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Plot - On top of the wave

Updated: 7 hours ago


Photograph of a sunset by the sea. A man with a surf is approaching the waves. He walks knee-deep in water toward the seabed. In the background are the headlands.

Drama; rebel | Nazaré - Portugal, 2022


Main characters

Maurizio is a surfer, a 35-year-old champion at the end of his career who does not want to surrender to a physique that is no longer that of a boy. His rebellious nature has driven him to give up everything to chase the perfect wave. He travels to Nazarè to face his last competition. Geraldina is in her fifties, a writer of countercultural novels who has lost her inspiration and passion for many years. She has become apathetic toward others and life. After yet another quarrel with her sister with whom she cohabits, she leaves and travels to Nazaré. She rents a house overlooking the stormy ocean, searching for lost passion or, perhaps, the courage to throw herself into the cold embrace below the cliff.


The call to adventure

On the morning of Maurice's competition, Geraldine rear-ends the surfer's vehicle, destroying his board and injuring him. The competition is compromised and a violent argument ensues between the two that ends up involving some bystanders and becoming a brawl. The judge sentences the two to 30 days of community service to be discharged together at the local orphanage.


The conflict

The selfishness of the two must come to terms with the children's difficulties, their stories, their smiles. The firm wrist of Jose, the facility's director, will keep the two's disagreements at bay, making fools of themselves before the needs of the little ones. Day by day, the resentment-laden confrontations between Maurice and Geraldine ease. Slowly, as they talk and open up, they realize that the origins of their own ills have distant roots that they have kept hidden from themselves.


The key

Maurizio and Geraldine become aware of who they are: two rebellious characters who have received so much from life, and who now do not accept the decline. Awareness brings them closer together, creating space for an unknown feeling: love and gratitude for what one possesses.

The little ones at the orphanage with smiles painted on their faces, despite abandonment and misfortune, will be the medicine that can defeat the diseases from which Maurice and Geraldine are afflicted: selfishness and narcissism.


Plot alternatives

The foundation of this type of plot is obtained by bringing two extreme but similar characters closer together. In our case they are two strong, rebellious, autonomous characters, but from different worlds, with different ages and different needs. After the initial clash, a catalyst is needed to bring them closer until they are united. So, you can change the plot, for example, by using two greedy characters. A scenic placement helps the story get off the ground. Finally, a third character can be introduced: the child who will be adopted, a relative who comes to play the role of mentor; or conversely, an antagonist creates dissension between the two for personal gain or simple envy.

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