John Q. Archibald and his wife have found out that their son has a heart condition. This condition is so severe that he will not survive without heart transplant surgery. John believes that he has insurance to cover this surgery but finds out this is not the case. He begins a campaign to get his insurance to cover the cost of the surgery as well as fund raising to help with the medical expenses for his son's hospitalization and surgery.
The hospital refuses to put Mike Archibald on the list for a heart because they do not have the money to cover this surgery. John Q. and his wife become desperate as their son's health worsens. In a desperate attempt to make something happen, John Q.
takes his son's heart surgeon, some medical staff, and some patients hostage in the Emergency Room of the hospital that is about to discharge his son. While holding these hostages, the Administrator of the hospital decides that they will put the child on the list and that the hospital will absorb the cost. It becomes apparent to John Q that a heart is not going to be available to his son soon enough. His son is dying. He convinces the heart surgeon to use his heart to put into his son after he kills himself. John Q goes to speak with his son about his future and to give him fatherly advice that he will not be there to give.
He says goodby to his son in a very emotional scene. Meanwhile, a fax is received by the nurse who has taken care of Mike telling them that a heart that matches is available. The nurse runs out of the hospital to alert the Administrator. Meanwhile, the heart surgeon and other hospital staff have gathered in a room where John Q is to kill himself so that they can harvest his heart. Shot 1. (3 seconds) Camera with a long shot in the room with the hospital staff.
Cut Shot 2. (9 seconds) Medium shot of John Q. As he walks into the room, the camera zooms to his pocket where the gun is. The camera follows John Q.
to the bed where he lays the gun. Shot 3. (5 seconds) Close up of gun on bed and John Q. sitting down beside it. The camera pans to the right to the bullet pouch on his belt. Cut Shot 4.
(4 seconds) Medium shot of heart surgeon and then pans right to other hospital staff. Cut Shot 5. (5 seconds) Close up of John Q.'s hand as he loads the gun. Cut Shot 6. (4 seconds) Medium shot of hospital staff person who asks if the gun has been empty all this time. Cut Shot 7.
(25 seconds) Medium shot of John Q. As he responds that he is all talk and that the only person he ever intended to kill was himself. Camera pans to John Q.'s hand where he loads the gun. Camera pans back up to his face where he asks if they should get some towels.
Cut Shot 8. (10 seconds) Outside the hospital, a longshot shows the nurse running into the scene where the hospital administrator is. Nurse runs toward camera for a medium shot. The nurse tell the administrator that a heart has been found. Cut Shot 9. (2 seconds) Medium shot of administrator and nurse as administrator moves toward camera to tell the mother.
Cut Shot 10. (5 seconds) Inside the Emergency room where the hospital staff is placing towels on the bed where John Q. plans to kill himself. The camera closes in on the towels and the staff person's hands. Cut Shot 11. (5 seconds) Head shot of John Q.
Readying to shoot himself in the head as the hospital staff walks out of the scene. Cut Shot 12. (6 seconds) The camera is outside the room and behind the heart surgeon as he closes the door to the room where John Q. is. Cut Shot 13. (10 seconds) The camera is on a close up of John Q.'s head as he places the gun to his head.
Cut Shot 14. (6 seconds) Long shot of nurse and the hospital Administrator as they run up to John Q.'s wife to tell her the news of the matching heart. Cut Shot 15. (9 seconds) Close up of John Archibald's wife as she asks if they are sure.
They tell her that the heart is on the way with the camera still on the wife. Shot 16. (10 seconds) Cut to inside where John Q. Is laying waiting to make his second attempt to kill himself. The walkie-talkie is just to his right and the camera shoots from just behind it toward John Q. His wife's voice comes over the walkie-talkie as she attempts to tell him the good news.
John reaches for walkie-talkie listens for a second and cuts it off. Cut Shot 17. (1 second) The shot is now to outside of hospital with a medium shot of John Q's wife desperately attempting to get his attention on the police radio. Cut Shot 18. (3 seconds) Inside the room with John Q. where he kisses the police radio.
Cut Shot 19. (5 seconds) Outside with a medium shot of John's wife she yells into the police radio again. The camera is in front of her. The camera zooms to a long shot as she rums toward the Emergency Room door. Cut Shot 20 (3 seconds) Inside the camera is at a right angle showing the upper chest and head of John Q. (2 seconds) He places the gun at his right temple area.
Cut Shot 21. (2 seconds) Outside John's wife is shown in a long shot as he runs toward the door yelling her husband's name. The camera is in front of her when she suddenly hits against the door. Cut Shot 22. (2 seconds) Inside to close up shot of John Q.'s face and head with the gun pointed at the right side of his head.
Shot 23. (8 seconds) Wife in long shot with a zoom to medium shot. The camera is in front of her inside the Emergency Room door. Suddenly she hits into the door with a loud bang. This scene was exceptional due to the acting of Denzel Washington. Throughout this scene, I was convinced that this man was really going through all this pain.
His breathing as he tried to kill himself the first time and found out the safety was on, was so realistic. Another factor that contributed to this film. I believe is the way that the action was coming together in two different areas both inside and outside the hospital. The way that the film crosscut from inside the hospital with John Q's attempts to kill himself along with getting the good news about the heart for their son outside, made this film very realistic.
The viewer got the news along with the characters. The actors in this film portrayed realistic people trying to deal with a valid issue present in today's society. While their actions may not have been the best way to settle this problem, it is very possible that it could occur. The set and lighting for this film was also very realistic. It is set mostly in a hospital that looks very much like any hospital that I have ever been in. The lighting was also very realistic and portrayed typical hospital lighting.
The social issue that this film addressed made it an exceptional film as well. This scene, in my opinion, heightened the severity of this issue.