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Reviewed by Barbara Harper for Readers' Favorite
Aaliyah and Troy: A feature film script about Love, Poetry, & PTSD by Aaron Woodson and Mike Messier is centered around Troy Wilson, a 35-year-old African American from Jacksonville. Troy is a lone wolf on the cusp of entering a new and unexplored phase of his life. He is sitting in the coffee house that he frequently visits, reading the ‘help wanted’ ads section of the classifieds on a Sunday. Aaliyah walks in and catches Troy’s interest. With uncharacteristic bravado, Troy approaches her to introduce himself and make idle chit-chat. Aaliyah is witty and sarcastic but Troy bravely soldiers on, as he is not one to back down from a challenge. On the surface, Aaliyah is attractive and appears well adjusted and confident, and is an independent woman of means. Yet, she walks a grey area between a lie and the truth, between fantasy and reality, between knowing her worth and allowing herself to be treated as worthy. Troy has worked hard to put in place building blocks to manage his PTSD and put the fragile pieces of his existence together after years of being plagued by the deaths of his fellow soldiers. He is taking a huge risk by making himself vulnerable to Aaliyah and entering her world and introducing her to his world. Is Aaliyah aware of the precious gift staring her in the face or will she be misled by the shadows from her past?
Aaliyah and Troy by Aaron Woodson and Mike Messier is a story about two people who experience a mutual physical attraction and the repercussions as their relationship evolves. The poetic dialogue is used to address complex issues and keep the attention of the audience. Each scene seems to flow seamlessly into the next, shining the spotlight on veterans, their struggle to adjust to civilian life, and the tragic consequences of fighting a war against terror for freedoms that are taken for granted by ordinary men and women. Assumptions are made, opportunities for open and honest communication are missed, and once again the one who uses smoke and mirrors wins. The authors use the main characters to place emphasis on the risks involved when two people meet, and there is an attraction that could lead to emotional intimacy, which will lead to vulnerability and open the door for potential heartache. Those who enjoy dramatic realistic novels will find this screenplay stimulating.