The Unfortunate Death
of Charlie Grimm©
Format: Feature Length Screenplay
Page Count: 105pgs
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Thriller
Related: Stay, Jacob's Ladder
Themes: Love, Loss, Death, Addiction, Redemption, Heaven, Hell, Death, Fate, Acceptance.
Tagline: Don't fear the reaper.
What is it?
The Unfortunate Death of Charlie Grimm has a simple and easily pitch-able premise that is likely to capture the imaginations of readers and audiences alike. This screenplay is best described as a fantasy film that's deeply grounded in realism using common human challenges and universal themes for important character development and strong dramatic effect that audiences will relate to.
The story has a fable quality, pulling on mythological elements like the personification of Death to tell a tale that has universal relevance. Facing death is something that every human has to come to terms with as well as the decisions in life that have led us to that point. Additionally, the action takes place in a condensed period of time, which maintains a tension throughout. The Unfortunate Death of Charlie Grimm touches on universal themes that would travel well domestically as well as internationally.
On the night of his death, a drug dealer in over his head is given a second chance to find redemption and change his fate from none other than Death himself.
Charlie Grimm is a low-level drug dealer who along with his partner Tyrell owe a gangster by the name of Cookie money for drugs they ended up using instead of selling. Out of time and options, they attempt to rob a liquor store. During the robbery, Tyrell shoots the store clerk, but Charlie is able to help a woman named Angel escape unharmed. The store clerk’s son kills Tyrell before they can get away and Charlie finds himself on the run.
Cookie and his henchmen are waiting for Charlie back at his apartment, and proceed to take him hostage. They try to kill Charlie by tossing him tied up off a pier, but the personification of Death saves Charlie from drowning. Charlie wakes up in the hospital where Death tells him that he is fated to go to hell, but has a second chance to make up for his past by doing a selfless act Charlie has difficulty believing what Death has told him and struggles to accept his fate. He is led to a strip club where he finds Angel dancing. They talk but Angel doesn’t believe Charlie's outrageous claims. Outside the club, one of Cookie's henchmen spots Charlie and tries to kill him, but Angel saves Charlie and takes him back to her apartment.
While at Angel’s apartment, Charlie finds out about her tragic past and tries to convince Angel that they should leave town together and start a new life, but before they can leave, Cookie's henchmen track down Charlie and take him away.. Charlie is able to outsmart Cookie's henchmen and returns to Angel's apartment where he finds she has slit her own wrists. Charlie tries to keep Angel alive, but Cookie suddenly arrives and a fight ensues. During an intense struggle, Cookie stabs Charlie with a knife, but Charlie manages to kill the gangster and save Angel’s life. Charlie and Angel steal a car and leave town together. The two develop strong feelings for each other during their drive across the country.
They arrive at Charlie’s childhood home where he is able to reconcile with his mother who he has not seen in years. Charlie's mother welcomes Angel into her home with open arms and they quickly form a close bond together, giving Angel the love and stability she never had in her life. Charlie’s health rapidly declines and he soon realizes he is dying from his knife wound. Death visits Charlie to take him away, but explains that his self-sacrifice allowed him to find redemption. Although, Charlie is sad because he won't get to have more time with Angel and his mother, he is at peace with himself knowing that he’ll be going to heaven in the afterlife. The End.
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