Screenplay Review: My Bridge To Redemption
“My Bridge to Redemption,” a drama feature written by David A. Seader, explores one graduate student’s journey to recovery. After being arrested for assaulting a homeless man, Bryce is expelled, put on probation, and mandated to see a therapist. Bryce is an aspiring writer who has lost all passion for his craft. He abuses alcohol, drugs, and has exhibited a pattern of bad relationships. With his therapist, he slowly strikes at the root of his pain, a sordid incident his town blamed on him - and more importantly, one for which he blames himself.
Though it meanders in plot weaving in and out of flashbacks, this screenplay has an interesting emotional core. Trauma can cause individuals to act out, seek refuge in numbness. Bryce exemplifies what dealing with trauma might look like.
Bryce’s friends are there for Bryce in spirit, but don’t appear to help him do the heavy lifting to solve his problems. In particular Nate and his girlfriend, Nicky - do not serve as “healthy relationship” examples. Bryce works through being manipulated by friends and family. He deals with what it feels like to be entirely mistrusted and fooled. Bryce does have one companion, however, he seems to trust wholeheartedly - Kristy.
In many ways, Bryce is a victim. On top of trauma, he also undergoes the pain of death in the family. But for all the pain he endures, even more enduring is his nonchalance. He doesn’t make the effort to care, it seems, because it’s easier to ignore what is bothering him. In a way, though, his standoffish nature enters unbelievability.
On the other hand, Bryce is morose to the point which begs the question - why would all these women be into him? He has the compelling emotional problems of “Good Will Hunting” without the same level of charm. He cites the beloved Beatnik Kerouac, but his ability to write could come more into play in the dialogue - how he talks, how articulate he is, how often he waxes poetic. In general, the story is dialogue-led, so playfulness in dialogue was craved.
The reveal at the end, the root of Bryce’s pain, adds an element of darkness to the story, and comes as a surprise. You could see why people would assume what happened - an accident that resulted in a death - was Bryce’s fault. Perhaps it should have played more integrally to the first half of the script, but ultimately served its purpose as a harrowing scenario to add dramatic weight.
Perhaps people may not be able to relate to the specific offenses in this script, but many individuals could relate to the pain of having an inescapable past. The message of first accepting your past, accepting when and when you didn’t have control of it in order to move forward is a resonating message.