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Dive Into The Blue - Screenplay Review

Written by Ge Gao, Dive Into The Blue tells the story of Lan, a Chinese teenager who is recovering after spine surgery.

In the meeting with the doctor after the surgery, a conflict begins to arise between Lan, who wants to go back to swimming, and her mother Wenli who doesn't approve of it.

The mother's intentions are good – first, she barely speaks English, and when the doctor asks Lan not to dive, she interprets it as "not to swim". Second, Wenli decided to get the best treatment in the US for her daughter, but the generational gap between the mother and daughter in everything related to openness turned out to be big.

Lan meets a girl named Olivia, who volunteers at the clinic. The two become friends and decide to meet later. The meetings between the girls are fascinating. They provide us with an opportunity to see cultural differences between two Chinese girls – Olivia, an adopted girl living in the US and raised by two American lawyers, and Lan, who lives with her Chinese mother and receives a more conservative education at home.

At her mother's rented apartment, Lan is emotionally stunted. When she is with Olivia, she is free and happy. Lan and Olivia laugh and enjoy every moment together, in what turns into a sweet love story. You can't help but root for them. Lan deserves to reconcile with her body. In a short time, the reader wants her to be happy.

Thanks to the meetings with Olivia, Lan learns to love and accept herself, gradually. For the first time, she dares to look at the scar on her back. She receives reinforcements from Olivia who touches the scar and realizes that the scar is not as terrible and threatening as she thought.

When Wenli discovers that her daughter went swimming even though she forbade it, the friction between them is inevitable and also slides into deeper places in their relationship.

Lan has to deal with the physical pain after the surgery, and more importantly, with mental pain. Although Wenli doesn't say it explicitly, what bothers her more than the fact that her daughter didn't listen to her, is the relationship between Lan and Olivia.

This story is special for several reasons: nothing "big" happens in it, and it still manages to excite and provoke thought. In addition, the reader's connection with Lan's character is deep, not only because of the physical and mental pain she experiences but also because of the goodness in her. She tries to respect her mother even when she scolds her, and behaves with maturity and sensitivity. On the other hand, she knows what she wants and asks her mother to let her make her own decisions.

Ge Gao writes an inspiring story with deep and believable characters and excellent dialogue. Wonderful!

Dive Into The Blue won Best Short Screenplay, and Ge Gao won Best First Time Screenwriter at FilmCon Awards in October 2022.

Writer & Director, Ge Gao

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