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