by KE Monahan Huntley

Superimposing belief systems on faith in God undermines the very nature of spirituality and carries the consequences we encounter today-religious factions and dogmatic rules. Such is the basis of writer/director Kevin Smith's Dogma, a celebration of spirituality and, at the same time, a profane and funny poke at the Catholic Church. Smith extends the thematic premise further in the film's innovative presentation, minimal structure ordering his ideas. Dogma's story sprawls and trails but a Dramatica grand argument story can be interpreted from its chaotic storyweaving.

Main character Bethany (in curiously, the only unnatural performance of the piece) is chosen to halt two fallen angels on a mission to undermine God. God is, as ever, the steadfast influence character -- invisible yet implacable. Bethany's doubting Thomas demeanor (attitude) inhibits the relationship story -- her disbelief (mc/os problem) in the Deity is observed in the objective characters as well, followers experiencing some crisis of faith (os solution). Bethany's pilgrimage ends in success (outcome) -- existence, sacred and otherwise, remains as is (goal-obtaining). In the (female-yes!) face of God, Bethany stands in awe (mc resolve-change), boxers and handstands (ic critical flaw-preconception) notwithstanding -- her faith (mc solution) in God's infinite power renewed (mc judgment-good).

With Dogma, Kevin Smith, a blasphemous good Catholic boy (are there any other kind?), gives us another reason to believe in God and divine filmmaking, and that a Dramatica grand argument story can be as neoteric as original sin.

About the Author

KE Monahan Huntley is an editor and publisher based in Southern California. As one of the original contributors to Dramatica, she helped edit and analyze many of the examples. In addition, her numerous articles provided an insightful "conversational" approach to the theory. Today she can be found at Write Between the Lines or follow her on Twitter @kemhuntley.

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