The Choices Your Characters Make: The Consequences in ‘Force Majeure’

Regardless of the genre you are working in, your main characters must make key choices that will propel the narrative forward and shape your plot.

Force Majeure (written and directed by Ruben Ostlund), the official entry for the foreign language Oscar from Sweden, centers on a picture-perfect family; a handsome young couple and their two young children on a ski vacation in the French Alps. When the father makes a choice to abandon his family as an avalanche approaches, the consequences of this choice propels the narrative forward. This choice is further examined by the themes of male gender stereotypes; specifically shame and expectations of men.

In the chapter entitled ‘Your Unforgettable Characters Come Alive’ in my book Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! I write:

Characters must be complex, fully defined, multifaceted, and distinct. Readers must understand who your characters are, their motivations, behaviors, needs and goals, and feel empathy for them.