ACTION ADVENTURE RELIGIOUS WAR DRAMA
Rassul Ahmad, a young, troubled soldier gets captured by a ruthless Taliban faction who after a year of torture threaten to behead him unless the Americans meet their demands.
The story starts from the middle, where the Taliban record a video torturing Rassul, then threatening to cut his head off next, unless the Americans release their captured commander.
With a sharp knife pressed against his Adam's apple, Rassul closes his eyes and utters his last words submitting himself to God he always ignored, and apologizing to his parents for being a horrible son he always was. This sudden and sincerer change of heart not only saves his life, but also...
Northern California, Afghanistan
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Internal Journey/Rebirth,Rebellion Against 'The One',Overcoming Monster/Villain
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist
Mature Audience Themes
Main Character Details
Name: Rassul Ahmad
Key Traits: Adventurous,Complex,Aggressive,Confident,Heroic,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Manipulative,Seductive,Romantic,Outspoken,Blunt,Villainous,Charming
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Crazy,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Insecure,Leader,Lone Wolf,Unapologetic,Strong Moral Code,Sophisticated,Visionary,Skillful,Outspoken,Selfless,Blunt,Religious,Patriotic,Obedient,Villainous,Modest,Masculine,Adventurous,Aspiring
Additional Character Details
Name: Ahmad Zaman
Key Traits: Badass,Confident,Complex,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Heroic,Educated,Honorable,Unapologetic,Strong Moral Code,Naive,Skillful,Selfless,Religious,Patriotic,Obedient,Modest,Masculine
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Charming,Confident,Crazy,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Heroic,Honorable,Naive,Strong Moral Code,Romantic,Outspoken,Selfless,Religious,Uneducated,Modest,Underdog
Rasul Ahmad is a second generation Afghan American man in his early twenties who lives in Fremont, California. Rassul doesn't believe in God and hates religion which that makes his life difficult for him in his little and traditional Afghan community the most outspoken of whom is his religious father Ahmad Gul. To show his disdain towards his father and his principles, Rassul does everything that is considered taboo and vice in his eye from tobacco to alcohol, to tattoos, weed, and drugs. All of this causes a constant fight between him and his father. One day Rassul crosses all the lines by date raping an Afghan girl whose family demands a revenge with blood or a marriage to the girl he shamed which Rassul refuses to do and gets disowned by his father. Finding no other choice, he leaves home and joins the Army. Soon after, the September eleven of 2001 events happen and the war between The United States and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan starts. Rassul is among the first soldiers sent to war. He serves for three years earning many praises for his bravery while remarkably managing to stay unscratched. The army life though doesn't change him much as a person. He is still that same selfish rebellion person who now has some deadly skills up his sleeves. All that changes though when Rassul agrees to go on a secret mission with Navy Seals as a translator. In the mission, Rassul saves two women's lives from his unhinged Captain's murder spree right before the mission f
WAR, DRAMA, RELIGION, ROMANCE, ACTION
Rassul is an Afghan American neer-do-well to women who is sent to the Army to shape up his behavior. Rassul is captured by the Taliban and tortured. Through the grace of his father's reputation, a heroic soldier in the Russian war, Rassul is shown secret small kindnesses to be kept alive. Rassul finds love and Islam under the threat of being beheaded by a fearsome warlord before he is freed.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes the profile definitely is accurate the story. The development pitch gets cut off so it might be better to shorten the pitch to less summary in the pitch and then add more thematic reasons the story is marketable to that section.
Draw of Story
Rassul is very deplorable in the beginning so it is almost rooting for his demise before the slow transition to him being worth saving. The politics of the Taliban are also compelling.
It is very to find Rassul likeable and have emotional investment in his character after he date rapes a girl without remorse. While he goes through a transformation, his conflicted past seems to become simplified to learning survival and respect but there is no resolution for his victim and Fatima is left unaware what she is getting involved with.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The hook is that Rassul is a troubled soldier who gets taken hostage and will be beheaded by the Taliban if he doesn't comply. The girl he falls in ove with is also the object of affection of his captor.
This could potentially have a large fanbase with a different more forgivable crime to create Rassul's unlikability at the beginning. Taking a girl's "honor" is far different than actually assaulting her. By making Rassul conflicted but redeemable, his arc will have better emotional investment as the protagonist to define the popularity of the story.
Unless there is a lot of character work done in Rassul's transformation either in religion or in gender politics, then this is unlikely to have awards potential due to its simplified ending.
Similar Films/TV Series
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, DEVIL'S DOUBLE, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, ZERO DARK THIRTY
What’s New About the Story
The originality stems from Rassul's situation of being hostage in love with his captor's crush during the War in Afghanistan. Showing Rassul's inner conflict and creating inner conflicts and transformations for the captor and Fatima as well will make their love triangle seem more realistic and nuanced.
Rassul is redeemed to be self-sacrificing, loyal and brave although he starts out as skeezy and selfish. Fatima is kind hearted and also brave. Abdulmalik is naive but agressive and reverential of Islam.
Uniqueness of Story
The setting and later conflict after the capture are compelling but the first part of the story may be too off putting to allow full emotional investment in the protagonist's transformation. Making the protagonist less problematic and triggering in their crime could still allow for them to have to join the army as per his family's orders but also make him more supportable.
Film: Streaming, Indie, Studio
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
Creating a more palatable crime and emotional arc for Rassul to learn respect would help increase emotional investment in his release and transformation. Adjusting the structure at the beginning to lead more quickly into the capture so as to initiate the inner conflict's actual transformation will also help adjust the pacing and focus on the main conflict.