The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for El Mariachi. Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example.
- Main Character Resolve
El Mariachi changes from a soft-spoken musician in search of love and luck, to a cold blooded killer, gunning down Moco for revenge.
- Main Character Growth
El Mariachi must stop living in a dream world and prepare to face the harsh realities of a drifter’ s existence:
“All I wanted was to be a mariachi like my ancestors. But the city I thought would bring me luck, brought only a curse. I lost my guitar, my hand, and her. With this injury I may never play the guitar again. Without her, I have no love. But with the dog, and the weapons, I’m prepared for the future.” (Rodriguez, 1993)
- Main Character Approach
El Mariachi travels from town to town soliciting work as a mariachi; when pursued, he is not afraid to fight back; when he finds out Domino is looking for him at Moco’s ranch, he goes after her at risk to himself.
- Main Character Mental Sex
El Mariachi understands his problem of being pursued is caused by a case of mistaken identity.
- Story Driver
Moco’s failed knock-off attempt of Azul, and Azul’s subsequent escape from jail, renews the hatred between the two men and begins a war that El Mariachi finds himself unwittingly caught up in.
- Story Limit
After Moco shoots off El Mariachi’s guitar playing hand, takes the life of Domino, then commits the ultimate insult of laughing at him, El Mariachi feels he has no choice but to kill him.
- Story Outcome
All the primary objective characters die, except for El Mariachi, whose outlook on life is irrevocably changed for the worse.
- Story Judgment
El Mariachi matures into a man prepared for all eventualities.
- Overall Story Throughline
Moco and Azul wage their war, and in a case of mistaken identity, El Mariachi is inadvertently a part of it.
- Overall Story Concern
Moco wants to obtain full control of the town, in order for this to happen, he must eliminate Azul; Azul wants to obtain the cut he feels he deserves from a prior criminal activity with Moco; El Mariachi wants to obtain a position as a mariachi; Domino is interested in having a relationship with El Mariachi (and visa versa).
- Overall Story Issue
There is no morality in a town ruled by the tyrannical Moco; in his quest to recover his share of the money, Azul has no qualms about killing men who get in his way, or, allowing El Mariachi to die in his place; and so forth.
- Overall Story Counterpoint
- Overall Story Thematic Conflict
- Overall Story Problem
Moco pursues Domino’s affections to no avail; Azul’s pursuit of his share of the cash puts his life (and El Mariachi’s) in danger and ultimately results in his own death; it is dangerous for El Mariachi to seek out Domino at Moco’s ranch.
- Overall Story Solution
If Moco had left his feelings for Domino well enough alone, and accepted her romance with El Mariachi, they would still be alive; if Domino had avoided Moco, El Mariachi would not have had to follow her, putting his life in more danger; if, after escaping jail, Azul had ignored his greed and avoided Moco altogether, he would still be alive; and so forth.
- Overall Story Symptom
Moco is focused on controlling the town, as an example of this, he orders his men to kill Azul, resulting in their own deaths and depleting his ranks; Domino would like to be in full control of the bar she owns, free of any obligation to Moco; and so forth.
- Overall Story Response
Bandits shoot up the town; El Mariachi cannot control the men who after him; Azul cannot control his own men, who he is counting on to protect him; as Moco is the only person to know what Azul looks like, and he is removed from the action, he has no control over his men pursuing the wrong man in black; and so forth.
- Overall Story Catalyst
Azul’s straightforward approach to seek Moco out moves the objective story forward.
- Overall Story Inhibitor
Both Moco and Azul’s bandits’ failure to follow through in their obligations to their respective bosses impedes the objective story’s progress. As an illustration, when Azul’s men see that he is captured by Moco’s thugs, they run.
- Overall Story Benchmark
As Moco’s men determine there is more than one man dressed in black, they must conduct an identification process to find the right man.
- Overall Story Throughline Synopsis
A young mariachi drifts into a Mexican town hoping to obtain a gig, but instead finds himself caught up in a case of mistaken identity by two rival outlaws.
Additional Overall Story Information →
- Main Character Throughline
El Mariachi finds himself in a predicament of mistaken identity.
- Main Character Concern
El Mariachi is concerned with his future as guitar player and singer, by the end of the story he is confident that he is prepared for any dangerous situations that may befall him in the future.
- Main Character Issue
As soon as El Mariachi realized he was in a bad situation, he had the choice to leave town, however, because of Domino, he chose to delay.
- Main Character Counterpoint
- Main Character Thematic Conflict
- Main Character Problem
In a case of mistaken identity, El Mariachi is pursued by Moco’s men.
- Main Character Solution
El Mariachi must avoid the men who think he is Azul, or get out of town altogether.
- Main Character Symptom
Domino gives El Mariachi much needed moral support in his future career.
- Main Character Response
El Mariachi is opposed to the men hunting him down, and once he is in love with Domino, he is opposed to Moco’s hold over her.
- Main Character Unique Ability
If Moco’s men had listened to El Mariachi tell the truth about himself, he would not have been pursued.
- Main Character Critical Flaw
Moco’s men are on the lookout for Azul, described as a man dressed in black, carrying a suitcase full of guns. They refuse to look past this description to make certain they have found the right man, which causes many problems for El Mariachi.
- Main Character Benchmark
El Mariachi’s progress in obtaining steady work as a musician is the standard by which he judges the degree of his concern.
- Main Character Description
Handsome, young, romantic; in search of love and luck
- Main Character Throughline Synopsis
El Mariachi arrives into town looking for love, luck, and above all, steady work as a musician. What he finds instead is himself caught up in a situation of mistaken identity that can cost him his life. Although he fails in his goal, he does leave town a man, “sadder but wiser,” and prepared for the future.
Additional Main Character Information →
- Influence Character Throughline
Moco is convinced he is ruler of the town.
- Influence Character Concern
Moco is concerned with retaining control of the town and attaining Domino’s love.
- Influence Character Issue
Moco expects everything to go his way, including his dream of attaining Domino.
- Influence Character Counterpoint
- Influence Character Thematic Conflict
- Influence Character Problem
Moco’s logic does not take into account other people’s emotions.
- Influence Character Solution
If Moco were able to have an emotional sense of how things were going, he would still be alive.
- Influence Character Symptom
Moco’s determination to retain control over the town includes his plan to eliminate Azul, which causes problems for El Mariachi, the man mistaken for Azul; Moco’s determination to attain Domino also causes problems for the musician, as he is in love with her as well.
- Influence Character Response
Moco issues the order to kill Azul, then allows his men to follow through however they see fit, which essentially gives them free reign to go on a rampant, frenzied, shooting spree.
- Influence Character Unique Ability
Moco can end El Mariachi’s life.
- Influence Character Critical Flaw
Moco’s unwillingness to reevaluate the seemingly ineffectual musician, results in his death.
- Influence Character Benchmark
Moco expects his drives and desires to be immediately taken care of, as this happens less and less, he becomes more and more impatient and short-tempered.
- Influence Character Description
Cold, greedy, suave
- Influence Character Throughline Synopsis
Moco is a man determined to be in control. This includes the town, his rival Azul, and Domino, the object of his affections.
More Influence Character Information →
- Relationship Story Throughline
Moco doesn’t think El Mariachi is macho enough to retaliate against him, but after suffering pursuit, the death of his love, his hand shot off, and Moco’s ridicule, El Mariachi’s way of thinking has changed.
- Relationship Story Concern
Moco is angry when he realizes El Mariachi has become Domino’s lover.
- Relationship Story Issue
Moco is committed to remaining a bad guy to the point of killing the woman he loves; El Mariachi feels it is his responsibility to avenge Domino’s death by wasting Moco.
- Relationship Story Counterpoint
- Relationship Story Thematic Conflict
- Relationship Story Problem
El Mariachi and Moco pursue the same woman.
- Relationship Story Solution
If El Mariachi had avoided a romance with Domino, Moco would have no reason to kill her and maim the guitar player, conversely, if Moco had respected Domino’s wish to avoid him, the ensuing carnage would not have happened.
- Relationship Story Symptom
Moco has complete faith in his omnipotence; he feels he can humiliate El Mariachi with no chance of retribution.
- Relationship Story Response
Moco refuses to believe that El Mariachi is a worthy adversary.
- Relationship Story Catalyst
Domino’s excuses to Moco why she cannot see him, serves to arouse his suspicions about another man and propel El Mariachi’s and his relationship forward at a faster rate.
- Relationship Story Inhibitor
It is Domino’s attitude toward Moco (her initial refusal to go to him) that keeps El Mariachi and Moco from meeting.
- Relationship Story Benchmark
El Mariachi must be a macho man to stand up to Moco.
- Relationship Story Throughline Synopsis
Moco and El Mariachi come into conflict over their love for Domino.
Additional Relationship Story Information →
- Overall Story Goal
The goal of common concern to the objective characters is Moco’s control of the town. To maintain this control, Azul, the man dressed in black, must be eliminated. Moco, his bandits, and the townspeople who are under Moco’s thumb are for it; El Mariachi, who is mistaken for Azul, and Domino who fears for the musician, are against it (at least until the case of mistaken identity is cleared up); Azul and his bandits and women are also against it. Moco loses control of the town once he is killed by El Mariachi, resulting in the story’s failure.
- Overall Story Consequence
Death is the result of failing to achieve the goal.
- Overall Story Cost
Fear is the cost incurred while trying to achieve the goal-the townspeople live in fear of Moco and his men; Moco’s men fear his wrath when they botch up his orders; Azul’s men fear his anger; El Mariachi and Domino fear he will be killed by mistake.
- Overall Story Dividend
Azul escapes prison and believes he will soon obtain his fair share of the loot; El Mariachi and Domino enjoy a romance than could mean a future for them; El Mariachi enjoys the applause of the audience, signaling they would like to hear more of his music in the future; Moco sends gifts to Domino in hopes of a future relationship; and so forth.
- Overall Story Requirements
Moco’s men must track down the man in black.
- Overall Story Prerequisites
Moco’s men must be killers.
- Overall Story Preconditions
Moco’s men must be in a constant state of readiness, their reflexes ready to kill or to exercise restraint.
- Overall Story Forewarnings
The growing body count is a forewarning of the story’s consequences.
- Overall Story Signpost 1
Azul learns from his jail cell that Moco has taken over a nearby town; Moco learns his men were unsuccessful in their attempt to kill Azul, and now he is free and coming after him for his share of the loot; El Mariachi learns it’s going to be difficult to find steady work in the new town; and so forth.
- Overall Story Signpost 2
The hotel manager acts on instructions and notifies Moco that a man in black carrying a guitar case has just checked in; Moco’s men are intent on executing the man in black; El Mariachi is concerned with defending his life; and so forth.
- Overall Story Signpost 3
Azul wants his money; El Mariachi needs to get his deposit back from the hotel; Moco’s men try to waste the true Azul; and so forth.
- Overall Story Signpost 4
After Domino has talked to Moco, she and El Mariachi understand the situation, the players, and what it all means; Moco understands Domino loves the mariachi and has no intention of giving herself to him; Azul cannot understand how his men think he could have defended himself against three armed men with only a guitar; until Domino explains, El Mariachi doesn’t understand how she can own a bar and still be poor; and so forth.
- Main Character Signpost 1
El Mariachi wants to learn how to perform as well as his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather have in the past.
- Main Character Signpost 2
El Mariachi bemoans the fact technology has made the mariachi obsolete.
- Main Character Signpost 3
If El Mariachi is successful playing in Domino’s bar, he will have a future for his career; he flirts with a romantic future by singing a love song to Domino.
- Main Character Signpost 4
El Mariachi hides out, hoping the current situation will resolve (it doesn’t); he is concerned for Domino out at Moco’s ranch; in his present condition he does not know if he can continue his mariachi career; and so forth.
- Influence Character Signpost 1
Moco promises Azul he won’t forget their past triumphs, but meanwhile sends his gang to eliminate him.
- Influence Character Signpost 2
Moco’s immediate response to the news Azul got away is not to worry, he is confident his men will find him with his description of Azul as a man always dressed in black carrying a guitar case.
- Influence Character Signpost 3
Moco wants revenge from Azul for killing his ten men.
- Influence Character Signpost 4
Moco considers Domino has betrayed him; he does not consider El Mariachi a threat.
- Relationship Story Signpost 1
El Mariachi appears to be the man Moco’s men are looking for.
- Relationship Story Signpost 2
Unbeknownst to Moco, El Mariachi has become Domino’s lover, affecting her relationship with Moco and establishing the source of conflict between the two men.
- Relationship Story Signpost 3
Moco’s notion to see through his battle with Azul causes conflict for El Mariachi.
- Relationship Story Signpost 4
El Mariachi realizes that Moco has set about winning Domino’s love with material gifts-El Mariachi can only do so with original music created for her; once Moco understands he has lost Domino to the musician, he formulates a plan to exact revenge by shooting off the guitar player’s hand.
OS: MC: IC: RS: