New York Stage Production and Film Adaptation
Currently in Development through
producer Alixx Schottland
Over the Rainbow Entertainment
Matt Penn - Director
Richard Atkins - Playwright & Screenwriter
Recent "BLACKLIST" evaluations of the screenplay!
The script takes an interesting and personal examination of the emotional and physical trauma holocaust survivors were forced to endure. The script ends up becoming a powerful drama about suspicion, the past, and prejudice. David's backstory is tragic and it's easy to empathize with him. It was a strong choice to have the audience learn secrets about David's past at the same time as his family (David having to "perform" on the officer in order to save his brother is particularly harrowing). It was also a smart choice to have Rachel be almost completely ignorant of her father's bleak past, and it's interesting that their lack of communication in some way at least seems to lead to the bombing of Klaus's restaurant. The script really gets going once David contacts Yaakov and gets him to begin investigating Klaus and Franz. It's interesting to see how the bombing and the inescapable past affect all of the characters down the line. The scene in which Franz learns all the things that David has been accusing him of and takes back his money is one of the strongest and most heartbreaking in the script.
Similar to something like MUNICH, DELIKATESSEN is a heartfelt revenge story about ghosts of the past, the holocaust, and justice. Drama fans might be interested in the script's strong family drama whereas history and thriller fans might be interested in the intense concentration camp sequences and thriller-esque main plot. It may be somewhat pricey to accurately recreate a concentration camp and other elements in the past, however DELIKATESSEN feels fairly different from other holocaust projects, which may help quite a bit in getting the script noticed for it is, at its core, an interesting idea and promises a powerful story. It also serves as a good sample of the writer's ability to craft strong dramas.
DELIKATESSEN is an original and intriguing period script set between 1944 and 1972. The story is fast-paced and written with clarity. It flows really smoothly and the beginning is especially powerful and hooks the reader. The world of the movie is really vivid, and described with great attention to detail (and effective use of planting and payoff). The premise is strong and the plot is quite inventive and sets a good mystery. Is Franz really a Nazi and the father of Klaus, or is David just too paranoid and traumatized? We want the truth to be revealed, and this creates a good tension. The fact that there are secrets and old grudges also within the family makes the script more compelling and captivating. The story explores the issues of Holocaust and the trauma derived from it, and the themes of truth, family and rebirth/second chances from a fascinating angle. It is also a reflection on life and its tragic irony, as we learn about the deaths/suicides of some of the characters, and as we discover that Franz was indeed a Nazi, something that David won't ever know because he passed away before the mystery was solved. The dramatic but quiet tone fits the story well, as we don't immediately realize that evil is just around the corner.
This is a type of film that has the potential to turn into a commercial and critical success. David and Yossi could turn into solid vehicles for two actors in their 50s (and in their mid-20s, for the part set at Auschwitz). Good references could be APT PUPIL and THE ODESSA FILE.
The dialogue is a strong aspect of DELIKATESSEN. First, the characters' voices sound pretty natural throughout the piece. Second, their exchanges always move back-and-forth quickly, which is a crucial (and sometimes overlooked) detail. Those fast-paced conversations - like we see between David and Rachel on page 96, for example - help ensure that the script has the same snappiness and energy on the page that audiences will see on screen. There are certainly some affecting character elements in this story too. David noting, "The Nazi machine taught me to embrace futility," is memorably bleak, though it's understandable given how horrifying his (and many others') experience was. Speaking of, Keppler's threat on pages 41 and 42 is infuriating, and the script does a nice job capturing David's difficulty in revealing that blackmail to Yossi on page 86. We can really feel how hard a conversation that is for David, and that discomfort makes perfect sense. Also, it's never quite clear if Yaakov is trustworthy or just a bit paranoid himself when he claims he's being watched by "ex-Nazis, CIA, KGB," which works well. The revelation about the cigarette case on page 107 and the fact that his "disappearance remains a mystery" hint that he was right about the danger he's in.
There are definitely aspects of DELIKATESSEN that executives could find enticing. These lead characters are the right ages to be played by well-known actors, which is something buyers always consider. One big positive: this wouldn't be an exorbitantly expensive film to produce, by any means, even with the period setting(s). Of course, a more reasonable prospective budget means that a wider range of potential financiers could get involved.
DELIKATESSEN is a powerful exploration of the ripple effects of trauma across generations. The writer infuses the pages with a sense of dread and paranoia every step of the way — and does a good job of keeping it genuinely unclear whether or not the things we’re experiencing are in David’s head or are real. The repeated car following Yossi is immensely unsettling, as is the gold cigarette case — and the emphasis on little details that feel imbued with meaning helps the story feel like it’s swimming in the traumatized psychology of these brothers. While the string of events — Manny’s hate crime, the car following Yossi, and the German deli across the street — all feel disparate at first, the casual way that they are strung together in the story begins to feel incredibly nefarious as time goes on. The dynamic between Yossi and David is well built — David’s view of himself as a martyr because of what he did for Yossi in Auschwitz, and Yossi’s resentment of this very fact bleeds into their later scenes together. The reveal that David was right about Klaus Reinhardt being Hans Richter is heartbreaking, particularly because he never gets closure that he was right.
DELIKATESSEN is a slow-burn, bubbling psychological thriller about the lasting life of trauma through generations, and what trauma can do to a community. Its draw is in its understated exploration of the resulting paranoia and tension that lives in one’s body after such horrific abuse. With attention to the tone of the story, and with the attachment of top-tier talent, this film has the potential to be a critical success.
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LATEST EXCELLENT NOTICE
FROM LIMITED RUN
April 9, 2015