Overall Recommendation:
4.0 stars
(4)
5 Stars:
25.0%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
25.0%
(1)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(4)
 
Story structure:
3.5 stars
(4)
 
Character:
3.5 stars
(4)
 
Dialogue:
4.3 stars
(4)
 
Emotion:
3.8 stars
(4)
 
 
1-4 of 4 reviews
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1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Tragic, powerful and thought provoking.

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
The Mishima Incident does what a truly great docudrama should do; it gives us an unerring insight, not just into a time and place, but into a state of mind. The story is not just a great attempt at understanding a historical figure, but of understanding a country and culture in flux.

Through the view point of Henry, a somewhat jaded British reporter, we discover the beauty and brutality of a culture quite alien to our own modern, western situation. We explore a romanticized notion of Japan, as well as its modern reality, and how closely the two are related. The best part is that I never once felt abandoned as a reader; the characters were warm, interesting and fun, and were able to deal with philosophical musings in a way that didn't come across as heavy handed or pretentious. I was entertained as well as informed- a difficult mix to achieve. I don't consider myself the brightest of readers, but I never once felt either patronized or lost.

I was challenged. Mishima was not painted as either a hero or a villain. His philosophies and opinions we're never shoved down my throat as "good" or "bad". I found I was able to appreciate the man, and the movie, without necessarily agreeing with the points raised. The exploration of character had a subtlety that I wouldn't expect of a more typical, commercial docudrama.

The structuring of events felt entirely natural; sweeping from huge, sprawling dramas to more intimate conflicts in a way that kept interest and satisfaction throughout. The presentation of the script was nigh flawless.

I enjoyed this, and I feel a richer man for having read it.

I wish you every success.
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Best of Devlin's work!

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
October 23, 2011
Devlin's The Mishima Incident is far superior to his screenplay, Tom Cruise: Missing in Action. It's well-researched, well-paced and smartly written. What grounds the storyline is the illustration of Mishima which Devlin portrays faithfully. Through Mishima's development, we come to appreciate Japanese history, culture and mindset in an original and enlightening way. Devlin expertly makes these available to us. Indeed, vivid descriptions and infomed dialogue relflect Devlin's years' living in Tokyo.

Secondary characters, however, are hit and miss. Henry Scott Stokes reads full-bodied and believable, but Akiko is a caricature. The play would benefit from adding dimension to her and to her relationship with Henry. Other characters are either confusing or forgettable, adding little in the way of substory.

Overall, The Mishima Incident is by turns disturbing, fascinating and thoroughly compelling. It has much more to offer than what is considered screenworthy today.

Jacqueline Lauby
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

More action needed for this one

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
October 16, 2011
“To review another writer’s work is like telling a stranger what’s wrong with their child.”

The Mishima Incident tells the story of a reporter’s friendship and observation of Japanese radical Yukio Mishima.

I have no personal knowledge of either man or the incident that is written about which I take was a true happening some forty-years ago. I applaud the writer for taking on the task of bringing a story, I feel must be dear to his heart, to the written word because accomplishing the feat of writing non-fiction has to be a major task. Without the aid of one’s imagination to spice up the writing the characters must really be compelling to pull it off.

At best the script reads more like an independent film rather than big studio. Except for the beginning when Mishima takes the general hostage and the bloody ending the script drags along. The entire second act deals with the relationships between Henry and Mishima, Henry and Charly, Henry and Peter, and Henry and Akiko. While developing the players is necessary they need to be interesting at the same time. They all need more traits to identify themselves to the reader so the reader would know who they are without ever knowing their name if that makes sense. I think the writer should take some liberties with the story because it really needs a kick-in-the-butt.

If nothing else Mishima and Henry need a lot more drama injected into them. I’d like to see Mishima’s Jesus complex, meaning in the writer’s own words his dying is necessary to save his people, have a sleazier side that Henry discovers in his investigation and when confronted with it Mishima must answer for. Even have Mishima have knowledge of a not so wonderful Henry to retort back with. Something they can yell and scream at each other about. Keep the audience awake.

I didn’t care for the ending as it is. I think the words would work better if used in voice over as Henry’s thoughts reveal his feelings as he stares out over a sunset at the beach and lets the photo of him and Mishima on Mt. Fuji blow with the wind out to sea.

I actually think a lot more voice over could be used, particularly with the opening. This is really Henry’s story about a Japanese man who refused to leave the past for the future. I think it would work better told like that.
 
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

intelligent, well-written script based on an intriguing event

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
October 12, 2011
This script starts strong.

It has an engaging beginning, and a riveting ending. In this case, they are the same; the beginning is the end. Like many films, the story is how we get there.

This script is very well written, by a smart, informed writer. There are things that bothered me, but unfortunately, they are tied to the truth of the story. So I recognize the difficulty in changing too much. Having said that, these are my suggestions:

You begin with a bang, and end with a horrific, gruesome, and incredibly memorable scene, but most of act two is a slow plod towards that end. It's tricky with this kind of story, because you set up in the beginning where this is going to go. So there's not much in the way of surprises to keep us engaged. For me, the surprise came with just how violent and botched Mishima's endgame became.

So I guess I would've liked more strong moments sprinkled throughout. And I don't think it would necessarily involve inventing new scenes. I think it's just a matter of designing reveals, and increasing tension so that each scene ends with a bit of a 'whew' from the audience.

Along those lines, I think you have an unfortunate lead character. I say unfortunate because again, he's a real guy. So the things I don't like about him, you can't really fix. In a Beautiful Mind, the real life John Nash was bisexual. The movie left this out, because it would have confused the narrative. It wasn't important or relevant to the movie's version of the story. They understood that the truth of Nash's life, and the truth of the story they were creating, weren't the same thing.

I think you might have to make some of those choices for Henry. He's incredibly aloof to his wife, he cheats on her, he lets her leave the country without him. All because he's self-centered and possessed with Yukio. That's fine, and in fact if that were pushed, it would fit better. What I mean is, if we felt like Yukio's intense magnetic pull was the cause of Henry's disintegration, that would be better. But the truth is, that's not what's happening. Henry is kind of a bastard already.

So, likewise, we don't feel any pity for him when he loses his wife. Which takes the steam out of what could have been a nice mid-point reveal.

And then we have Henry's new relationship with Akiko. But again, I don't buy it. And frankly, I was surprised that they were still together at the flash-forward ending. The joke is that she says it was all based on good sex. And while his marriage to Charly failed, this relationship blossoms.

So, really I guess I'm talking about two things here: a slightly saggy middle, and a weak protagonist.
Now I know that technically, Yukio Mishima is the story's protagonist and Henry is just our POV character, but he's the guy we spend the most time with.

In some ways, there's a bit of The Last Samurai in here. Reluctant westerner, slowly falls for the mystic ideals of the East, set against a backdrop of a dying ancient samurai code. We have some similar stuff here, only 100 years later.

As I said, this is a good story, told by a competent story teller. And I think with a little work, this could become a great script.
-pete
 

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