Directed by Jaroslaw Gogolin| Reviewed by Anushka Dutta
Genre: Fantasy Thriller Mystery
Script Writer: Jaroslaw Gogolin
About: Sequel to Black Forest Mystery
Number of Pages: 181
Gender extremism prevails in the matriarchal society of Jaroslaw Gogolin’s fantasy world. He touched upon the establishment of the new order demanding equality among citizens under Queen Dara’s rule after the princess cuts off the wicked Queen Odyna’s head in a fair duel in the first part. The idea of equality comes to the forefront more vividly in Black Forest Mystery 2. We see more and more people stepping up to challenge the prejudiced, discriminatory outlook towards men in Gogolin’s fictitious world, but not without resistance.
Just like the feminist movements in our reality encourage people to advocate for equal opportunities and freedom for all, Queen Dara along with her faithful companions kept defying their so-called traditional values and morals. However, just as some men in our patriarchal society have felt threatened by the changing times, fearing that they might lose the upper hand if the oppressed raise their voices, the matriarchs of Gogolin’s fairy tale world also retaliate in violence and bloodshed to protect their hierarchy.
Gogolin picks up two primary scenes and one secondary scene from Black Forest Mystery to set into its sequel. We come across fragmented storylines in the second part. Multiple stories involving several interesting characters are skillfully interwoven into the plot. However, one should not mistake this technique for a narration in limbo. The screenplay writer’s prowess is better displayed through how he connects one sequence of events with another. Over the course of the plot, the readers behold how the plot lines overlap remarkably.
Although the fantasy thriller mystery of Jaroslaw Gogolin embodies a world where women are the dominators and men are enslaved, executed, and looked down upon, the scriptwriter incorporates versatile characters in his screenplay. Gogolin reveals his finesse by animating multi-dimensional characters in his plot.
Parallel to the savage, remorseless, bloodthirsty new Empress, who usurps the previous one through corrupt means; the cunning daughter of Queen Odyna, who attempts to resurrect her deceased mother at any cost; the ruthless Landlady of the Inn, who does not think twice before deciding to trade a newborn child for money – Gogolin also gives form to virtuous female characters such as Queen Dara, who fights for equal rights for all humans; honourable Princess Tara, who does not hesitate to put her own life at risk to protect those who appear to be her male servants from the Female Warriors; and the defenceless brave Orphan girl, who tries to shelter the boy child from the very Sorcessor who murders her previous owners.
On the other hand, the scriptwriter pays equal attention to crafting his male characters. Although Goglin writes of a world where men are portrayed as vulnerable, frail, and susceptible, he does not shy away from moulding evil, perverted, and sadistic men to make the chronicle more authentic. Characters like the debauched Morgue Man, who is implied to be a necrophile, or little Hansel, who would gladly ease his bedridden grandma’s sufferings by finishing her off, or the evil Scientist in the Black Forest luring people into his castle to experiment on them, are great examples of this.
The script of Black Forest Mystery 2 has adequate establishing shots, act and scene divisions, dialogues, narration, and dream sequences to make its structure not only coherent but also rich. Every plot line has distinctive inciting events, the development of action, and a climax mixed with the right amount of thrill and excitement. British scriptwriter Gogolin’s mastery is expressed through his narrative descriptions that make it a cakewalk for his readers to visualise the scenes.
Gogolin ends the second part of Black Forest Mystery on an enigmatic note. He has neatly fabricated the collective narratives, introducing new characters, and leading his audience into the mystical universe of his equally perplexed characters. By the time you finish reading the present script, you find yourself already waiting for the next one.
One can say, however, that language is perhaps not Gogolin’s best domain. The screenplay consists of multiple grammatical errors, frequent misuse of pronouns, and occasional foggy sentences. The messy and substandard sentence formations add to the technical flaws in his writing style.
Script to Film: The prequel to Black Forest Mystery is an intriguing approach to scriptwriting from a feminist standpoint. Gogolin’s alternate reality is neither a utopia nor a dystopia from any perspective, but it is certainly novel. Given the bustling, divergent storylines, it would take a lot of work to successfully execute the screenplay into a feature film. But if done right, it could be pretty fun to forge.
Anushka Dutta is a graduate of English Literature – British and Commonwealth from Calcutta University and a Content Writer by profession. A writer, singer, and artist, they have worked as an ambassador for the Japan Film Festival 2020 in Kolkata, India, organized by the Japan Foundation. They are a professional singer and have done live and playback singing on radio and in films, respectively.