First off, if you haven't seen True Romance or read the script. DO NOT continue reading if you wish to do so.
So I was lucky enough to read Tarantino's screenplay for True Romance before I saw the film, so my first intake of the story was told in the best way. I felt the script was told in a far better way than the film.
Now director Tony Scott shot the scenes practically identical to the script. The only two major changes he made were to the nonlinear plot structure and the ending, I feel the story is much better told the original way and here's why.
The typical 3 act structure is to Act 1, introduce characters, Act 2, give the characters a conflict to overcome, Act 3, resolve the conflict. The original script didn't follow this 3 act structure but it still follows a different 3 Act structure.
Tarantino's original structure was build around the audience rather than the characters. Act 1, the audience has no idea what is happening but the characters do, Act 2, the audience catches up, and Act 3, the audience knows more than the characters.
Now hopefully you listened to the warning and have seen the film so I don't need to explain it. But for those of you who wish to deprive themselves of a great view, here is the jist of it.
Now in the film, we meet Clarence in a bar, then he goes to the theater and meets Alabama, then they fall in love, get married and we hear about her pimp Drexl. Then Clarence kills Drexl, and accidentally steals the cocaine. Then meets his father for help, leaves, his father is killed by the mobsters after Clarence. Clarence then goes to sell the drugs with his friend who know a movie producer interested, but what they don't know is the cops and the mob are both after them and a shootout ensues.
Now in Tarantino's script. We first see Clarence in the bar, then right after we get the introduction to Drexl. Now reading the script this way, the reader is wondering, "Who the fuck is this guy?" He just plops in and guns down people out of nowhere. It makes you curious who he is and what his role in the story will be.
Then we meet Cliff, Clarence's father and we also meet Alabama. Now we get to hear Clarence's side of what happened with him killing Drexl. Or at least the watered down version he tells his father. So Clarence knows the truth but we the viewers don't.
So then after getting help from his father, Clarence leaves and we meet his friend in Hollywood and he pitches the drug deal idea to him. Then we get to see the mobsters come looking for him. They tell the story of Clarence and Alabama going in guns blazing killing everyone and taking the narcotics. We as the viewers think, surprised, "Those kids did that?!"
Then the wonderful Sicilian dialogue happens and Cliff is killed by them and they find a note leading them to Clarence in Hollywood. Then in Hollywood, Clarence tells his friend about how he and Alabama met and how he killed Drexl. This time shown through flashback.
Then the drug deal comes up and we find out one of the people involved is a rat, as well as we know that the mob is after them. All stuff the main characters are clueless to. I personally love the structure Tarantino used because it is more fun for the viewer. It leaves you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the end. Speaking of, let's get to the original ending.
Now in the film, Clarence is grazed by a bullet in the final shootout, Alabama thinks he is dead but soon learns he isn't. They walk out and go off to have a son and live happily ever after and all that shit.
Now in the (in my humble opinion) better ending, Clarence is not grazed but shot and killed.
Although this is much more sad, I feel it's better because it gives Alabama a much better closing word and I find the ending to be more poetic this way. If you're curious about her final words, Tony Scott actually did shoot the original ending and you can watch it below.
So I hoped you all liked this post. I just wanted to share the original structure to those who weren't aware of it. Which do you think is better?