Frederique Loren and Frederic Lorentz are studying
human behavior, statistical probabilities and real predictions
of the future and the behavior of their subjects. When they meet
they realize that they are a perfect match but don't dare admit
to it in order to not be the victim of this predestination. They
wish to be free of making their own decisions, of thinking the
way they want, without becoming a casualty of their own theories
about life. This desire to be different and not be a statistic
brings them to the brink of war with each other and they become
alienated with their field of study. After acting like mad people,
they finally resign to the fact that they love each other and
Synopsis of The Marginals
When I was thinking about this idea, I had in
mind a nice love story with a science fiction or sociological
twist. To give you an idea of the personalities of the main two
characters, for the woman (Frederique Loren) I was thinking about
Meg Ryan, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Love Hewitt (Heartbreakers).
For the man (Frederic Lorentz) I imagined David Duchovny, Tom
Hanks and Andy Dick (Voyager, "EMH-2 Dr. Bradley" in
episode: "Message in a Bottle"). With these names in
mind, you might get a better picture of the personality of the
This idea for a sci-fi movie is a love story between
a man and a woman convinced that no one has the freedom of action
or the freedom of thought in life, it is a movie about determinism
Both of them are in a career related to studying
the phenomena of determinism and the prediction of human behavior,
her for the Armed Forces and him for the Financial and Industries
Ministry of the government.
The movie starts with two conference rooms that
we can both see from the outside windows. Two symmetrical rooms
where government people dressed in suits are sitting to the left
of the room, and the Armed Forces people are sitting to the far
right of the other room. It starts with both our main characters,
who have similar names, being assigned to the wrong conference
room, starting to explain their projects and being told that they
are in the wrong room. This is how our characters first meet,
when they switch places and realize why there was a mistake as
they have almost the same name. They also understand at that point
that they are working on related topics.
The idea that is discussed in both rooms is that
if you can predict exactly how people would react in certain circumstances,
you can sell them the right thing at the right time (for Frederic's
presentation) or you can predict how they would react to your
actions strategically during a war or even in the world of diplomacy
and the Balance of Power (for Frederique's presentation).
So Frederic is studying the chromosomes and people's
personalities, just by looking at them he knows exactly how someone
would react to something you would tell him or her. He has become
a bank of detection and probabilities, of personality traits.
He can guess the first name of someone just by looking at him
or her. He is also working at developing the computer that can
predict the way anyone would react just by analyzing their DNA
pattern. The sort of Advanced Behavioral Marketing he is working
on for the Ministry of Finance and Industries is trying to boost
the economy in order to make Capitalism look more attractive.
In his presentation, we would see photos of people that appear
to be twins, but are not. They sometime look the same but are
of a different age or even sometimes of a different race. Still
they look very similar and Frederic will say that studies showed
that they lived very similar lives. They fall in love with the
same sort of people, they buy the same things and usually study
the same topics and end up following similar career paths. They
have almost the same combination of chromosomes.
The girl Frederique is also working for the government
but for the Armed Forces. She is working on predicting the future
by remote viewing and the careful study of human behavior. She
is directing a team of people capable of seeing the future and
they are rarely wrong, bringing some questions about our freedom
of act and thought. When the army tries to see how the enemy would
react to certain decisions they make, they uncover some disturbing
facts about the way we can change the future and our destiny if
we get a glimpse of what it is. She is convinced that we have
the freedom of changing a predestined path as soon as we know
the future. She believes that we can change how we react to certain
things if we know we would react this way in the first place.
In her view, when she meets Mr. Right she has the choice of not
meeting him, it was not predestined. In Frederic's view (the man),
you have no choice, in certain circumstances, you will act a certain
way and you could not deviate from the path laid out for you.
After their conference is over, Frederic and Frederique
meet again, their meetings finished at the exact same time. They
decide to go for a coffee to further discuss their theories. For
Frederic, there is no question that we are all predestined to
meet certain types of people and that if you could know what a
certain guy would fall for, by putting a certain woman in front
of him you could be certain he would fall in love at first sight.
It is the first law of the new advanced marketing he is inventing.
Then Frederique argues that no, if she had set her remote viewers
to find out who she would meet the next day, she could have decided
to not come and avoid meeting him in the first place. She had
the choice, the freedom to do what she wanted, to reject the guy.
Then Frederic says that she is playing with nature, but that it
is also part of nature. For him this can also be analyzed by his
computer. How would someone react exactly if he or she did not
know the future? And once they know the future, how would they
react then. This can be computer analyzed. She is using a trick
to change the future, but this could also be part of the normal
development of life. It could be planned, predestined also.
So we leave them on these ideas and they both
go into their respective little area of work. We could see them
working on their theories and talking with the other people about
these ideas. We could see concrete applications of what was discussed
in the conference room. For example Frederique could be asking
one of the remote viewers to try to see if she has a future with
Frederic. And Frederic could input the data of Frederique's file
into the computer to find out if they are compatible or not. In
both cases the answer will suggest that they are a perfect match
and that if they were ever to meet, they would fall in love with
each other immediately. They don't like the idea of this determinism,
we can read that much on their face.
So as they are slowly falling in love, trying
not to because at any cost they don't want to become a casualty
of their statistics of predictability, many funny situations related
to their fields of expertise arise to give a whole new way of
looking at life in general from the point of view of statistics
They then meet again by accident (or so it appears)
in a shopping center. They weirdly both decided to shop on that
same day in the same little boutique when there are about 600
shops in that mall and there are 10 different malls in that area.
They finally sit down somewhere and observe people. It is time
to test their theories, who is right? Who is wrong? Shopping for
them becomes for him a marketing campaign and for her a deep psycho
analysis of the behavior of people. He is measuring the chances
people will have to do certain things when confronted with certain
situations, and she is saying the total opposite based on her
prediction studies and analysis of human behavior. They both get
everything right at first when not observing and describing the
same events. Then they start talking about love, their own possibility
of falling in love, and their freedom in preventing it from happening.
They don't like the idea too much, they cannot bare the thought
that they have no choice in the matter and they decide there and
then to play against the laws of probability and statistics by
not falling in love with each other.
Very quickly they believe that perhaps that was
the sort of behavior that was planned for them in this situation,
their personality traits have become so complex that they see
many levels up front and they realize that by developing more
complex patterns you can still see a pattern of predictability
and they may still be following the path laid out for them. They
might still not be free of making their own decisions. At this
point all their predictions about the different shoppers are wrong,
they can no longer predict anything and apparently both their
approach are not working. They laugh when they realize how many
millions of dollars have gone into their respective research when
in fact it might not work at all.
As we go into the movie, we can see them fighting
against falling in love. Eventually they let go and they let it
happen, they fall in love and decide to marry. The few days leading
to their marriage see them having second thought, both separated
within their own family. They are vaguely talking about being
free to escape the path laid out for them, or escaping determinism
or god's plan. They both want their own individuality, their freedom
of thinking and doing what they want. They don't want to be a
casualty of statistics, probabilities and prediction. They become,
as their respective family can see, alienated with their fields
of study. They are thinking too much and worrying too much about
this freedom of doing what they want, and not be guided by some
chromosomes, personality traits or predicted behavior in certain
circumstances. They both decide independently to cancel the wedding.
They then both spiraled into unhappiness and regrets
and act in very peculiar ways to attempt as much as possible to
be outside the norms for their own type of personalities. They
are trying to be out of character and do crazy things, they become
They both show up for another conference meeting
disguise as something extreme, but similar in their design. When
they meet, they are trying to understand what pushed them into
trying to act so foolishly and why they have chosen similar costumes
(perhaps she could be a witch with a very long black dress and
he could be a wizard with a pointy hat). On his way to the meeting,
dressed weirdly, in the elevator he acts like a psychopath ready
to kill the three women standing there. When finally the door
opens, they rush out, making his project director fall on the
ground and looking up only to see Frederic still looking like
a psychopath. Frederic then becomes normal and says: I was conducted
an experience. Frederique, on the other side of the corridor,
drops a set of stairs, pushing everyone down as she goes along.
She finally gets caught in her long dress and fall directly into
her director's arms, a general. He looks at her thinking and wondering
what sort of behavior is that? She also says that she is conducting
a study in people's reactions and perceptions of others.
Both meetings are cancelled, understanding that
if both of them thought of the same thing, perhaps it was a predictable
behavior after all. So on her way home Frederique decides to take
her car on the wrong side of the road, causing chaos. On the bridge
she stops in the middle, stopping the traffic in both directions.
She then opens the door and jumps off the bridge, saying that
if this is not extreme enough and if this is predictable behavior,
she will definitely marry Frederic. Frederic has a similar extreme
reaction. He decides to steal a military helicopter from the roof
of the building, not before putting some black lipstick and painted
his fingernails in a nice pink color. The helicopter is almost
over the car of Frederique and he too finish in the river with
the helicopter. They are both rescued by a boat nearby.
They both end up in the office of the General
Director of the facilities where they work. They have some explaining
to do. The General Director is astonished by what he hears. They
are both suspended for a few weeks. Outside the office they explode
in the fight of the century, breaking just about anything that
falls under their hands on their way out. She ends up crying in
her bedroom with a bottle of Cointreau and he ends up completely
drunk in his living room also with a bottle of Cointreau, throwing
Life continues until, as we could have predicted,
they meet in a lost place in town by what appears to be chance.
Like miles away, a place that neither of them ever went to. They
cannot believe they met there and see it as the ultimate test
of predictability patterns in behaviors in people. They believe
that predestination is so powerful, they have so little freedom,
that they ended up in their own crazy and unpredictable ways to
be doing exactly what their personality would tell them to do.
They decide to separate there and then and to never see each other
Then we can see the shift in their way of thinking.
They realize while walking away that it is useless to fight it,
that really, they should go with the flow and not worry if they
become a casualty of their own theories of predetermined reality.
They need to be happy in love and to follow their heart. They
both independently decide to turn around and they jump in each
The wedding is called back on and they marry.
We can see they are still not cured, he is dressed as the woman
and she is dressed as the groom and they marry in space, somehow
succeeding in securing a place on the shuttle. After they kiss
she says that she wants 16 children in order to escape any kind
of statistic or probability or behavior pattern.
As an afterthought, I was considering making the two main characters
two men or two women falling in love without first knowing they
were gay. We could set the story in Toronto or Ottawa where same-sex
couple can now marry and it would become the first movie showing
us a same-sex wedding. They would then be working for the Canadian
Government, and Ottawa is a very nice city too often ignored in
films. It opens up a lot of ideas about the predestination of
being gay. Could it have been predicted? How come both of them
would not accept the idea until confronted by it? In their field
of work, surely they must have foreseen that perhaps everything
they were was leading to this. It throws a lot of complexity in
the story line.
Roland Michel Tremblay
44E The Grove, Isleworth, Middlesex, London, TW7 4JF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 8847 5586 Mobile: +44 (0)794 127 1010
Main Contact/Webmaster: Roland Michel Tremblay
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