Analysis of Boyz n the hood

Summary "Boyz n the Hood" follows the life of Tre Styles, a young Black American male, and his friends in a dangerous and violent neighborhood in Los Angeles. Throughout the movie, Tre, his friends, and family face the harsh realities of gang violence and systematic oppression. Tre learns from his father about responsibility, fatherhood, and the importance of having a role model. The movie culminates in a tragic event where Tre's friend Ricky is killed by a rival gang member, and Tre's friend Dough Boy seeks revenge. The movie ends with Tre and Dough Boy grieving and struggling to cope with the future.


Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique Boyz n the Hood is a powerful story that brings to light important issues such as systemic oppression, gang violence, and police brutality. The film does an excellent job of showcasing the daily struggles faced by young Black Americans in poverty-stricken neighborhoods. The characters are believable and complex, each with their own flaws and motivations. However, the story is hindered by some weaker subplots and character relationships that don't always hit the emotional mark. Additionally, there are pacing issues that make the film feel long and drawn out at times.
Suggestions: To improve the screenplay, focus on tightening up the pacing and removing any unnecessary subplots that don't add to the overall narrative. Solidify the relationships between characters and make sure emotional impact is consistent throughout. Consider adding more depth to the female characters in the story, who are currently somewhat underdeveloped. Also, think about adding more nuance to the discussions of systemic oppression and police brutality, as it feels somewhat surface-level at times.

Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Tre

Tre is a charismatic, witty, and level-headed young man, who is able to cope with the violent reality of his surroundings with a degree of indifference. He is intelligent, sensitive, and mature, grappling with issues of growing up and taking responsibility. He is conflicted about his identity and place in the world, but is eager to learn from his experiences and become a responsible adult. Tre has a playful and loving relationship with his father, but is ashamed of his father's uncleanliness and tries to distance himself from him. He cares deeply for his girlfriend Brandi and his mother Reva, but is often torn between his loyalty to his friends and his desire to stay out of trouble. His innate intelligence and sense of responsibility are often at odds with the societal pressures he faces, and he feels trapped in his environment, wanting to leave LA.



Furious

Furious is an African American man who is a strict but loving father with serious brown eyes. He is unclean and has a weight bench in the living room. He is tough, disciplined, and thoughtful with a strong sense of pride and a desire to protect his family. He is wise and reflective, experienced in the hardships of teenage fatherhood. He values education, cares deeply about his son, and emphasizes the importance of sexual health.



Dough Boy

Dough Boy is a complex and troubled young man, who longs to be seen as tough and in control, but is held back by his mother's criticism and his own lack of ambition. He is a playful troublemaker who claims Brandi as his own and feels at home in Nickerson Gardens, but is also hot-headed, easily triggered by insults, and fiercely protective of his family. He has become a cold and violent gangster, with no trace of his former warmth and humor, but still has a deep sense of loyalty to those he loves. He is proud of his background and heritage, but hardened by the environment he grew up in, and has embraced the gang lifestyle, using violence to protect his reputation and status within the community. Despite all this, he is also a gracious host, who throws a party to celebrate his release from prison and is able to play off Tre's subtle criticism and seamlessly switch gears in conversation. Dough Boy is a street-smart and quick-witted man, but deeply troubled by the weight of his circumstances.



Ricky

Ricky is a young man from South Central Los Angeles who dreams of a better life. He is ambitious and determined to break free from the gang violence and poverty that surrounds him. Ricky is loyal and protective of his friends, especially his best friend Tre, whom he considers family. He is a loving father to his young son and is willing to make sacrifices to provide for his family. However, Ricky is also impulsive and can be easily swayed by peer pressure, leading him to make poor choices that put him in danger.



Brandi

Brandi is a beautiful and caring young woman with strong Catholic beliefs. She values her morals and wants to wait until marriage to have sex. Brandi is emotionally supportive and understands Tre's struggles. She is open to discussing marriage while in college and is willing to have sex with Tre. She is also sexually attracted to him. However, beyond her attraction to Tre, her character remains somewhat underdeveloped and it is unclear what her motivations or desires are.



Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Tre Tre goes through a coming of age arc, as he navigates the dangers and pressures of growing up in a violent urban environment. He tries to avoid violence and trouble, but is often caught in the middle of the danger in his neighborhood. He witnesses the arrests of his friends, and is deeply affected by the gang-related shooting and the systematic oppression of black people. Tre is torn between loyalty to his childhood friends and the desire to pursue a better life through education and hard work. He is conflicted about his relationship with Brandi and dealing with his custody arrangement between his parents. Ultimately, Tre makes the decision to pursue a better life, leaving LA to start a new life with Brandi after graduation. The character arc is well developed, but could benefit from more focus on Tre's emotional growth throughout the story. While the arc touches on his struggle with his identity and place in the world, it could be further explored in a more nuanced way. Additionally, the arc could benefit from more emphasis on the specific challenges Tre faces in navigating his environment, and how he learns to overcome them.
To improve the character arc, more attention could be given to Tre's inner emotional journey and how he changes and grows over time. The arc could also benefit from more exploration of Tre's specific challenges and how he learns to overcome them, such as navigating the pressures of gang violence and systemic oppression. Additionally, the arc could be strengthened by giving more focus to Tre's relationships with other characters, and how they impact his growth and decision making.
Furious Furious experiences a transformation throughout the movie where he initially tries to bond with his son over cooking and teach him about responsibility. As the movie progresses, he becomes more protective of his son and willing to do anything to keep him safe. He serves as a mentor to Tre and advises him on sexual health. In the end, he is actively trying to control the custody arrangement between himself and Tre's mother. The character arc for Furious is decent and emphasizes his protective nature and willingness to mentor his son. However, it could be improved by showing more of his initial struggles with teenage fatherhood and how he grew into the wise and reflective father we see in the movie.
To improve the character arc, the screenplay could show more flashbacks of Furious's teenage fatherhood struggles and how he learned from them. This could give the audience a better understanding of his reflective nature and why he values education and sexual health. Additionally, the custody battle could be made more emotionally impactful by showing the toll it takes on Furious as a father.
Dough Boy Dough Boy's character arc follows a tragic trajectory: he starts off as a playful troublemaker, but as he grows older and more embroiled in gang culture, he becomes more violent and unpredictable. He is arrested for stealing but later honored at a backyard barbecue party, a clear sign of his status within the gang. At first, he still has some remnants of his former warmth and humor, but as the movie progresses, he becomes increasingly hardened and violent, with a desire for revenge that ultimately perpetuates the cycle of gang violence. By the end of the movie, he is a grieving brother, overwhelmed with emotion and fear for his own safety. His arc is a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting caught up in gang culture, and the ultimately tragic consequences of that choice. Overall, the arc of Dough Boy's character is well-executed, and his tragic downfall is poignant and powerful. However, there are some areas where the arc could be improved. Specifically, there could be more exploration of Dough Boy's internal struggles and the events that lead him to embrace gang culture so fully. Additionally, the movie could do more to explore the impact that Dough Boy's decisions have on those around him, particularly his family. Lastly, while his arc is largely successful, it might feel a bit rushed or overly compressed at times, which can detract from the emotional impact of his character's tragic trajectory.
To improve Dough Boy's character arc, the movie could spend more time exploring his inner turmoil and the events that lead him to embrace gang culture. This could help the audience understand his choices and ultimately make his downfall even more tragic. Additionally, the movie could show more clearly how Dough Boy's decisions impact those around him, particularly his family. This could increase the emotional stakes of his character, as well as make the themes of the movie more resonant. Finally, the arc could benefit from a longer runtime or more careful pacing, which would allow for more time to develop Dough Boy's story without feeling rushed or compressed.
Ricky Throughout the film, Ricky's character arc is one of growth and sacrifice. He starts off as a carefree teenager who takes risks and has dreams of playing college football. However, as he becomes more aware of the dangers of gang violence and the limitations of his environment, he begins to question his choices and his dreams. In a pivotal scene, Ricky chooses to give up his football dreams in order to provide for his family and protect them from harm. This decision ultimately leads to his tragic death at the hands of gang members. Through his sacrifice, Ricky becomes a symbol of the tragic loss caused by senseless violence and the need for change in his community. The character arc for Ricky is well developed and provides a clear contrast between his carefree youth and his tragic end. However, his decision to give up his football dreams feels abrupt and could benefit from more foreshadowing or build up throughout the film. Additionally, Ricky's impulsive nature is somewhat inconsistent with his role as a responsible father and could be explored more in depth to showcase the internal conflict he faces.
To improve the character arc, the filmmakers could show more of Ricky's internal struggles and the life-changing events that lead him to question his dreams. They could also explore more of his impulsive nature and how it affects his relationships with his family and friends. Adding foreshadowing or hints throughout the film could make his decision to give up football feel more organic and impactful.
Brandi Brandi's character arc centers around her struggle to reconcile her Catholic beliefs with her desire for intimacy with Tre. At the beginning of the film, she is portrayed as someone who is strict about her beliefs and wants to wait until marriage. As the film progresses, she becomes more open to the idea of having sex with Tre, but still struggles with the guilt and shame that comes with going against her Catholic beliefs. In the end, she decides to have sex with Tre but also discusses the possibility of marriage. Her character arc is about coming to terms with her desires and figuring out how to reconcile them with her beliefs. While Brandi's arc is interesting, there could be more development into her character beyond her love for Tre and her struggle with her Catholic beliefs. It would also be helpful to understand more about why she holds these beliefs in the first place and how they impact her life beyond her relationship with Tre.
To improve Brandi's character arc, it would be helpful to have more scenes that explore her beliefs and how they impact her life. It would also be helpful to have more scenes where she interacts with characters other than Tre, which would give her the opportunity to show more aspects of her personality. Additionally, giving her a more defined motivation or goal beyond her relationship with Tre would help to flesh out her character and make her more dynamic.