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Saturday, May 17, 2014

DIVERGENT REVIEW: Marcus Deconstructed by Vanessa Taylor's Screenplay in 4 Sentences

Vanessa Taylor - Screenplay for Divergent

Marcus Eaton
Our first look at Marcus is as the camera pans over in the beginning with Beatrice's voiceover with a slight lisp. He is sitting in the central governmental position next to Andrew.

He first speaks at the Choosing Ceremony:

After today you will no longer be dependents but full-fledged members of our society.

We see his tightened lips as Caleb chooses Erudite and Andrew's astonished and disbelieving face.

Marcus in Four's Fearscape with Tris
Marcus: Tobias! I'm trying to help you.To make you better. (In other words I'm beating you for your own good.)

We next see him when Tris does, after Tobias has been taken from her, and after Natalie has been shot and killed. She enters the place Natalie told her her father was. Inside is her father, Caleb, Marcus, et al.

Your mother?
Tris tells her father that her mother saved her and they hold each other and cry.

Marcus: (immediately while they are consoling each other) We need to leave here. Are there soldiers outside?

Tris: No, it's clear (looking at him with contempt and distaste).

Caleb: (comes up to her) I should have listened to you. I didn't know what was going on. Why are Dauntless fighting?

Tris: They don't know what they're doing. They're under simulation. I need to wake them up. I have to get into Dauntless.

Marcus: It's a fortress in there. Not gonna happen.

Tris: I can get us in.

Marcus at the Choosing Ceremony speaks in what linguistics calls "performative speech." He has a beautiful seductive voice. Persuasive. 

In the above sequence Marcus is attempting to dominate the group and especially Tris. She is a girl, approximately the same age as his son Tobias and he is not taking orders. He thinks. But this is the power of the screenplay. In four speaking lines Vanessa Taylor has given us the character of Marcus, his essence. His desire to control and dominate presented in language. There is no legislation that will protect you from this. It is a form of speech you will have to recognize and assert yourself in response. There will be consequences usually.

We need to leave here. This is a super ego communication. A parent to child communication. It's purpose is to dominate. 

It's a fortress in there. Not gonna happen. (Marcus immediately shoots down Tris's I need to get into Dauntless and wake them.

I can get us in. Tris asserts herself, takes command, leads the group and Marcus is forced to follow.

In the psychoanalytic transference we see all that we need to know of Tobias's childhood with this man. Any idea of his own, any assertion, any creativity, any solutions, etc ALL were shot down, DOMINATED by Marcus. And Tobias was beaten unmercifully for any disobedience, verbal or active. Passive endurance was his defense. 

You will see this in the supermarket every day if you wake up, listen and see. 


Inside Dauntless Tris sees Peter who knows where the Control Room of Simulations is. She has to shoot him to prove to him she is serious.
Marcus: Did you really have to shoot him? (menacing and contemptuous, disgusted)

Tris: Every minute we waste an Abnegation dies and a Dauntless becomes a murderer

Here he is trying to induce guilt in a former Abnegation member but Tris isn't buying it.Marcus is still trying to dominate and now with guilt.


Ready to Shoot Train Run
Marcus is too out of shape to run and grab onto the train, pull himself up. He shouts.

Marcus: Tobias! (asking for help;remaining in the city is death for him,)

Four/Tobias is conflicted. He wants to leave him there but also feels he should rescue him from death so he does. 

Vanessa Taylor's screenplay is ADULT. It is asking and demanding you to attend to what is said, what is meant by what is said. It is clear that Vanessa Taylor knows exactly what she is saying, what it means and what it does. It appears Taylor has read Foucault and/or knows his work. This is an intelligent screenplay not often seen (Dark Knight Rises an Exception also) in a movie intended for commercial consumption. Neil Burger has created a film that is art as well as commercial.

People know what they say.
They even frequently know why they say what they say.
But what they don't know is what they say does. - Michel Foucault

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