This is a well-crafted, visually potent, emotionally powerful story that captures the mind, soul and heartbreak of a teen girl. This protagonist, Eliot, runs the gamut of emotions, and all are well executed. She is feisty, angry, and frustrated, yet still a dreamer. Following in her dying father’s footsteps, she passionately works on a rocket ship, hoping to get it to fly, either way it doesn’t really matter. She’s looking for an escape. Right to the very end of this script, this girl has a dream to fly a rocket ship and for some irrational reason she thinks it will somehow connect her to her father.
We don’t discover until late in the story that much of what she is thinking has been conjured up in her mind. She has created a reality in which her younger father is working with her, and these scenes come to life with exquisite and imaginative detail. In fact, they felt real.
The interactions Eliot has with all the characters, real or imagined, are sharply drawn. Their dialogue felt authentic and it breaks the mother’s heart that her daughter is going through this. Eliot’s relationship with her mother felt genuine. Both are struggling with her father’s death. For the longest time Eliot refuses to even visit the hospital. This script keenly dramatizes the denial part of death, while showing the lengths a young girl will go to keep her father alive. It shows the imaginative power of a mind, but also the painful undercurrents of grief and pain that drive this imagination.
This is a moving script. That concept has a great deal of potential, and it truly delves into poignant, timeless themes. This script accomplishes the rare feat of bringing to life simultaneously both what happens in these characters’ daily lives as well as what occurs emotionally as if this were as or more tangible and transformative than concrete reality. Eliot is a flawed yet sympathetic character. Her dialogue with Oteri and her mother is refreshing and funny. Nonetheless, the story beats when she rebels at school do not come across as realistically as would be optimal regarding how she can do so many misdeeds without being stopped, hindered or punished more immediately. The character and relationship arcs in this script are fascinating to witness. Her mother's instinctive comprehension and moral support of the emotional journey Eliot undergoes are moving. The dialogue and her father's letter to her are also touching. This scripts plants set ups and pay offs and weaves and them into the plot to provide catharsis well. The imagery is wonderfully attuned to multiple layers of meaning that work seamlessly with the structure, plot, character development and dialogue, particularly during the most crucial points in the script.