Theme exists in just about every screenplay and film out there. Sometimes multiple themes exist. Some are parallels to the plot (the plot gives us the theme) and other times they are character driven. Sometimes they are externally or visually confirmed and other times they are internal realizations made within a single protagonist.
How do YOU approach theme and it's place in your screenplay? Sometimes a heavy hand can result in the theme being almost too present and we feel a bit beaten over the head with it (Yeah we get it, the theme is XXXX) and other times by design it's meant to be very ethereal (Hmm the theme could be XXXX or it could be YYYY). Sometimes the theme is revealed right at the beginning and is part of the whole inciting incident and is built upon through all the acts or beats of the story. Other times they show up in the middle of a story and lead to a 180 in the direction we thought we were going. And still other times (especially in Romantic Comedies and Hallmark Movies) they show up at the end (and are often repetitive through multiple variations on that same theme being played out with just different characters, set pieces, etc...in Vermont).
So how do YOU approach theme in your writing?
Are you more of a "theme is self evident and clear" or more of a "it's gently hinted at throughout but never boldly declared or revealed"?
What are some of your favorite or inspirational uses of themes in screenplays or movies you admire?