Script Short Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: Piero Cannata

Written by: Piero Cannata

Starring: Daniele Marotta, Monica Zanforlin, Marilea Vaglica

Film Review by: Vikas Yadav


A screenwriter plays with his characters in the same way a kid plays with his plastic toys. They kill, resurrect or change attributes of the subject according to their will. When writing a story, the writer turns into a god ruling over the fate of their dramatis personae. On paper, they create or change the rules of reality according to their choice.


So what happens when two screenwriters meet or work on a story together? Ideas are tossed around, and one tries to improve upon or outdo the other. This is what Daniele Marotta and Monica Zanforlin do when they brainstorm for a horror story together. The twist: They put themselves in the shoes of the protagonist. Another twist: They create a loop of story within story within a story and so on.


As Monica describes the details on her laptop, the same things happen around her. If she, for instance, has just written "The door creaks." Then the door creaks immediately. But Script does not show you the "real" story. Danielle and Monica get killed multiple times, and every time they die, we come to know that they are murdered inside a story narrated by either of them. I am not able to recall, but one of the Scream movies starts with the same conceit of killing the character within several layers of a dream. Of course, Script is not situated in a dream sequence. Or is it?


Slasher element aside, one can take a deeper look within this ghostly affair. The difference of opinion between Daniele and Monica is quite evident: writers trying to compete. But you can interpret the ghost, played by Marilea Vaglica, in another way. (Spoiler starts here) The ghost can be regarded as the film director who gets the final say in the procedure. The screenwriters can produce whatever story they want. They can spend months or years filling up the pages. But, in the end, it may get rejected or modified as per the needs of the director. Daniele and Monica amuse themselves with their diegesis. The ghost, however, diminishes their worth by altering not just their story but also their roles. The duo thinks they are the heroes of the narrative. But they are unaware that someone else is pulling strings. In simple words, the director always walks away with the credit while the writers mostly live in the shadows. (Spoiler ends here)


Piero Cannata constantly and swiftly cuts to different angles, heightening the tension. This editing trick keeps you on edge. The film’s technique makes it susceptible to dullness as the surprise tends to dissipate after we catch hold of the narrative device, which here is a story within a story. But Cannata holds your attention by using rollicking twists and - this is the most important part - by wrapping it up under nine minutes. Script is short, snappy, and a whole lot of fun.