Sunday, 11 October 2015

Film Review (Plot Structure) - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright, 2010)

Fig 1. Scott Pilgrim Poster.

Scott Pilgrim vs the World is an adaptation of the comic series 'Scott Pilgrim' by Bryan Lee O'Malley. In terms of the plot structuring for this film, it appears to follow the classic 3 act structure, with some small differences. These become apparent once the film is broken down into its core stages.

Act 1 consists mostly of an introduction to Scott Pilgrim, his roommate, his sister, his other band members and his current girlfriend. Once the audience is acquainted with all of these characters, Ramona Flowers enters the picture and Scott is immediately infatuated with her. He spends a great deal of time finding out all the information he can about her. After he finds out that she works for an online delivery service, he orders a package from them hoping she will deliver it.

The beginning of act 2 is when he gets Ramona to go on a date with him. This is what sets the rest of the story in motion. Shortly after they start going out, Scott receives an email from his first opponent. He ignores it and deletes the email. Later, at a gig his band is playing, it is disrupted by the very person he received the email from. He introduces himself as Matthew Patel and states that he is Ramona's 'first evil ex'. There is a long battle sequence and Scott is eventually declared the victor. The entirety of act 2 is made up of Scott fighting increasingly stronger 'evil ex's' and finding out more information about Ramona's backstory and the 'league of evil ex's', which is revealed to have been organised by a man called Gideon. His battles with Ramona's previous partners begin to wear on Scott and Ramona's relationship.

Fig 2. Ramona's 1st Evil Ex.

Scott fights 6 'evil ex's' overall and at the conclusion of the 6th he meets with Gideon for the first time. Gideon takes Ramona from Scott. This is the conclusion of act 2 and the start of act 3. Act 3 is solely the preparation for the final battle and the battle itself. After losing Ramona to Gideon, Scott feels compelled to win her back and take down Gideon, he rushes to where he knows Gideon and Ramona will be and confronts him. There is a short battle and Scott declares that he is fighting Gideon to win Ramona back. Shortly afterwards, he loses to Gideon and is killed. The idea is that he lost because he was fighting Gideon for the wrong reasons and as such his resolve faltered.

Fig 3. Gideon, The Final Evil Ex.

In the next scene the hero, Scott, is in a barren desert. This is clearly there to further represent that he did die in the previous scene. He then feels that he has learnt from his mistakes, picks up an extra life that he earned previously in the film and starts again at the beginning of act 3. This time armed with a better understanding of the situation and what he must do, he defeats Gideon and he wins back his love interest, Ramona. With a final scene that ties up loose ends and questions the audience would have, the film concludes neatly.

Scott's resurrection is a literal representation of a key part in the hero's journey This film has used many unique video game tropes to help serve as 'the hero's journey' stages. All of the story after the resurrection could technically be an act 4 on its own as it is a replay of act 3 with better decisions by the hero. These ultimately result in a better ending for the hero.

Illustration List

Wright, E (2010) Figure 1. Scott Pilgrim Poster. (Accessed on 10/10/15)

Wright, E (2010) Figure 2. Ramona's 1st Evil Ex. (Accessed on 11/10/15)

Wright, E (2010) Figure 3. Gideon, The Final Evil Ex. (Accessed on 11/10/15)

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