Analysis of Erin Brokovich

Summary Erin Brockovich, a single mother, seeks justice after a car accident by demanding a job at Ed Masry's law firm. She investigates toxic waste and contaminated groundwater from a local energy company, going to great lengths to uncover their cover-up. Despite mistrust among plaintiffs, Erin convinces them to sign release forms for a potential settlement, leading to a binding arbitration decision. Erin exposes the energy company's negligence and achieves victory in court, inspiring others to fight for justice.



Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Erin Brockovich Erin starts off as a struggling single mother who takes on a job as a legal clerk and becomes determined to uncover the truth about PG&E's pollution and their impact on the health of the community. She goes from being unsure about her abilities to confident and assertive, standing up to authority figures and fighting for justice. Erin's passion and empathy towards those affected by the pollution transform her into a fearless advocate for her clients, leading to a successful lawsuit against PG&E. Over the course of the movie, Erin learns to trust herself and her instincts, becoming a strong and resilient pillar for her family and community. The character arc for Erin is well-done overall, but at times her outbursts of anger seem gratuitous and detract from her likeability and credibility as a professional. Additionally, while her motivation to help the community is clear, there is not enough exploration of her personal journey and growth outside of her work.
To improve Erin's character arc, more attention should be paid to her vulnerability and personal struggles as a single mother. Additionally, the film could benefit from showing her growth beyond her role as a legal assistant and exploring her personal development as a person. Furthermore, her tendency to resort to anger could be toned down and shown in a more nuanced way to strengthen her as a respectable and admirable character.
Ed Ed starts off as a blustery and chaotic lawyer who means well but struggles to understand Erin's situation and emotions. He initially fails to keep his promise to her and must deal with the consequences. Over the course of the movie, he becomes a kind-hearted boss who is willing to help Erin, a candid and fair mediator between opposing forces, and ultimately a seasoned lawyer who admires and respects Erin's abilities. While Ed's character arc is well-defined, it lacks strong emotional stakes that would make his journey more compelling. Additionally, some of his actions and motivations seem to shift abruptly and without sufficient explanation, making it hard to fully understand his perspective.
To improve Ed's character arc, the filmmakers could focus more on his personal motivations and struggles, perhaps by revealing more about his backstory or family life. Additionally, they could provide clearer cues to help the audience understand his shifting allegiances and actions, such as through dialogue or inner monologues. Finally, they could consider giving Ed a more explicit emotional arc, such as by having him confront and overcome a personal fear or vulnerability, which would make his growth more resonant with viewers.
Erin Erin goes from a struggling single mother to a determined and successful paralegal who fights for justice for her clients. Throughout the movie, Erin learns to stand up for herself and her beliefs, even when faced with opposition from powerful corporations and her own colleagues. She also learns to balance her work and family responsibilities and grows as a person, becoming more compassionate and empathetic towards others. The character arc for Erin is well-developed and engaging, but at times, it can feel a bit formulaic and predictable. There are moments where Erin's character development seems forced, and her growth as a person is too conveniently tied to the outcome of the legal case.
To improve Erin's character arc, the movie could spend more time exploring her personal struggles and the challenges she faces as a single mother. More emphasis on her dyslexia and the difficulties it poses for her could add depth to her character. Additionally, the movie could show more of Erin's journey to becoming a paralegal, highlighting the hard work and dedication it takes to enter the legal profession without a formal education. Lastly, the movie could use more subtle ways to show Erin's growth as a person, rather than relying on dramatic moments like her speech at the town hall meeting.
George George begins as a seemingly friendly neighbor trying to make amends for his past mistakes. He then becomes a jobless man looking to make himself useful and is good with kids. As the story progresses, George transforms into a supportive and caring friend drawn to Erin's vulnerability and strength, providing her with comfort and stability when she needs it most. He becomes worried about Erin's safety and finances, but ultimately supportive of her decisions. Despite being a source of conflict when his desire for intimacy clashes with Erin's desire to socialize at the office Christmas party, George remains a loving but frustrated partner who feels unappreciated. He becomes distant and closed off in his body language, but ultimately becomes someone Erin trusts with her kids and she reaches out to him for help despite their past history. While George's arc shows a clear progression of growth and development, it feels somewhat predictable and lacking in depth. In some ways, George's character remains too one-dimensional, never quite finding the complexity and nuance that would make him truly memorable.
To improve George's arc, the filmmakers might focus on exploring his interiority more deeply. This could involve delving into his past and the mistakes he's trying to make amends for, or exploring his own sense of vulnerability and insecurity. Additionally, it might be helpful to bring more contrasts and contradictions into his character, allowing him to be both supportive and challenging, loving and distant, all at the same time.