Assignment Bank

Didn’t See That Coming!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith has got to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Partly because it is Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! However it is also the perfect blend of romance and action. I believe Mr. and Mrs. Smith has a very catchy story-line, one that gets people excited to watch over and over. In the beginning, the couple seems to be having issues with their marriage, and are seeking marriage counseling after 5 years of marriage. They quickly turn to find that both of them are contract killers working at different firms when they are both assigned to kill the same enemy.

While on this mission they spot one another and things turn ugly, quick. Both have been ordered to kill the other. When they return home they act as if nothing had happened, then quickly turns into a shootout in their suburb home. The two find themselves with guns in each other’s face but are unable to shoot, so they decide to take on their firms together. As the story continues we see the action begin to rise as they take on their new enemies. Together they fight and in the final scene they defeat them. The end of the movie shows where they were at the beginning of the movie, discussing their marriage at marriage counseling.  

When I began to think what kind of shape this storyline would be based on the “G-I” and “B-E” axis from the Shapes of Stories video, I couldn’t decide if either of the shapes that Kurt brought up would fit this story. This is what came to mind when I created my own story shape:

I believe the story begins in the “G” for good fortune because although they are having a rough time with their marriage they still have jobs and a nice home and are able to try and work things out. The line then begins to drop quickly to the “I” or ill-fortune due to the opposing firms that have asked to kill one another, and the frustration each of them feel. The line then begins to rise but more of a step latter kind of way because although their relationship and story is on the rise, we see small changes throughout that indicate their strength of defeating their enemies. Once they finally defeat their firms (newfound enemies) we see a slight rise, but only slightly above where they had begun. This is because they end the story with them back at counseling, but this time after having this wild experience of trying to kill one another, so there is hope that things will get better.

There seems to be a wide variety of secret agents in the world of storytelling.  Sometimes it entails being the most notorious agent in the world such as James Bond. Other times it involves just being a platypus. The character of a story isn’t necessarily the most important aspect, but the story-line itself. I think what defines a secret agent story is the combination of action and espionage. There needs to be a fine line between how much action is put into a story and how much spying goes on. Another thing I tend to see in secret agent movies is the neutrality of undercover espionage that goes on. Like, in the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, in the beginning we had no idea that the two were agents because they were living their normal life. Other examples would be Perry the Platypus in the show Phineas and Ferb. Perry has to act like a pet and go undercover so that no one recognizes him.

I really enjoyed learning more about storytelling through the first chapter of The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narrative with New Media. I thought their idea of engagement in a story was very important. I think that idea also in a way connects back to our question, what makes a good blog post, because we want to make sure that not only is our story engaging and grab the reader’s attention, but also the title.

I think not only the story-line but also the title of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is engaging because it intrigues someone to want to know more. Like, what about Mr. and Mrs. Smith, is this going to be a romance movie? Action? Comedy about a couple? And when the story takes a twist, that is what is really engaging about the movie.

One Comment

  • Caty Warner

    I love Mr. and Mrs. Smith too! The mixture of romance and action is what really gets me, so i’m in the same boat as you!

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