Lord of War (2005)


Lord of War (2005)

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FADE IN: context [the arms factory; credits; the journey of a bullet from the factory to the murder].

Introduce the antihero [Yuri Orlov's back story; Ukranian, immigrated with his family when he was young etc]

Introduce the Romantic Challenge [Ava Fontaine].

Antihero's Ordinary World [Little Odessa; the end of the Q line; hero's family; enhance back story and characters; Russian gangsters etc].

Call to Adventure:

Yuri realizes his future is in selling arms (fulfilling a human need)]. Always wanted to do something big with his life. If he's going into the gun trade, he's gonna aim high.

Develop antihero's capabilities and suitability for the journey [expert salesman; a natural instinct for smuggling contraband].

Refusal of the Call:

Yuri's brother [Vitaly Orlov, the Shape Shifter] resists.

Refusal overcome [we're doing nothing with our lives].

Supernatural Aid:

Introduce the Mentor (Simeon Weisz) [mentor's status; background; reputation].

Meeting with the Supernatural Aid [mentor refuses guidance; forces the hero to go it alone].

First Threshold:

Yuri and Vitali in Lebanon and other parts of the World [selling to every army but the Salvation army; selling weapons in 8/10 of the world's top war zones; reference to the romantic challenge].

Antihero's Inner Challenge [cares more for money than the deaths of the children].

Introduce the antagonism [the good guy - Jack Valentine; his character (zealous agent)].

Physical Separation (Belly of the Whale):

Antihero resists the physical change but it is forced onto him [getting shot].

Distance between his Old and New Self increases [trading guns for cocaine].

Celebrating the Physical Separation [with cocaine].

Realises he is on a journey ["doesn't know what he was running away from"].

Warning of the Dangers of the Journey [Vitali tells him that his business "kills from the inside"].

Embarking on the Journey alone ["from that point on this was a one man operation].

Transformation (Road of Trials):

Conquering the Romantic Challenge [meeting, wooing and marrying Ava].

Physical Marker of Change [the marriage].

Transformation into a family man with child.

The Ideal and Seizing the Sword [Meeting with the Goddess]:

The Cold War Ends and Yuri realizes he can be the biggest arms dealer there is.

Yuri's inventory becomes the stockpile of the old Ukraine ["the hottest time in arms dealing"].

Obstacles to Seizing the Sword [Simeon Weisz, the rival arms dealer and could-have-been mentor].

Seizing the Sword [Yuri becomes so successful he can afford to become an art dealer].

Foreshadow of the Ultimate Boon [Ava doesn't now he's an arms dealer].

Foreshadow of the Shape Shifter's turning ["why is Vitaly always screwed up?"].

Rebirth through Death:

Valentine almost catches Yuri.

Yuri has a name change [Valentine tells him he does not trade arms, but that he is an arms dealer].

Valentine's African assistant is ready to kill him.

Yuri left in the heat for 24 hours.

Atonement with the Father:

Simeon Weisz is killed. Yuri faced with the fact that he deals with murderers and that his guns kill.


Yuri's time in West Africa; "Sir, will my arms grow back." The social consequences of his actions.

Ultimate Boon:

Eva learns that he is an arms dealer. Yuri no longer has to hide the truth.


Ava can't wear the clothes, can't drive the car etc. Disgusted with the Old Self.

Ava attempts to convince Uri to stop.

Magic Flight:

Uri attempts to sell timber, oil etc… anything except sell arms or to return to the Old Self.

Rescue from Without:

The President of Liberia stops by…

You can't resist biology…

Crossing the Return Threshold:

Yuri and Vitaly return to sell arms in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Vitaly (Shape Shifter) sees what the arms sale with do – kill the innocents – and turns.

Master of Two Worlds:

Brother dies. Ava and child walk out. Mother and Father disown antihero.

Confronting Valentine.

Yuri knows he won't go to jail; can operate with the blessing of the Western leaders.

Freedom to Live:

Yuri is free to operate.

"The art of survival in never to go to war – especially with yourself."


by Kal Bashir