Analysis of Mr Robot


Screenplay Rating:

Recommend

Executive Summary

The screenplay is highly recommended due to its effective introduction of the main character, Elliot, and the establishment of his paranoia and beliefs. The tension and suspense throughout the screenplay keep the audience engaged, and the dialogue reveals important information and adds depth to the characters. However, there are areas that could be improved, such as smoother transitions between scenes, more engaging dialogue, and clearer connections between plot elements. The screenplay successfully explores themes of control, wealth inequality, and revolution, and the character arcs are well-developed, although some characters could benefit from further exploration. Overall, the narrative is compelling and engaging, with notable points that add depth and intrigue to the story.

Strengths
  • The scene effectively introduces the main character, Elliot, and establishes his paranoia and beliefs. (Scene 1)
  • Tense and suspenseful atmosphere; Strong dialogue that reveals important information; Effective use of visual elements to enhance the scene; Well-developed conflict and resolution. (Scene 2)
  • The scene effectively establishes Elliot's paranoia and the sense of being followed; The dialogue between Elliot and Angela reveals their complicated relationship and Elliot's conflicted feelings about his job; The introduction of Mr. Robot adds intrigue and sets up a potential mentor/protégé dynamic. (Scene 3)
  • The scene effectively sets the tone of tension and paranoia through Elliot's observations and the news clip about cyberattacks; The birthday celebration adds a touch of humanity and normalcy to the otherwise tense atmosphere; The dialogue between Elliot and Ali adds depth to their relationship and hints at potential conflicts; The visual element of Elliot walking through the streets while eating McDonald's fries adds to the sense of his paranoia and detachment. (Scene 4)
  • The scene effectively establishes Elliot's loneliness and drug addiction through his interactions with Qwerty and his drug use; The dialogue and voiceover provide insight into Elliot's character and his struggles with loneliness and his past; The scene sets up potential conflicts and storylines, such as Elliot's suspicion of Krista and Michael's relationship and his involvement with fsociety. (Scene 7)
Areas of Improvement
  • The transition between the office and subway scenes could be smoother to improve the flow of the narrative; The dialogue in the subway scene could be more engaging and impactful to further establish the conflict and tension; The introduction of the mysterious men dressed in black could be more subtle and mysterious to enhance the intrigue. (Scene 1)
  • Some dialogue could be refined for clarity and impact; More exploration of Elliot's motivations and emotions. (Scene 2)
  • The transition between the subway and the AllSafe offices feels abrupt and could be smoother; The conflict between Gideon and Angela could be further developed to create more tension; The dialogue between Elliot and Angela could be more nuanced and reveal deeper layers of their relationship. (Scene 3)
  • The transition from the conference room to Elliot's cubicle feels abrupt and could be smoother; The dialogue between Gideon and Angela about the recent hacks could be more engaging and informative; The significance of the news clip about cyberattacks could be further explored and connected to the main plot; The interaction between Elliot and Ali could be more dynamic and reveal more about their characters. (Scene 4)
  • The transition between Elliot's voiceover and the dialogue could be smoother; The scene could benefit from more visual elements to enhance the storytelling; The conflict between Elliot and Krista could be further developed and resolved within the scene. (Scene 5)
MissingElements
  • A clearer connection between Elliot's beliefs and the main conflict of the story; A stronger hook or inciting incident to propel the story forward; More development of the supporting characters and their roles in the story. (Scene 1)
  • A clearer connection between the recent hacks and the overall plot of the screenplay; More development of the conflict between Gideon and Angela about handling the hack situation; A stronger sense of Elliot's internal struggle and his role in the cybersecurity world. (Scene 4)
  • A clear objective or goal for Elliot in the scene; A stronger resolution to the conflict between Elliot and Krista; A clearer connection between Elliot's thoughts on society and his personal struggles. (Scene 5)
  • A clearer explanation of the recent hack and its implications for AllSafe; More visual description of the NYC streets and AllSafe offices to enhance the setting; A stronger sense of Elliot's internal struggle and the moral implications of his actions. (Scene 3)
  • A clearer explanation of the rootkit and its impact on Evil Corp's network; More insight into the characters' emotions and motivations during the scene; A stronger connection between the different storylines and characters in the scene. (Scene 8)
NotablePoints
  • The use of quotes at the beginning of the scene adds depth and context to the themes of the story; The scene effectively sets up the premise of the show, with Elliot believing he is being followed by a shadowy group of rich people who secretly run the world. (Scene 1)
  • The reveal that Elliot was working with the FBI adds an unexpected twist to the scene; The scene raises ethical and moral questions about privacy and vigilantism. (Scene 2)
  • The tension between Elliot and Ali adds an additional layer of conflict and complexity to the story; The scene effectively portrays the everyday life at AllSafe while hinting at the larger dangers and challenges they face. (Scene 4)
  • The introduction of the Men in Black adds a sense of mystery and danger to the story; The use of voiceover narration effectively conveys Elliot's thoughts and paranoia. (Scene 3)
  • The use of hacking and technology as a central theme adds intrigue and relevance to the scene; The scene sets up potential conflicts and plot points for future scenes, such as Elliot's relationship with the Men in Black and his anger issues. (Scene 5)
Summary Mr. Robot tells the story of Elliot, a hacker with a complicated past who is approached by a group of hackers, known as fsociety, led by Mr. Robot, who wants to take down one of the world's largest corporations, Evil Corp, and create a massive instance of wealth redistribution by erasing all debt owed to the company. Elliot is initially skeptical but eventually joins the revolution. Along the way, he deals with his own personal demons and gets involved in a web of blackmail, betrayal, and plot twists. The movie ends with Elliot realizing the true power of the group he has joined and what it will take to see their plans through to fruition.


Screenplay Story Analysis

Story Critique The plot/story of the screenplay has some strong elements, such as the tension and paranoia that is consistently present throughout the scenes. The conflicts that arise in each scene also add to the overall suspense and keep the audience engaged. The character arcs are well-developed, particularly Elliot's journey from a paranoid loner to a determined agent of change. The use of visual elements, such as the silhouettes forming in the black of frame and the presence of the Men in Black, adds to the overall atmosphere of the story. However, there are some areas that could be improved. The resolution of conflicts is often left unresolved, which can leave the audience feeling unsatisfied. Additionally, some scenes lack significant visual elements or actions, which can make them feel stagnant. The emotional tone of the scenes is consistently tense and uneasy, which can become repetitive and may benefit from some variation. Overall, the plot/story has potential but could benefit from further development and refinement.
Suggestions: To improve the plot/story of the screenplay, consider resolving conflicts in each scene to provide a sense of closure and progression. Introduce more significant visual elements or actions in scenes that lack them to add visual interest and keep the story visually engaging. Vary the emotional tone of the scenes to provide a more dynamic experience for the audience. Additionally, consider further developing the character arcs of secondary characters to add depth and complexity to the overall story.

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

Characters in the screenplay, and their arcs:

Elliot

Elliot is a highly intelligent, socially isolated, and mentally troubled hacker with a strong sense of justice. His struggles with chronic insomnia, paranoia, anxiety, and addiction make him emotionally vulnerable, but his unique perspective and resourcefulness make him a compelling protagonist. His actions are motivated by a desire for truth and authenticity, a need for justice, and a hatred for Evil Corp, which he blames for his father's death.



Phil

Phil is a middle-aged man with a receding hairline, glasses, and a paunch. He speaks in a soft, measured tone and often wears a polo shirt and khakis. He can come across as unassuming, friendly, and knowledgeable about coffee.



Krista

Krista is a compassionate and empathetic psychologist who genuinely cares about her patient, Elliot. Despite her best efforts, she struggles to fully comprehend Elliot's perspective and the severity of his mental illness. She's a strong and independent woman, but also has her own personal issues and desires that occasionally interfere with her role as Elliot's therapist.



Michael

Michael is a handsome man with a charming personality that can quickly shift towards cruelty. He is deceptive and represents the darker side of society. His past actions of cheating on his wife show he can act impulsively. Michael is often seen as a victim in his own story, blaming others for his misfortunes. However, it is his own past actions that have led to his current predicament.



Angela

Angela is a driven and intelligent character who initially works as an account executive at AllSafe, with a strong ambition to succeed in her new role. She is resourceful and dedicated to her work, feeling both pressure and determination to excel within the corporate world. However, as she becomes increasingly disillusioned with the company's unethical practices, Angela is forced to question her own values and goals. She struggles with the conflict between her personal ambitions and her desire to make a difference, ultimately leading to a journey of self-discovery and ultimately a decision to take a stand against corporate corruption.



Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot is a man of mystery, enigma and charisma. He has an imposing presence and often appears unexpectedly to Elliot, offering him a chance to break free from his monotonous routine. He is the elusive leader of fsociety, with a fondness for Twinkies and Ferris wheels. Nothing is known about his past, leaving his motives and goals shrouded in mystery. He is passionate about taking down the conglomerate and believes in the power of collective action. He is cunning and manipulative, a perfect leader for a group of anarchists.



Character Arc Critique Suggestions
Elliot Elliot's character arc over the course of the movie involves his journey towards self-discovery and personal growth. He starts off as a socially isolated and troubled individual who is driven by a desire for justice and a need to uncover the truth. As he becomes more involved in fsociety and the revolution, he begins to grapple with his conflicting motivations and moral ambiguity. He struggles with his own mental health issues and addiction, but eventually comes to terms with his past traumas and learns to accept himself for who he is. His final act of giving up his power to undo the hack showcases his change, and he is able to find some semblance of peace and closure in his relationship with Darlene. Elliot's character arc is compelling and well-executed, but it could benefit from further exploration of his internal struggles with mental health issues. While his mental health is a major part of his character, it is often used as a plot device or a source of conflict rather than an opportunity for deeper exploration. Additionally, his relationships with other characters could be further developed to create more complex and nuanced dynamics.
To improve Elliot's character arc, the movie could dedicate more time to exploring his mental health and how it affects his relationships with other characters. This could include showing more scenes of therapy or group support, or delving deeper into his past traumas and family history. Additionally, the movie could flesh out his relationships with Darlene, Angela, and Mr. Robot to create more nuanced and complex dynamics that reflect the character's growth and development over time.
Phil Phil begins the movie as someone who is hiding a significant part of his life and is willing to go to great lengths to protect it. He portrays himself as a calm and collected person, but when confronted by Elliot, he becomes increasingly desperate and emotional. As the story progresses, he gets more involved in Lolita City's activities and becomes morally ambiguous. His involvement with Elliot leads him down a dangerous path where he is forced to confront the consequences of his actions. In the end, Phil faces the full weight of the law, and his life is ruined. He learns that his choices have consequences and that there is no escaping them. While Phil's character arc is compelling, it can be challenging to empathize with him. He does not exhibit much remorse or guilt for his actions and does not go through a meaningful change in his character. The audience may find it challenging to relate to him, and he may come across as a one-dimensional villain.
To improve Phil's character arc, it may help to showcase more of his human qualities. Show moments where he is struggling with the moral implications of his choices and convey his internal conflict. Show him trying to do the right thing or feeling guilt over his wrong actions. These moments will help make him a more complex character and improve his likability. Additionally, giving him a redemptive quality or allowing him to take responsibility for his actions could provide a more satisfying end to his arc.
Krista As Krista continues to work with Elliot, she begins to develop feelings for him that go beyond the typical therapist-patient relationship. She struggles with the ethical implications of these feelings, but can't help but be drawn to Elliot's vulnerability and his profound need for connection. Over time, Krista begins to realize that in order to truly help Elliot, she needs to confront her own personal issues and come to terms with her feelings for him. After a particularly difficult session with Elliot, during which Michael's infidelity is revealed, Krista decides to leave her job and focus on her own healing. The character arc for Krista is well-developed and interesting, but it could benefit from a bit more specificity. What, specifically, are Krista's personal issues and desires? How do they affect her relationship with Elliot and her role as his therapist? Additionally, the arc could benefit from more development of Krista's decision to leave her job - why does she feel that this is the best course of action, and how will it affect her relationship with Elliot?
To improve the character arc, consider fleshing out Krista's personal issues and desires more fully - perhaps she struggles with commitment or has past traumas that affect her ability to connect with others. Additionally, more attention could be given to the aftermath of Krista's decision to leave her job - how will she continue to help Elliot, and what will become of their relationship? Finally, exploring the ethical implications of Krista's feelings for Elliot could add complexity and nuance to the character arc.
Michael Michael starts off as a seemingly charming and happy-go-lucky guy, but as the story progresses, his darker side is revealed. This is highlighted when Elliot starts blackmailing him. Michael is then forced to confront his actions and their repercussions. He is hesitant to do so at first, but as the stakes get higher, he realizes the need to take responsibility for his actions. Michael takes the first step towards redemption by confessing his affair to his wife and ends the affair with Krista. In the end, he is left to pick up the pieces of his shattered life and try to rebuild his reputation and relationship with his wife The character arc of Michael could have been developed more extensively. His transition from a cheater to a reluctant confessor is abrupt and sudden. A more gradual transformation would have made his character more believable. Additionally, there could have been more emphasis on the reasons behind Michael's actions and a deeper exploration of his motivations, which would have made his character arc more impactful.
To improve Michael's character arc, the screenwriter could have included scenes that show his struggle with guilt and remorse. By depicting Michael's inner turmoil and his attempts to make amends, the audience would be able to relate to him on a more personal level. Additionally, the reasons behind Michael's actions could have been explored in more detail to provide a more in-depth understanding of his character. Lastly, the screenwriter could have included a scene where Michael confronts Krista about her behavior and holds her equally accountable for the affair.
Angela Throughout the story, Angela faces challenges that test her resilience and determination. She initially strives to succeed in her new role but faces setbacks when she is removed from a major account due to her lack of technical expertise. As she becomes disillusioned with the company's values, she begins to question her own goals and values, leading to a personal crisis. Eventually, Angela discovers her own strength and decides to take a stand against corporate corruption, a decision which reflects her newfound willingness to stand up for her beliefs. While Angela's arc is compelling, it could benefit from greater specificity and detail. In particular, the transition from her personal crisis to her decision to take a stand against corporate corruption could be more clearly motivated and explained.
To improve the character arc, it could be useful to explore more explicitly the factors that lead Angela to question her values and goals. Perhaps she witnesses or experiences examples of corporate corruption firsthand, or is forced to confront the consequences of her own actions within the company. This could create a more nuanced and impactful arc that gives greater depth to Angela's character.
Mr. Robot Mr. Robot's character arc is centered around his relationship with Elliot and his ultimate goal to take down Evil Corp. Initially, he appears as a mysterious figure offering Elliot an escape from his mundane life. As the story progresses, he reveals himself to be the leader of fsociety who wants to bring down the conglomerate. Throughout the story, his relationship with Elliot is tested as Elliot discovers his true identity and intentions. In the end, Mr. Robot sacrifices himself to complete the mission and takes down Evil Corp once and for all. The overall arc of Mr. Robot's character is well-developed and serves the overall plot well. However, there could have been more depth and exploration into Mr. Robot's past and motivations. Additionally, his sudden sacrifice at the end feels rushed and could have been explored more to add emotional weight to the character's ultimate sacrifice.
To improve Mr. Robot's character arc, more exploration into his past and motivation could have been added to give more depth to the character. Additionally, his sacrifice at the end could have been teased throughout the story, making it feel less rushed and adding more emotional weight. Overall, Mr. Robot's character could have been given more screen time to truly showcase his enigmatic and charismatic nature.
Theme Theme Details Themee Explanation
Paranoia and SuspicionElliot's paranoia and belief that he is being followedThe theme of paranoia and suspicion is evident throughout the screenplay, with Elliot constantly feeling like he is being followed and watched. This theme drives the conflict and tension in many scenes.
Identity and Self-ReflectionElliot's introspective moments and discussions about his beliefs and feelings towards societyThe theme of identity and self-reflection is explored through Elliot's internal monologues and discussions with his therapist. He questions his place in society and struggles with his own beliefs and emotions.
Power and ControlElliot's desire to take down Evil Corp and his involvement with fsocietyThe theme of power and control is evident in Elliot's actions and motivations. He wants to take down Evil Corp and regain control over his own life and society as a whole.
Betrayal and TrustElliot's suspicions of those around him and his confrontations with Phil and MichaelThe theme of betrayal and trust is explored through Elliot's interactions with Phil and Michael. He questions their intentions and confronts them about their illegal activities, leading to a breakdown of trust.
Loneliness and AddictionElliot's loneliness and drug addictionThe theme of loneliness and addiction is evident in Elliot's actions and emotions. He turns to drugs to cope with his loneliness and struggles with his addiction throughout the screenplay.
Corruption and MoralityThe involvement of Evil Corp and the FBI in illegal activitiesThe theme of corruption and morality is explored through the involvement of Evil Corp and the FBI in illegal activities. Elliot questions the morality of those in power and seeks to expose their corruption.
Technology and SurveillanceElliot's hacking skills and constant surveillanceThe theme of technology and surveillance is evident in Elliot's hacking skills and constant surveillance. He uses technology to gain power and control, while also being constantly monitored and followed.
Isolation and ConnectionElliot's isolation and his attempts to connect with othersThe theme of isolation and connection is explored through Elliot's struggles with loneliness and his attempts to connect with others, such as his therapist and Angela. He longs for connection but often finds himself isolated.



Screenwriting Resources on Themes

Articles

Site Description
Studio Binder Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters
Coverfly Improving your Screenplay's theme
John August Writing from Theme

YouTube Videos

Title Description
Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics Screenwriting basics - beginner video
What is theme Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.
Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts
Goals and Philosophical Conflict
internal Goals The protagonist's internal goals in the screenplay evolve as he questions his beliefs, desires purpose and connection, and seeks justice.
External Goals The protagonist's external goals in the screenplay involve avoiding danger, gathering evidence, fixing technical issues, and proving himself to others.
Philosophical Conflict The overarching philosophical conflict in the screenplay revolves around the protagonist's beliefs, trust, and the use of power. It challenges his worldview and raises questions about morality, control, and the nature of trust in a digital world.


Character Development Contribution: The protagonist's evolving internal and external goals contribute to his development by challenging his beliefs, values, and worldview. They push him to question his own sanity, confront his fears, and seek purpose, connection, and justice.

Narrative Structure Contribution: The protagonist's goals and conflicts drive the narrative structure of the screenplay, creating tension, suspense, and a sense of urgency. They propel the protagonist forward, leading to important plot points and character interactions.

Thematic Depth Contribution: The protagonist's goals and conflicts contribute to the thematic depth of the screenplay by exploring themes of identity, control, trust, justice, and the power dynamics of society. They raise philosophical questions about the nature of reality, morality, and the use of power.


Screenwriting Resources on Goals and Philosophical Conflict

Articles

Site Description
Creative Screenwriting How Important Is A Character’s Goal?
Studio Binder What is Conflict in a Story? A Quick Reminder of the Purpose of Conflict

YouTube Videos

Title Description
How I Build a Story's Philosophical Conflict How do you build philosophical conflict into your story? Where do you start? And how do you develop it into your characters and their external actions. Today I’m going to break this all down and make it fully clear in this episode.
Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great By Michael Arndt: I put this lecture together in 2006, when I started work at Pixar on Toy Story 3. It looks at how to write an "insanely great" ending, using Star Wars, The Graduate, and Little Miss Sunshine as examples. 90 minutes
Tips for Writing Effective Character Goals By Jessica Brody (Save the Cat!): Writing character goals is one of the most important jobs of any novelist. But are your character's goals...mushy?