Even if, on a general level, the shift towards modernity marked a decisive rupture of the old social conventions, causing the individual to break the tribe’s structures, to withdraw into their own privacy (and isolation), the hierarchical patterns still remain present in small organizations.
In fact, the pyramidal pattern of social organization is as present as ever, but the departure from the spiritual ideals that the tribe has cultivated, made this form of social organization perceived as restrictive.
Although it is part of a hierarchical pyramid, modern man is the loner, passing through the existential spleen, experiencing the struggle for survival, ambitious to overcome their own social condition.
For all these considerations, somewhat sociological, there is also the inertia of a patriarchal mentality which, despite the democratization promoted by the new generations, continues to represent a valid organization formula.
Thus, despite the apparent emancipation brought by the shift towards modernity, behind the libertinism promoted by contemporary times lies, in fact, the rigors of rigid structures which, in most cases, corrupt the individual through, sometimes, absurd exigencies.
In such a complex and competitive world as ours, clans that still retain their hierarchical values become, in this sense, a way of survival.
However, the restrictive policy of such organizations is not deprived of human warmth, of love proofs, of all the forms of devotion that man is capable of.
In Bad Company is a script that discusses all of the aforementioned issues, depicting the story of a woman who must overcome the shock of her husband’s death, and also who must carry on as the family leader status that he occupied, while not neglecting the role of mother and sister.
Far from being a story that goes on the pattern of an emotional and implosive drama, this script questions the status of a woman who has to survive in a man’s world, keeping her morality intact.
After her husband dies,
Max has to take on the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club (which works on the principles of an independent society based on a pyramid structure), confronting Seth’s aversion to redefine the organizational patterns of this group.
The author thus relies on the classic scenario of Good vs Evil, even though the psychological complexity of the protagonist leads the story to another level.
In fact, even if the stake of the narrative thread taken here can be quite predictable for the spectator, the Max character is built with such care and intuition that the honest realism of the protagonist can compensate for the happy ending, somewhat cliché-like, of the script.
Max is the strong woman who, in addition to the leadership responsibilities she has to pay, guides her son’s initiatory path to the outside world’s violence.
Dialogic interaction, therefore, doesn’t only go to the level of the action itself, but also to the level of intimacy, attachment among the characters, giving the whole story not only the structure of an action movie, but also the warm layer of a life story.
Not by chance, the author uses the symbolism of his protagonists’ names to give a better opposition between the exponents of the two forces: on the one hand, there is Max – the great leader who must maximize her inner resources, in order to become, for real, the leader of the clan –, on the other hand, is Seth – having the name of the Egyptian evil deity who doesn’t hesitate to kill, in order to defend his interests.
Similarly, the author prefers to refer to Max’s son with the generic name Boy, in order to depict the universal structure of his initiatory journey through the world of grown-ups, highlighting the fact that, despite the clan’s specific structure, the psychology of the individual remains essentially unchanged.
Although it is not a script to surprise by its end, In Bad Company is an alert and emotional story about the strength of the individual who must overcome his weaknesses, in order to integrate himself into the social structures that represent him, preserving his moral principles which make him human.
REVIEWED BY TMFF -SEP 2017
SELMA B: 2016
1. Like how Max kisses the photo with her fingers. What mothers do. Also establishes her sense of humanity and what is most important to her.
2. You establish very well the biker culture with the tin mugs. I am a big fan of using everyday objects to set a scene or establish a point of view and you have done this very well. Visually, this will also film very well as the mugs set up a link between all the bikers. Very clever of you.
I love the names you have chosen. I believe firmly that names are crucial when it comes to characterisation because they often subconsciously link us to the type of person the character is. For example, if you had called Bodee , ‘Greg”, we would immediately form a different view of who he is as a person. Bodee is a cool name suggesting strength but also kindness. Very good technique.
I like how you set up the interaction between Bodee and Seth. The power play will draw the viewer in and shows who they are as men. You also continue with the theme you introduced earlier of Max kissing the photograph as you further establish her love (and concern) for her son. For me, this was a really important part of the scene because she knows who and what these men are – she knows their strengths and weaknesses and perhaps is grappling with letting her son become involved with them, and thinks twice after seeing Seth punish a nominee Huss.
When she is reassured by Seth and Bodee and Boy’s protest, she has no choice. I immediately identify with her because of this and it adds a huge amount of authenticity to her character. I like it a lot.
3. This is a very powerful scene. Its strength comes from having no dialogue. The viewer anticipates ‘somethings going down’ and Seth is further established as a force to be reckoned with.
4. Excellent scene. Very visually compelling. pack weaving like a metal snake. And then there is the Boy – all excited. He’s a part of it now.
5. Once again you’ve pulled the viewer in with the familiar, the everyday – the mother juggling the hotdogs. It gives a sense of normality to what for many people is not the norm. Very well done.
A very significant point in this scene is Max relaying to Huss’s girlfriend Holly, that the club comes first. Before anyone or anything.. the club comes first, remember that.
6. At the swap meet people move about viewing the bikes on display. Hemi’s bike is really well described.
7. The power of the blood red stone. Just like his Dad’s. Our hearts ache for him. Brilliant.
8. An important scene as it underlines Max’s misgivings about Boy joining the club without her having to say anything. It also outlines his inexperience.
Boy’s younger sister Erin, wants him to teach her to ride so she can join the cub too. Boy tells her “The club is only for boys” There is a sense of foreboding created as a result of this scene. Very well done.
9. There is an accident and Erin breaks her arm, Max takes her to hospital.
10. No harm done. Erin has the cast. Seems OK. Once again the technique of the everyday object (the cast) is utilised well, keeping the viewer engrossed in the narrative.
11. Like how there is a hint of tension between Carmen and Max. Tension is released and Carmen shows us where she is coming from regarding here dead son Joe. Carmen challenges Max about the welfare of the kids, she says; “If Joe was here he’d…”
Max frustrated, responds: “Well Joe is not here Carmen, and it will never be here again” The sense of loss in this scene is very strong and is almost another character in the room.
12. Love this scene for the link it provides between Max and Worm. They are united against Carmen. Like how they keep the cigarettes hidden in a jar just like they must keep their disdain for Carmen hidden.
13. I like that Max is a tattooist, but I like even more that she has principles and she shows them when Holly comes in for a “Property of tattoo” Max refuses to do it, she tells the teenager,” No way in the world will I ever brand any women the property of any man”
Instead of giving Holly a tat Max gives her a job.
14. The description of the interior of the house is significant because it shows that Max is not just a tough biker chick – she takes pride in her surroundings and is a responsible person. It consolidates her role as caring mother. Like the connection between Bodee (The Godfather) and Boy, I like the story about Joe, I like that Joe’s memory is kept alive.
15. Max and Bodee have known each other for a long time. “I can’t believe Boy is turning sixteen
16. ‘Gutter girls’ cracked me up. LOL. Go Max. She is not someone to mess with..
17. Max is further established as being able to hold her own with any man. Like how Worm just smirks.
17. Like the description of the tattoo palace with chairs etc. I like the communicate between the brother and sister Max and Worm this shows the impact the place has had on Max. The viewer wants to know what she is feeling, what motivates her.