Miss Lovely's Script. Story by Ashim Ahluwalia, Screenplay by Uttam Sirur and Ashim Ahluwalia...
MISS LOVELY A script by Ashim Ahluwalia and Uttam Sirur
Based on a story by Ashim Ahluwalia
Draft December 2008 WGA REGISTRATION #1232685
(c) 2008 Future East Film 8 Carmichael Road, Bombay/ Mumbai 400026. India. [email protected]
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - ANGLE ON THE CINEMA SCREEN
A flash of lighting reveals a TEENAGE GIRL, fast asleep. Her flimsy nightie flutters in the breeze, barely concealing her youthful body. Outside, a thunderstorm rages. A gust of wind blows a window open. a fright.
The girl wakes up with
TEENAGE GIRL W-who's there? The curtains are motionless again. Then, from beneath her bed, she hears a low grunting sound. The girl begins to panic. She slowly peers under the wooden frame. Nothing. Then suddenly two red eyes glow. She SCREAMS. A horrific mangled creature attacks the girl in a savage blood feast. The screen is splattered deep red. FILM NARRATOR Blood is the ultimate symbol. It's the one that everyone understands. There is power to blood! It has an emotional impact unlike any substance on earth! Monstrous sounds continue as blood spurts everywhere, accompanied by a howling wind that tosses debris in all directions. The dead girl's eyes begin to pulsate. She's possessed - now transformed into a multi-armed, back-lit Kali. From her demonic gaze, she zaps lightning towards the camera. TITLES fly toward the screen as cheap music surges - A DUGGAL BROTHERS PRODUCTION. 2
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - LOBBY
A MAN, seen in silhouette, enters a rundown cinema carrying a large SUITCASE. The cheap soundtrack spills into the empty lobby. 3
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - PASSAGE
The man arrives in front of a heavy door and hesitates. In the dim light of the corridor, we see that it's SONU, a lanky, boyish-looking man in his mid 30s. He knocks nervously. 4
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - PROJECTION BOOTH An unshaven, ratty OLD PROJECTIONIST unbolts the door. Sonu enters and opens the suitcase, disclosing TWO RUSTY CANS of film.
2. SONU Your Bits. Two jumbos. About time.
OLD PROJECTIONIST The projectionist roughly inserts Sonu's reel into the second projector. Midway through the first reel, he jerkily switches on the second. The antiquated projector sputters to life. CUT TO 5
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - ANGLE ON THE CINEMA SCREEN
On screen, the horror scene is abruptly cut off, rudely supplanted by a raunchy number. Suddenly we see POONAM, an aging actress, writhing on a heartshaped bed. A MUSTACHIOED MAN tickles her with a giant peacock feather. She cackles and begins to undress, revealing a blue "bra & panty set". The man laughs maniacally as he pours JOHNNY WALKER on her. baaad boy! 6
POONAM INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - THEATER
An AUDIENCE of sweaty men break into loud WHISTLING & CHEERING. They are barely visible in the flickering light. MUSTACHIOED MAN (O.S.) Take it off, you slut! 7
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - PROJECTION BOOTH
TITLE - AJMER, JUNE, 1986 Sonu and the Projectionist stare through the booth windows as HEAVY MOANING floods the projection room. PROJECTIONIST (riveted) Ooof.. look at the cups on that one. CUT TO: 8
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - OWNER'S OFFICE - NIGHT The DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER, an obese, repulsive man, wipes his sweat as he counts out a stack of money. DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER (bored) Nice reels. Good quality. Thank Golasaab for me, ok?
3. Uh, yes sir.
DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER Condition-wali ladkiyan. (healthy girls) That I like. The distant audience roars inside the movie hall. DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER (CONT'D) (boredom turns to interest) ...You hear them? Listen... Take. He pushes the pile towards Sonu, who begins counting it. Midway, Sonu stops. For a moment, he looks worried. Then he quickly starts counting again. But now he's lost track. Flustered, he starts again from the beginning. The owner watches as he fumbles. DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER (CONT'D) You don't need to count it. It's all there. 9
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - HALLWAY - NIGHT
Sonu leaves the office clutching the suitcase. He picks up the pace. 10
EXT. DIAMOND TALKIES FACADE - NIGHT
Sonu hurries out of the shabby cinema, down the stairs. GOLA'S RUNNER, also holding a VIP SUITCASE, is on his way in. As they pass, they eye each other briefly. 11
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - OWNER'S OFFICE - NIGHT The OWNER is surprised to see GOLA'S RUNNER burst through the door. GOLA'S RUNNER Sorry I'm late. Every day is Diwali with these cops. But wait till you see these bits, sir... He cracks open his suitcase, revealing two cans of film. GOLA'S RUNNER (CONT'D) Two reels of the dirtiest girls. Turkish. Gola saab's latest shipment... The owner stares at him, puzzled.
4. DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER I already got the Indian bits. I just paid your guy the... GOLA'S RUNNER What Indian bits? 12
EXT. AJMER STREETS - NIGHT
Sonu looks tense, his face glistening with sweat. He lights a cigarette and scampers through an empty alley, coughing nervously. Behind him something flutters. Sonu walks faster, then turns around. Another sound. Instinctively, he ducks into a corner. He holds his breath, terrified. Then the silence resumes. Someone turns on a faraway radio and an old ghazal wafts through the air. Sonu calms himself down. 13
EXT. AJMER TRAIN STATION - LATE NIGHT
The small-town station is deserted. Without warning, a foghorn cuts through the silence. A NIGHT TRAIN, majestic and groaning, pulls in. 14
INT. TRAIN COMPARTMENT - LATE NIGHT
Sonu shoves his way through a bottleneck in the muggy compartment, clinging to the suitcase. Somebody coughs horribly, a baby starts to wail. Unsettled, Sonu finally locates his seat. With damp, trembly hands he locks the suitcase to the seat leg. As he sits, his tense expression softens. Across from him, a beautiful YOUNG WOMAN of about 20 is saying a sad farewell to an OLD LADY on the platform, their hands touching through the window. 15
EXT - TRAIN - LATE NIGHT
The train cuts through a night landscape. Beyond the dark hills, a silver moon is rising. 16
INT. NIGHT QUEEN TRAIN COMPARTMENT - LATE NIGHT Although he tries not to stare, Sonu steals quick glances at the delicate YOUNG WOMAN as he thumbs through a copy of the TRADE GUIDE. She gazes out of the window, vacant, her eyes glistening with tears.
POV. TRAIN - EARLY MORNING
Daybreak. Fields give way to barren industrial towns. TITLES BEGIN: Miss Lovely 18
INT. TRAIN - DAY
Throughout the journey, Sonu is drawn to the YOUNG WOMAN, who continues looking sadly out of the window. He studies her serene eyes, her deliciously curling lips, her childlike, impenetrable face. She feels him staring and turns. moment, then she looks away. 19
Their eyes meet for a
POV. TRAIN WINDOW - DAY
Water shimmers as cranes, winches and cable wires rush past. TITLES CONTINUE 20
INT. TRAIN - DAY
A steel bridge flies by, creating rhythmic, hypnotic patterns. Drowsiness overcomes Sonu and he gradually falls asleep. 21
INT. TRAIN - NIGHT
Sonu is woken by booming announcements from a PA system as the train pulls into a crowded station. He rubs his eyes, then looks up at the YOUNG WOMAN. But she's gone, replaced by A LADY IN A BURKHA who is now in her seat. CUT TO 22
MONTAGE. BOMBAY - NIGHT
TITLE - BOMBAY, JUNE, 1986 The Century Bazaar Neon Sign flickers on and off. Another flashes, "SAMBO SUITINGS", painting the street red and green. We finally rest on a boxy sign with a few letters missing It reads "HOTEL AIRCRAFT" 23
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - NIGHT
An elevator door slides open to reveal Sonu, looking exhausted, still clutching the suitcase. He steps into the reception area of a seedy, rundown guesthouse. 24
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - LOBBY - NIGHT The CAMERA continues tailing Sonu through the dank socialist lobby, past sleeping bodies on threadbare sofas.
6. An AUNTY gets up from behind the murky reception and motions for him to follow. 25
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT -
ABANDONED PASSAGE - NIGHT
The CAMERA wanders behind them past a series of barricaded doors, until they arrive in front of a SEMINAR ROOM. The AUNTY makes dirty gestures as she cracks opens the door for him. 26
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - ABANDONED SEMINAR ROOM - NIGHT We follow Sonu through fake tropical foliage. He looks restless and his eyes scan the room frantically looking for someone. Through the palms, he sees a BLEEDING WOMAN lying on the ground, her mouth gagged. There is blood and straw all over the floor. FIVE SCANTILY-CLAD WOMEN can now be seen, dancing around in ecstatic abandon. AFRICA - a Nigerian in his 30s - is playing the bongos dressed like a witch doctor. The voodoo drumming is suddenly rewound and played back again. A clapper board is heard, followed by a voice VOICE (O.S.) Purana Purush - take one! Sonu watches as JOLLY - an odd man with a pompadour - bursts out from behind a decrepit 16mm camera cursing violently. JOLLY (fuming - to the bleeding woman) You stripped in Madras and there were over fifty men hanging around. Now what? The BLEEDING WOMAN removes her mouth gag, wiping off the fake blood. JOLLY (CONT'D) (agitated) See that's why I said no husbands on set. NO HUSBANDS! (pointing to her HUSBAND) The woman's HUSBAND shifts awkwardly as FANIL, a rough looking casting agent, steps up and shoves him aside. FANIL You're a bad influence, get out! (MORE)
7. FANIL (CONT'D) Aye, shut up woman, no chattering. Behave yourself. Listen to the director. 27
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Sonu arrives in front of a door that reads NO ADMISSION WITHOUT PERMISSION. He puts the SUITCASE down, afraid to knock. He pauses, then peers through the keyhole. 28
POV. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE - NIGHT
Inside, we see NADIA, a young, aspiring starlet, cringing a bit. A hand slowly travels up her thigh. CUT TO 29
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE - NIGHT
Nadia giggles awkwardly, her body taut as rough, ringed fingers continue tracing her smooth skin. The hand is soon revealed to be VICKY'S. VICKY (turning around) Your daughter's always been this frigid? NADIA'S MOTHER, seated in a far corner, is taken aback. looks up from her film magazine. NADIA'S MOTHER Uh, No no. It's just, Nadia has always been the boy of the family, no? The MOTHER bares her teeth in a smile at her daughter. Suddenly there is an awkward knock, then the door swings open. Sonu fumbles in. VICKY (loudly, huge grin) Heyyy, look who's here. The one good man in this filthy business. Vicky grabs Sonu in a bear hug. VICKY (CONT'D) Come, come. Our beautiful new find Nadia. My brother, Sonu. Sonu's eyes shift uncomfortably.
8. VICKY (CONT'D) Whatever I do, all this you see, it's all for him. (pinches Sonu's cheeks) Eh? Bastard it's all for you. Vicky is cheerful, slapping Sonu on the back energetically. The bedroom has been converted into a make-shift OFFICE, booze stacked on a filing cabinet. VICKY (CONT'D) (to NADIA) Baby, make him a double... NADIA'S MOTHER (trying to capitalize on the mood) How about me, too? Don't I get a drink? Vicky rudely pushes an empty ICE BUCKET into Nadia's mother's hands and guides her to the door. VICKY Ice, mummyji. We need Ice. Vicky slams her out, then laughs. SONU (serious) I need to talk to you. Nadia interrupts, pushing a whisky into each of their hands. VICKY (leaning over Nadia lecherously) Baby, ten minutes. Vicky escorts her to the door, touching and grabbing her until she leaves. SONU I shouldn't have gone to Ajmer. It's not our business. We gave Gola our word, we should have kept it. VICKY (grinning) I work my ass off to put us in a good spot and you can't do anything but find fault with me? Whose side are you on, anyway? Vicky grabs the suitcase, slams it down on a dusty table.
9. SONU (grumbling) I don't want to take sides. always been good to us. VICKY Then you go work for him. on.
Vicky ignores Sonu's tortured face, snaps the suitcase open. He takes out a thick wad of cash and puts it in Sonu's hands. VICKY (CONT'D) (smacking his lips) Cheer up. From today, we're solo. Here - Just a taste. SONU We should give Poonam her money. VICKY (snaps harshly) What fuckin' money? money.
She owes me
Annoyed, Vicky snatches up the phone and starts dialing. 30
INT. POONAM'S FLAT - NIGHT
The phone rings in a baroque, run-down apartment. Poonam, an actress in her mid 40s, stumbles into the living room, drunk and reeling. She hits her head on a frilly lampshade as she picks up the phone. Vicky!!
POONAM VICKY (O.S.) Listen. Sonu just got in. He sold the reels. We got the money. POONAM You got the money?? I want half. Vicky, I need the money. I got debts, I owe the world, Vicky. VICKY (O.S.) Poonam, love...c'mon. POONAM (hysterical) Promise I get half. Vicky.
I'm really tight,
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE - NIGHT
Sonu sits, looking annoyed, as Vicky jabbers in the background. He lights a cigarette. VICKY (O.S.) Don't be ridiculous, honey. You're the star. Of course, I'll give you something, pumpkin... Sonu flicks through a bunch of violent PRODUCTION STILLS lying on the table: A woman being raped, a bleeding man with an axe through his head... VICKY (O.S.) (CONT'D) (growing tense) He did? What did he say? (pause) What did he say, dammit? Vicky rudely slams the phone down mid-conversation, then glares at Sonu steadily. Sonu looks up, confused. VICKY (CONT'D) (curtly) Gola called Poonam an hour ago. (pause) He wants a meeting. Sonu averts his eyes, his throat dry. SONU I-I, I told you. I mean, Vicky, he was bound to find out. T-they were bound to know it was an inside job, it was stupi... Sonu swallows, leaving his sentence unfinished. eyes grow fierce. Then he explodes. VICKY What the fuck did you do in Ajmer? Hang a sign around your neck? Ha? (hurls his glass against the wall) I told you: it's a simple deal. Don't attract attention. Act normal. Sonu looks ill. VICKY (CONT'D) But how can you? You're NOT normal.
INT. POONAM'S CAR - DAY
POONAM'S driving her RED PADMINI, looking sober and refreshed. Sonu is in the passenger seat, his head slumped against the grimy windshield as the sun-sparkled pavement goes by. Vicky is in the back, arms outstretched, pissed off. The SUITCASE is propped against the back seat. The tension is thick. Vicky suddenly grabs Sonu's hair with one hand and raps his head with the other. VICKY If you had some sense in this empty head we wouldn't be begging today. It's just pathetic. SONU Ow! What the... POONAM Go ahead, just hit each other, why don't you? Aye, enough! VICKY STOP IT! Vicky lets go. VICKY (yells) I should slap your face! depending on this money.
They simmer quietly. (weakly) I'm sorry.
VICKY We're living like rats, working for Gola. I'm sick of getting nowhere! SONU I'm sorry, Vicky. I'm sorry. VICKY (starts shouting again) I put food on your fucking table. What do you do? You do nothing. Nothing. 33
EXT. SWIMMING CLUB - DAY The car screeches to a halt.
12. POONAM Uh, Vicky, it'll be alright, won't it? Vicky doesn't respond. He slams the door shut and walks away. 34
EXT. SWIMMING CLUB TERRACE - DAY
Vicky appears on the terrace alone, sweating and edgy, clutching the suitcase. An unruly group of ROUGHNECKS and UNDERAGE GIRLS are sitting around a mossy green swimming pool in their swimming costumes. This isn't your average Sunday swimming club. OLD ROUGHNECK (snapping at someone) Hey, get them what their drinking! Vicky passes the rowdy table unnoticed as crude laughter dominates. Suddenly from behind him, a hand is laid heavily on his shoulder. ISHARA Here already, eh? Now that's what I call service! 35
EXT - GOLA'S TABLE - DAY GOLA and five weather-worn HEAVYWEIGHTS sit at a table clutching whiskies. They're a hideous bunch. Gola's in his 60s and his face hangs in folds. ISHARA (slapping Vicky on the back) We've worked together ten years, eh Vicky? Since "Birth of A Baby", no? Vicky senses an opportunity and grabs it, looking toward Gola. VICKY Without you, sir, I'd be nothing. Just a little smut peddler, with no distribution, nothing... GOLA stares at him, red-eyed, not moving a muscle of his dead-pan face. A hush descends on the table. GOLA's lips tighten grimly. GOLA And yet you show me no respect. VICKY No, sir, never, I-I...
13. ISHARA's big hand is placed over Vicky's face and he's shoved backwards violently. ISHARA You've been pimping bits in Ajmer that you haven't shown us, eh? VICKY No, No, Gola saab, please don't misunderstand. (offering the suitcase) Of-of course we were gonna pay. Here. It's all here... ISHARA smashes his fist into Vicky's face, he falls backwards. The GUESTS on the terrace turn around to gawk. BUNTY, a hood, rushes toward Vicky, looking blood-hungry. Within moments, numerous hands are smacking Vicky all over the place. ISHARA Cutting us off, HA? your throat, pig! 36
We should cut
EXT - GUEST'S TABLE - DAY
The CAMERA tracks past Vicky to settle on a TABLE OF GUESTS who stare, appalled and fascinated. A LITTLE BALD MAN is particularly curious - he sips his soda and leans forward, watching from the distance like a small deadly bird. 37
EXT - GOLA'S TABLE - DAY Blood gushes out of Vicky's nostrils. He's pathetic, clutching Gola's feet. VICKY (O.S.) Gola saab, please... I didn't mean it. I'm slipping. I'm so broke. I owe so much.. I'm over my head.. A HEAVYWEIGHT splays the fingers of his left hand open, bends them back. They look like they might snap off. HEAVYWEIGHT GET DOWN, dog. Kiss Golasaab's feet. Say "I'm a thief!" SAY IT! GOLA studies Vicky, his eyes blazing. VICKY (defeated, buries his head in his hands) I'm sorry, Golasaab. I'm a thief. I'm a thief. I'm sorry.
INT. POONAM'S CAR - DAY
Sonu doesn't respond. He just sits there, simmering, choked up, avoiding Poonam's gaze. POONAM (sympathetic) You okay? SONU I've had enough. anymore.
I can't do this
POONAM Oh C'mon Sonu, brothers fight, don't be... Poonam puts a comforting hand on his shoulder. motionless.
POONAM (CONT'D) You're still upset about her, aren't you? I know the feeling, Sonu. So she went and married someone else... I've been through that. (pause) Not everybody is comfortable with what we do, you understand? SONU I don't care. I'm leaving. Now. Today. I don't want anything from him. I don't need him, ok? (pause) I'll find something. 39
EXT - GOLA'S TABLE - DAY
Vicky sits on his knees - a beaten, punished schoolboy. A ringed hand enters the frame offering him a starched white napkin. GOLA You produce. I distribute. the rule.
Vicky takes it and dabs the blood off his swollen face. Just then, the LITTLE BALD MAN whose been watching them appears at the table. Everyone stands up instantly as GOLA respectfully grips his hand. ISHARA rushes for a chair. PK (interrupting) Excuse me. I don't mean to disturb you. May I?
15. GOLA No, No, No please PK saab. Our pleasure. Thank you so much for those Turkish reels. PK (cocking an eyebrow) The girls are getting very bold there. Very bold. PK joins the table. He's a well-bred little gentleman, dismayed at the sight of Vicky, battered and kneeling at GOLA'S feet. GOLA (slightly awkward) Uh, a small matter, PK saab. This Vicky Duggal forgot the rules... PK leans forward, perching over Vicky like a schoolmaster. PK (gently) Vicky Duggal, eh? You're broke? Need to steal? How very sad. Vicky hangs his head in shame. old friend.
PK speaks tenderly, like an
PK (CONT'D) Are you fed up, Vicky? Is that it? Vicky looks so sorrowful, it's comic. Everyone cracks up. The HEAVYWEIGHTS giggle like schoolboys. GOLA is weeping with laughter. But PK doesn't smile. He turns abruptly to GOLA. PK (CONT'D) I don't mean disrespect, Mr. Gola. But I see little point in disturbing an arrangement that works. You guys have something going here. All you need is one thing. What's that? Me.
GOLA PK He finally cracks a tiny smile. Everyone is charmed by this intriguing little man. GOLA And why do we need you?
16. PK (grinning widely now) I can make everyone happy. We can all be friends again. 40
INT. DELUXE CASTING AGENCY - MORNING
About fifty STRUGGLERS, some quite destitute, crowd anxiously into a tiny room. SHANU, a middle-aged midget, is pushing his way through, recruiting. The ones he names look relieved as they step up. SHANU MAQSOOD, come in your suit. BALA, suit. SONIA, frock. VICTOR FERNANDES, you're a cop. They'll provide the costume. 8 o'clock sharp. I'll see you there. He closes his notebook and turns. Sonu, freshly shaved and crisply dressed, is peering suspiciously through a crack in the door. 41
INT. DELUXE CASTING AGENCY PASSAGE - MORNING
SHANU pushes past the STRUGGLERS who swarm the cramped passageway. SHANU C'mon kiddo, stop sulking. What the fuck is wrong with you? SONU I can't do this anymore. I mean, Vicky, I-I can't work with Vicky. SHANU (cackling) Chin up! Your delivery is on the way. C'mon, Sonu, think positive! Ok - What else do you need? SONU (desperate) I really need to talk to you. 42
INT. DELUXE CASTING AGENCY PRIVATE OFFICE - DAY They walk into a seedy office. desk.
SHANU goes and sits at his
SHANU (all professional) Ok. Talk to me. SONU I need a job.
17. SHANU (irritated) So get a job. SHANU puts a cigarette in his mouth and lights it. his sweaty forehead.
SHANU (CONT'D) What you gonna do, Sonu? Work in a fucking bank? Be an engineer? How many times do we have to go through this? He offers Sonu a cigarette who takes it half-heartedly. SONU I don't know. What I want is... Well, I'm not sure but it's not this. Maybe a film. Something different. SHANU (rudely) Save it. Your brother runs things, the money comes. Not many people have it this easy, ok? You should have seen what my mother had to work with, seven screaming kids and... A heavily made-up HOUSEWIFE interrupts, pushing her portfolio in his face. HOUSEWIFE Sir, please, five minutes.
SHANU Don't want to rush you off, kiddo, but I've got a lot of people waiting and... SHANU looks the Housewife up and down, then leans forward suddenly. SHANU (CONT'D) (to Housewife) Tell me something? The HOUSEWIFE looks quizzical. SHANU (CONT'D) (pointing to her breasts) Are those real? No cotton-wool? She smirks, embarrassed.
18. SHANU (CONT'D) (sleazy wink) That's the approach. Keep an open mind, ok? SHANU slips her a card, then laughs to himself. HOUSEWIFE Sir, please see.. Sexy dance... The HOUSEWIFE proceeds to do a smutty dance for the midget. Sonu gets up and ambles away. The CAMERA follows him over to a dirty window. In the adjoining building, YOUNG WOMEN dressed in MYTHOLOGICAL COSTUMES loiter on the balcony. Sonu meanders over and takes a look. He suddenly sees someone he recognizes: It's the beautiful YOUNG WOMAN from the train! SONU What's that building??
SHANU (Doesn't turn around) Ram Kishen's office. Some mythological TV series... SONU (energized) I know that girl. I've seen her! Frantically, Sonu presses his face to the broken grill. The YOUNG WOMAN stands sadly at the opposite balcony, sweating, waiting her turn. She looks ethereal in her goddess costume, the filthy window framing her like a classical painting. Sonu cranes for a better view, but she disappears into the crowd of strugglers. Shanu watches him scampering desperately from grill to grill. SHANU (amused) Well, there's something. Haven't had a woman for a while, huh? Just then, THREE SALESGIRLS in MATCHING UNIFORMS enter. SALESGIRL #1 Who's Sonu? Suraj sent us. 43
INT. TAXI - DAY SONU and the SALESGIRLS are crammed into a speeding taxi. One of the girls pops open a compact and paints herself with lipstick. The salesgirls make a racket, shouting over each other as they fiddle with their nylons and fix their eyeliner.
19. SALESGIRL #2 ..He smelled like a sewer, but he gave me five hundred advance... SALESGIRL #3 What an old snake... SONU is sweating, jammed against the back door. SALESGIRL #1, thick makeup running down her plump face, is virtually on top of him. SALESGIRL #1 (flirty) You're Vicky's little brother? (pause) Something wrong? I'm not going to bite you. Sonu jerks his head away from her, disgusted. girls laugh like hyenas.
A voice begins on the soundtrack. VICKY (O.S.) Let's just say "Beauty Parlour" will be a thousand thrills crammed into 2 hours. Sex-starved girls forced to use their bodies in a "Beauty Parlour" of sin! 44
INT. HOTEL DIPLOMAT - SUITE - DAY
Close up. A smutty hand-made poster of "BEAUTY PARLOUR" featuring POONAM - with black bars hiding her private parts. VICKY (O.S.) We'll go beyond anything we've done before! We'll re-use that monkey footage from Vampire Hookers! It'll be wild. WILD! Gola & Ishara sit prim and humorless. distrustfully as Vicky narrates.
GOLA He's a goddamn liar. I'm not getting shortchanged again. PK rocks the ice in his glass, then looks up slowly, his eyes twinkling. PK I told you already, Mr. Gola. My clients here will finance Vicky. Then there's no risk of him skinning you.
20. PK is flanked by new companions - rough-looking INDONESIAN BUSINESSMEN nursing whiskies. The pink, pastry-like interiors of the hotel room make them seem all the more menacing. VICKY (Gesturing to the INDONESIANS) Thank you gentlemen, thank you. PK (curt) Let's keep it crisp, Vicky. Your films are boring. We want to help. My clients don't care about the story. They need to see pretty faces, bouncing breasts, juicy behinds and at least one full-frontal shot. Clear? Sir, clear. wait and...
VICKY Totally clear. Just
There's a LOUD KNOCK on the door.
Vicky cracks open the door. It's Sonu with the salesgirls. They push past him and hustle toward Vicky. VICKY (CONT'D) (loudly, huge grin) Heyyy! Top of the evening, Ladies. (to Indonesians) I want you to meet three talented girls here. PK (amused, slaps Gola on the back) Everybody's friends here, Golasaab. You can even distribute "Beauty Parlour" in your small towns for free! My gift. GOLA (wary) For free? Why would you do that? PK Because we don't need your money. We need your goodwill! Sonu looks terribly out-of-place, left out of all this camaraderie. One of the INDONESIANS cups a hand over a SALESGIRL'S breast. She's startled but manages a giggle.
21. VICKY (fired up) Time for Screen tests, ok? Yaaas!
INDONESIAN BUSINESSMAN The BUSINESSMAN hollers and grabs the girl's behind. She screeches, giggling loudly, accidentally falling into ISHARA's lap. GOLA guffaws, a little unwittingly. PK Mr. Gola, nobody's out to screw you. I can guarantee that! Sonu finally wanders into the high-spirited circle in an attempt to be included. VICKY Uh, Everyone, my brother Sonu. The gathering look at him for a moment. There's a pause in the proceedings. Then they turn away, unimpressed. VICKY (CONT'D) Don't just stand there, Sonu, get Gola saab a refill. PK sir.. What you drinking? Get him a double. Here, get me one too. PK Get the Peanuts! 45
INT. LIBERTY PREVIEW THEATRE - ANGLE ON THE CINEMA SCREEN
A raunchy disco soundtrack kicks in. Overweight women in scanty leotards thrust their big bosoms into the lens. They are doing lewd aerobics, spreading their legs "scissor-style" for the camera. The text "It's a MAIDEN VENTURE" explodes onto the screen followed by "PK PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS" and the title "BEAUTY PARLOUR". This is interspersed with a series of blunt, jerky cuts: A monster grabbing a woman with hair curlers, Poonam licking her lips, A monkey throwing hand grenades, a midget breakdancing... 46
INT. LIBERTY PREVIEW THEATER - INTERIOR - NIGHT TITLE - FEBRUARY 1987 The lights come up in the tiny preview theater. Everyone whistles wildly. The guests are a rowdy bunch and there is a true air of celebration. ISHARA silences everyone as GOLA makes an impromptu speech.
22. GOLA (radiant) The first time in India! A thought provoking film about adult love! And this is just the beginning... Fantastic!
ROWDY GUEST Great effort!
Suddenly POONAM appears in the doorway. POONAM (slurring) He-ey, Golasaab, no speeches! She's almost falling over, propped up by SHANU. loud laughter and more hooting.
POONAM (CONT'D) C'mon boys and girls, drinks are served! 47
INT. LIBERTY PREVIEW THEATER - LOBBY - NIGHT The preview theater doors swing open. ROUGHNECKS, CONNIVING BUSINESSMEN and SHADY GIRLS spill out into the glorious Art Deco lobby. GOLA (laughing) Jaggu. Heena. You look beautiful. Hey, look at him. Bagga, you son of a bitch, get over here. SONU unpacks a case of whisky at the make-shift bar, studying the people at the party. He watches GOLA embrace his old friend, the DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER. In another corner, he sees VICKY whispering seductively in NADIA's ear. NADIA (enthralled) All these beautiful people, so many pretty girls around... VICKY You're the pretty one. I'm dizzy enough just looking at you. GOLA interrupts them, intrigued by the voluptuous Nadia. VICKY (CONT'D) (grinning slyly) See this one, isn't she something? Nadia say hello to Gola saab, he's a very rich man, he wants to make special movies with you...
23. Before Gola has a chance to respond, Nadia's mother emerges from behind a buffet counter. NADIA'S MOTHER You like her sir? She has potential? You think she's pretty? GOLA (scanning Nadia lustily) Why, yes, she's a fine young lady. NADIA'S MOTHER Oh she's open to anything. I tell her to do something and she does it. VICKY (interjects) Oh really? A sign of good parenting, eh? Gola & Vicky guffaw crudely, Nadia blushes. When they turn, they see PK and the Indonesians beaming at them. PK has a new TURKISH CLIENT with him. PK (toothy grin) I said I could make you all happy, didn't I? Didn't I say we'd all be friends? At the bar, SONU is uneasy, pouring a GUEST a drink. He continues eyeing his brother's entourage. JOLLY & AFRICA gawk alongside him. JOLLY (low voice) Sonu, who are all these people? Look at the dames, everything showing but their goddamn appetites. AFRICA Who's paying for all this? doesn't add up...
SONU (gruffly) How the hell am I to know? I never asked to be mixed up in this. Vicky's there - talk to him! 48
INT. LIBERTY PREVIEW THEATER - ENTRANCE - NIGHT Poonam is trashed, babbling with a group of bored GUESTS.
24. POONAM (O.S.) (slurring) I've made over 50 pictures. Seen Voodoo Lust? Lady James Bond? I may be a 'lil loose round the edges, but I'm not finished yet. She laughs huskily, then knocks back her gin. Suddenly a swarm of UNIFORMED POLICEMEN appear, led by INSPECTOR MANE. The guests tense up. The cops head toward some petrified bystanders. INSPECTOR MANE (rudely) Hey you. Where's the bar? SHANU tries to signal. The cops push past him and make their way up the grand staircase. YOUNG COP (pointing to a passing woman) Oh my god, sir, look at that one. I wonder how we go about getting some... INSPECTOR MANE Well, that's what Vicky and his little brother are here for, isn't it, buddy boy? 49
INT. LIBERTY PREVIEW THEATER - MAKE-SHIFT BAR - NIGHT Vicky arrives at the bar, hanging off TWO STRUGGLING ACTRESSES. Sonu sees him and turns away. VICKY Sonu, keep an eye on these nice girls here... The TWO ACTRESSES ignore Sonu and make a beeline for the drinks. VICKY (CONT'D) ...I need to take care of Inspector Mane and his lads. He rummages around behind the counter and snatches up three bottles of whisky. VICKY (CONT'D) What the fuck's wrong now? long face?
25. SONU (voice falters) W-why are we doing this? This party.. (pause) What are you trying to prove? This is a different league, Vicky. We're cutting our own throats... Vicky pulls him aside, irritated. VICKY You think I'm crazy, is that it? I'm stupid? Well, it wouldn't be any goddamn wonder if I was. I've been knocking myself out for people like you since I could walk. Sonu moves away, he doesn't want to hear it. his shirt and pulls him back.
VICKY (CONT'D) Just listen to me, will you? Remember when the studio shut down? Our old man was jobless? After that he tried this and that. It came to nothing. It was wretched. Not honest or hardworking. Wretched. He was just a cornered rat. And then he started acting like one. (pause) You want that? Vicky gives his brother a slow, hard stare. at last.
Sonu looks up
VICKY (CONT'D) This is the first crack we've had at the big dough, Sonu. We're about to hit the fucking jackpot. I don't understand you. (pause) Aren't you happy for us? He then yells over to AFRICA. VICKY (CONT'D) , don't piss around. Get my a double.
Africa looks annoyed but pours them drinks anyway. VICKY (CONT'D) (to Sonu) Don't worry so fuckin' much. Look at the backing we got. Just look at tonight, eh? We're in good hands, Sonu. C'mon...
26. Vicky nudges him until Sonu finally breaks into a boyish smile. Then he reaches out and gives him a big hug. VICKY (CONT'D) C'mon. It's only you and me, Sonu. It's just us. (pause) All this is for us. 50
INT - WHITE PEARL APARTMENTS - EARLY MORNING
About fifty sloshed REVELERS cram themselves into a steamy apartment. The music is blaring. SONU, POONAM and SHANU are lurching drunkenly on the dance floor, passing each other a bottle of BOSCA. They are yelling to each other over the din as JOLLY weaves in and out, doing his own Latin-inspired moves. SHANU Hey, Poonam, guess what? Sonu has a love interest. She's a professional goddess. Sonu grabs the bottle out of his hands and takes a slug. POONAM Sonu - stop with the nice girls! I told you, didn't I? Decent people don't like you and me. SHANU bursts out laughing. But POONAM is tense, watching Vicky flirt with Nadia at the other end of the room. Sonu stumbles for more drinks. AFRICA intercepts him sympathetically. AFRICA Hey Sonu. I'm leaving. not for us.
Suddenly POONAM appears on the dance floor, loud and pieeyed, holding a tray of cold drinks. POONAM Come on, are we celebrating or what? Hey you, volume up up UP. Everybody, let's do the BEAUTY PARLOUR dance! The dance involves a party game where couples have to keep a cold drink bottle aloft using just their foreheads, no hands! The party has degenerated into complete debauchery. People roll the bottles against each other sleazily. PK stands with his ASSOCIATES in a corner, unamused. dead sober, watching POONAM like a hawk.
27. PK (to Vicky) God, she's depressing. lose her. What?
You need to
VICKY PK Audiences want young blood, not some drunken hag with tits down to her knees. VICKY (startled) Uh, Poonam? She's not that old. I mean she's.. PK glares at him, his beady eyes narrowing. PK She's bad business, Vicky. 51
INT - WHITE PEARL APARTMENTS - BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING
In a locked bedroom, GOLA holds a whisky glass to Nadia's red lips. She drinks in one continuous gulp, the liquor spilling from the corners of her mouth. The camera lingers on GOLA's drooping face as he stares at Nadia's slender neck, his eyes sparkling with sexual energy. 52
INT - WHITE PEARL APARTMENTS - LIVING ROOM - EARLY MORNING People are laughing hysterically, falling over each other. GOLA and Nadia exit the bedroom, walking hand in hand through the frenzied dancers. POONAM backs into her by mistake. She turns around and flies into a rage. POONAM Ow. Fuck! Bloody bitch, who do you think you are? POONAM splashes her gin straight into Nadia's face. Ow! Stop it!
NADIA Damn you.
She turns and pushes POONAM, who launches into her shouting incomprehensibly. POONAM Aaargh! Evil witch!
28. Poonam yanks Nadia's hair and a violent cat-fight ensues. Sonu hears screaming and comes staggering out of the tiny kitchen, looking bewildered. Poonam...
SONU PK and his ASSOCIATES watch, amused, as POONAM flies against a cabinet. Some guests try to mediate, but it's way out of control. VICKY Hey, hold it. Hold it! Vicky & Sonu intervene, struggling to hold the ladies apart. NADIA I would've whacked you harder, okay, it's just that I was taught to respect old ladies. POONAM Fucking uneducated whore, you were taught NOTHING! Poonam scoops a glass up and throws it at Nadia. The party REVELERS begin clearing out.
NADIA Say what you like, Grandma. POONAM has tears streaming down her cheeks. her.
VICKY (stroking her head) C'mon, honey, everybody's friends here, right? These are our friends. Vicky notices the party breaking up. VICKY (CONT'D) (loudly) Come on, let's have a drink. ISHARA (steps in and shouts) COME ON, LET'S HAVE A DRINK, EVERYBODY. 53
INT. SONU'S FLAT - EARLY MORNING Sonu stumbles into his miserable one-room flat. The silence is eerie after the din of the party. The floor is littered with empty containers of food, tonic bottles, old news papers.
29. Sonu staggers to his dirty mattress and collapses in exhaustion. 54
EXT. WOODS - DAY
The bright sun sparkles through the trees, erasing all memories of the night. Birds twitter in the lush grove. Suddenly a clay-covered CREATURE is seen running through the wilderness, chased by axe-wielding FEMALE BANDITS. VICKY (O.S.) (to the CREATURE) C'mon, you're the mad doctor of blood island, for god's sake! What is this, an art film? Grunt like a beast, animalistic! The CREATURE makes demented expressions as the Female Bandits axe a Yeti in the background. CREATURE Eaaah!
VICKY (O.S.) Better. Hey, there, girls - loose some clothing. 55
EXT. CAVE - DAY
POONAM, wearing a tiara, takes a putting it down. Then she slips steps out of her dressing gown. to the outfit that barely covers
swig from her whisky before on her plastic fangs and Her body does not do justice it.
JOLLY Look like the queen okay, because you are. Now we know that YOU are the sexy body killer! The evil queen who stays forever young by bathing in the blood of young girls. Like this?
POONAM She bares her fangs, puts on a regal look, then giggles. JOLLY Yeah, fine, C'mon lets go. The camera rolls. There is no other sound. Vicky watches in silence as she steps to her place with a tiny stagger. The sun flares through the smoke making POONAM appear celestial. She looks down with a giggle and steps into a large metal tub.
30. POONAM Ugh, it smells off.. She settles down, fishes out some intestines, stares at them unbelievingly, then SCREAMS in sheer terror. Sonu's seated next to the YETI, who's taking a smoke break. They recoil in horror. POONAM (CONT'D) Aa! AAAAAARGH!!! It's real. How dare you! How dare you do this. I'll call the cops! She scrambles out of the tub, dripping with animal innards, wiping herself frantically, pulling off her fangs, shouting. The crew is in shock. POONAM (CONT'D) (outraged) You fuckin' criminals! You bastards should be behind bars. VICKY Poonam, calm the fuck down. Get back in there! POONAM I'm gonna report you. (announcing loudly) Vicky Duggal is a criminal. I know everything. You're trying to kill me! POONAM pounds against him, but he stands still, clenching his teeth. VICKY Listen, bitch, you got no mind left. You're paranoid. Hey - You do that again, I'll take your head off! She slams against him again and again, screaming. Then Vicky snaps. He pulls her hair violently. Sonu comes running, tries to pry them apart. But Vicky's lost it - he doesn't let go. POONAM You're hurting me!
VICKY Trying to bring me down, ha? me? Vicky WHACKS her, she loses her step.
31. SONU (screams pushing him off) ENOUGH! POONAM You dirty, fuckin' bastard! try and hit me again!
She snatches off her tiara and flings it at him. VICKY (screaming) Poonam - your NEVER coming back. more films. NEVER. I'm warning you.
She's gone. VICKY (CONT'D) (mumbles) Drunken bitch, get out of here. (shouts) You can NEVER bring me down. Sonu starts walking behind her. Vicky follows, needing to displace the anger that's spilling out of him. 56
EXT. WOODS - DAY
All three are rushing behind each other through the heavy undergrowth. VICKY SONU, I'm warning you! and..
SONU (snaps back) Don't threaten me. VICKY Watch your mouth! SONU (screams) FUCK YOU! Fuck me? you?
VICKY Why am I taking this from
The glaze is spreading over Sonu's eyes. His blood is pounding. He's quivering, panting, wildly whacking the branches of the passing bushes as he follows Poonam.
EXT. CAVE - LATE AFTERNOON
There is an awkward silence on the set as Vicky reappears, out-of-breath, wiping his sweat. The crew stare at him, disturbed. VICKY (to JOLLY & CAMERAMAN) Got something? JOLLY (unhinged) Uh, chest. Legs. Up till the time she got out of the tub. VICKY (regaining his composure) That's the spirit. shot.
We'll use the
Vicky looks across the set. PK is in a deck chair, wearing sunglasses and a safari hat. He has a huge smirk on his face and one arm around Nadia. The TURKISH CLIENT is taking their picture with his instamatic camera. PK (leaning toward Nadia) I hear we have a new queen? NADIA (makes a little face) Do I really have to bathe in ...that? VICKY (walking up to them) No, your majesty, we do it differently this time around. 58
INT. CAVE - EVENING From inside the dank cave, a beautiful sunset is visible. Bats fly around wildly, making screeching sounds. The tiara has specks of blood on it. Vicky wipes them off carefully. VICKY (whispering) Come here. Nadia moves close to him, he almost places the tiara on her head, then stops.
33. VICKY (CONT'D) (gently) There's just one problem. That queen's costume is ruined. NADIA So what do I wear? Vicky smiles at her, says nothing. She blushes, then starts to giggle. NADIA (CONT'D) Do I get to wear the crown at least? Vicky puts the tiara on her head. VICKY You're the queen, you have to wear the crown. Nadia starts unbuttoning, then looks around uncomfortably. VICKY (CONT'D) Okay, EVERYBODY OUT! Only the CAMERAMAN stays. And you, JOLLY. NADIA (apprehensive) You'll stay, no? VICKY Sure. We'll stay. The camera whirs. PK & the TURKISH CLIENT sit on the floor, watching Nadia undress, looking ghostly under the batteryoperated light. 59
INT. CITIZEN RESTAURANT - NIGHT The restaurant is a classy, fading leftover from the Jazz age. Sonu & Poonam have dressed themselves up and are seated in the far corner. A crooner is performing a second-rate ballad. Poonam has her head on the table, surrounded by a bunch of empty whisky glasses. Sonu fiddles with the table decoration. Are you sad?
POONAM He says no with a slow nod, then fidgets with his glass. POONAM (CONT'D) (drawling) Well, come on then, let's enjoy life! She stumbles up and begins to dance, grabbing Sonu.
34. POONAM (CONT'D) Come on, come on. We paid good money to get in. She pulls him out of his chair, almost falling over herself, and they dance awkwardly together. POONAM mouths the words to the ROMANTIC SONG as she clutches onto Sonu. She's trying not to tear up. As Sonu swings POONAM past an ornamental mirror, something catches his eye. Fractured into myriad diamond-shaped patterns is the beautiful YOUNG WOMAN from the train! She's part of a LARGE GROUP, celebrating someone's birthday, clapping her hands in delight as candles are blown out. POONAM staggers a bit. POONAM (CONT'D) I need water.
I feel sick.
Sonu deposits POONAM in her seat. She sighs and leans back, eyes closed. Sonu looks for a waiter. Suddenly, he sees the beautiful YOUNG WOMAN coming towards him! No - she goes past... She turns and goes out of the front door. Almost instinctively, he follows. 60
INT. CITIZEN RESTAURANT - PASSAGEWAY - NIGHT She's not in the foyer. Hurriedly, Sonu turns down another passage. He goes towards the toilets, she isn't there either! He leans against the wall for a moment. Then the bathroom door swings open and she's suddenly in front of him! He freezes. Sonu's seen good-looking women before, but he's never come up against like this! Excuse me. Their eyes meet.
SONU I mean...
She pauses a second to gaze at him.
SONU (CONT'D) Weren't you at that audition? Kishan Productions... PINKY (smiling shyly) You work in films? He's paralyzed. SONU Uh, I could say that, yes.
35. With his dressy shirt and waxed hair, Sonu does come off as someone rather important. Her eyes flash, excited. She fingers her bag awkwardly. PINKY You're a director? Sonu smiles back, nodding shamelessly. PINKY can barely contain her excitement. She fishes in her faded old handbag. PINKY (CONT'D) (whispering) Look, I wouldn't normally do this but I've just moved to Bombay and you look like an honest person. Uh, please can I show you? It's a few portfolio photographs - Pinky in various outfits looking coy, thoughtful, merry. She looks up at him, trusting, waiting eagerly for a response. SONU Yes, yes. We should show these around. Um, I can help, maybe the next time I see you. (pause) Uh, when might that be? PINKY Well, I stay with my uncle and... SONU You have a contact number? PINKY No. No I can't. He really doesn't know, y'know? (lowers her voice) If he knew I had these taken... Oh God, he'd just flip his lid. Sonu quickly tries to redeem himself. SONU Yes, yes, but I'm sure he'll be fine once you're a star. Once people become famous... PINKY freezes in horror. Someone is coming down the passageway. Sonu turns. Her strict old UNCLE is glaring from the far end of the hall. PINKY I-I have to go. Then she's gone.
36. Sonu's face falls. He looks at her photographs one last time before slipping them into his shirt pocket. 61
INT. CITIZEN HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT
It's two in the morning and the lobby is painfully quiet. Sonu supports POONAM's forehead as she vomits copiously into a flowerpot. 62
INT. POONAM'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Sonu holds POONAM as she staggers into the dark flat. A window is open in the living room - a curtain blows in the breeze. He lays her out on the sofa, takes off her shoes, leans over her to see if she's okay. SONU Poonam. I'm going.
Your key's here.
She suddenly reaches out and grabs him, crooking an arm round his neck. He stumbles forward onto her. POONAM V-vicky. Please. Please. She tries to kiss him, but is too drunk. He pushes her head back gently onto the sofa. As he leans forward, one of Pinky's photos slips out of his shirt pocket, onto the floor. 63
INT. POONAM'S BUILDING - NIGHT
The apartment building is silent. In an empty, decaying passageway, a tubelight flickers . An elevator suddenly appears. Vicky staggers out, quite plastered himself. He trips opening the metal grill. 64
INT. POONAM'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Vicky fumbles as he opens the door. Sonu is making his exit, he doesn't look up at his brother. VICKY (slurring) This is the last place I had the pleasure of running into you - Big man! Sonu looks at his brother in the darkness. Before Vicky can say any more, Sonu slips out of the front door.
INT. POONAM'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
POONAM's passed out. Vicky stands above her and tosses a stash of money and documents on her stomach. She wakes up and squints at him. It's over. my things.
VICKY Your money.
POONAM mumbles incoherently. POONAM No, p-please. She grabs onto his leg, still giddy from the drink. He lights a cigarette, unmoved. She pushes herself up, trying to clutch onto him. POONAM (CONT'D) No, Vicky, please. Don't go. She hangs onto him, looking sickly. VICKY Your breath stinks. She clings to his hand, not wanting to let him go. her off roughly. 66
INT. POONAM'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Vicky goes into the living room and starts stuffing his things into plastic bags. He makes a racket. VICKY (loudly) As I've said before, it's time you settle down. Lead a decent life. 67
INT. POONAM'S BED ROOM - NIGHT
Poonam slinks to the floor, by the bed, and sobs almost inaudibly. VICKY (O.S.) Goodbye, Poonam. 68
INT. POONAM'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Vicky looks under his foot. A crumpled photograph lies face down on the floor. He picks it up, then flicks on a table light. Vicky studies the picture, drunkenly straightening the creases. It's Pinky, holding a teddy bear, her faint smile endowing her with tremendous mystery.
EXT. AURORA STUDIOS BACKLOT - AFTERNOON
Smoke drifts through a palace made out of plywood. A KING sits on a golden throne stroking his fake beard, CELESTIAL NYMPHS dance around him. One of those NYMPHS is PINKY, who twirls in the background. Sonu is completely mesmerized. SHANU Now just stick to the story, ok? Think, feel, breath like a movie director. Then you could go places with a girl like that. They watch her from a distance as the shot is wrapped. She turns. Her eyes meet Sonu's. SHANU gives her a friendly wave. SHANU (CONT'D) (under his breath) Quite something, this little maiden. Not like the sluts I'm always latching onto. 70
EXT. AURORA STUDIO BACKLOT - AFTERNOON PINKY is still in her NYMPH costume as she wanders with Sonu through a half-constructed set: a replica of an ancient medieval fortress. PINKY You didn't forget me? Sonu looks down bashfully. PINKY (CONT'D) That little guy told me all about you. (pause) I hear you're really connected. No, no.
SONU PINKY You're so humble about being this...this big director? Working with Anil Kapoor and all - that's... wow. I could never have guessed when we met... You look so... SONU Well, I'm not really working with him any more.
39. PINKY (looks devastated) No? WHY? Sonu looks into Pinky's smoldering black eyes. PINKY (CONT'D) (giggles) You're staring at me... SONU (caught off-guard) Well, uh... I'm busy with my new film, so I'm just concentrating on the heroine. There's a sudden bright smile on her lips. SONU (CONT'D) Ever since I first saw you, I was wondering what your name was? PINKY Well, my friends call me Pinky, what do your friends call you? I'm Sonu.
SONU He fumbles for a card. It reads: PK ENTERPRISES. 368395. She looks at it impressed, then glances at him cheekily. PINKY So, what's your new movie? SONU (thinks) Well, it's... it's called... (looks at her) Uh, Miss Lovely. PINKY Miss Lovely? Mmmmm. Sounds romantic. (sensing his hesitation) Don't want to talk about it? SONU Um, no, it's just... You free Friday? We can go to Searock, maybe talk more? PINKY Hmm. Let's see. It wasn't easy getting away today. Maybe Sunday? She pulls a pen from her bag, then grabs his left palm. scribbles her number, letting her hand linger on his.
40. PINKY (CONT'D) If he ever picks up, don't answer, ok? He looks back at her, now his reaction setting in. stunned at this incredible happening.
PINKY (CONT'D) (softly) You know... I think I like you. SONU (teasing) Think? PINKY (laughing) Mmmmm... And I think I have to go. She withdraws her hand, blushing. 71
INT. APARTMENT BEDROOM - NIGHT There is a huddle of men in a closed, oppressive room. A woman, RANI, is lying on a bed, half-dressed in wedding finery, looking uncomfortable. JOLLY It's your wedding night. Your first time. Your husband's impotent, you're frustrated. You're having sex dreams. JOLLY points to a frightening man in MONSTER make-up, with a complexion like burnt porridge. The MONSTER fills a syringe with his claw-like hands, nails at least a foot long. JOLLY (CONT'D) You don't notice the Zombie come in, okay? Vicky, PK and a new THAI ASSOCIATE are watching from a corner. THAI ASSOCIATE (mutters to PK) I like this. It has the smell of reality about it. PK leans over and whispers to Vicky, his eyes glinting savagely. PK I have faith in people like you, Vicky. Start thinking up the next one, let's line up something a little more...
41. Vicky frowns, puzzled. shoulder.
PK drops a friendly hand to his
PK (CONT'D) Maybe some girl students who are looking for something different, a little more, y'know? More?
VICKY What more do you need?
The camera begins rolling. The MONSTER removes RANI's dupatta, she makes an "aroused" face. JOLLY I want you to put on this look, like you're almost going out of your mind, see? No, No.. Vicky is getting impatient with JOLLY's direction. He steps forward, rudely, and pulls up RANI's dress, revealing her sweaty leg. He gives it a hard PINCH. Ow!
RANI JOLLY That's it! Roll. expression.
Vicky continues pinching her leg, looking at her intensely. Ow!
RANI JOLLY Okay, okay, good. FANIL (interrupting roughly) Oye Rani, enough nonsense. Take it off. Slowly! That's better. Take off that chaddi. Okay now you get on top. We survey the CREW as they stare in silence. 72
INT. APARTMENT LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Sonu is pacing outside the bedroom door. He crushes out his cigarette. Then he lights another and sits down again. From within, creaking bed springs can be heard. Suddenly, the bedroom door cracks open and Vicky sticks his head out. Sonu bolts up.
42. VICKY (annoyed) Where the hell were you? five more chais.
SONU Bhaiyya, I need to borrow some money. Not now.
VICKY Sonu catches a brief, disturbing glimpse of RANI lying almost lifeless on the bed, the MONSTER on top of her. Then Vicky slams the door shut. Furiously, Sonu hurls down his cigarette. At the other end of the room, Nadia and a HOOD pour drinks for TWO GIRLS who shift awkwardly on a sofa. NADIA (O.S.) (murmuring) Now, ladies, both of you are adults. Don't be shocked or interfere, it'll just ruin the whole spirit of the evening. Understand? What we want is for you to kick up your heels, enjoy it... SONU (interrupting Nadia) Can't you tell him I need to talk to him urgently? HOOD (snaps back) How many times should I say it, eh? He said not to be disturbed. Sonu sits back down, averting his eyes. But not before he gets a glimpse of a thick sheaf of CASH which Nadia casually tosses into a box. 73
INT. NEW EMPIRE CINEMA - NIGHT Lovers walk hand in hand on Juhu Beach at sunset. Palm trees sway in the breeze. On the soundtrack, a woman warbles a romantic song: SINGING WOMAN (O.S.) (Fake-Italian accent) Beauuutiful Bombay, Bombay Mon Amoour, Where the sun shines golden, just for me-eee...oh, it rests in splendor, by the Arabian Sea-eee...
43. The sentimental montage is part of a newsreel that flickers on the cinema screen. The camera lingers on Pinky's face, exquisite, radiant, her lips parted. Sonu steals a look. FEMALE VOICEOVER (O.S.) (School matron voice) Yes, that's Bombay on the Western coast. A vibrant city! Truly cosmopolitan! Bombay is a city alive with fun and excitement! Pinky's leg lightly brushes against Sonu's. to notice.
He pretends not
Slowly, Sonu's hand slides closer to hers on the chair arm. Their fingers touch. The newsreel drones on as kitschy images of bees buzzing around flowers continue. Sonu slips his arm around her seat, fingers now softly tracing her bare shoulder. Pinky bites her lip. The Government FILMS DIVISION logo appears on-screen accompanied by swirling sitar music. 74
EXT. NEW EMPIRE CINEMA
There's a crush outside the cinema as moviegoers spill into the street. Horns are blaring as Sonu and PINKY push through, laughing. She hangs onto him, talking a mile a minute. PINKY (cheeky) So when are you going to make me famous, eh? SONU Well, uh, the producers loved the photos. They'll probably want a screen-test any day now. Pinky makes a little face - she doesn't buy it. PINKY Aw, Sonu. I don't believe you! would they...
SONU (lying confidently) Of course they would! We need our actress to be a newcomer. Something new!
PINKY (she squeals)
44. SONU Honestly, I can imagine you as Miss Lovely already. It'll be wild! He makes a gesture to reassure her, and for a split second, Sonu reminds us of Vicky. PINKY Oh but, I hardly have any experience... (looks at watch) Oh my God, it's almost ten! SONU C'mon, I'll drop you. PINKY No, that's ok. SONU No, no. Where do you live? drop you. TAXI! You can't. Sonu looks wounded.
PINKY PINKY senses he's hurt and softens.
PINKY (CONT'D) The neighbors are too nosy. She gives him a quick kiss on the cheek. PINKY (CONT'D) Thanks. I had fun. See you at the screen-test? Sonu finds himself staring vacantly as she disappears into the swarming crowd. 75
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
Sonu walks through the smoggy haze, head slung low. The pavements are empty now. Under a flickering sign, he checks his pockets - he's run out of money. He stands and stares through a frosted window at rows and mounds of food. Suddenly he hears honking behind him. their headlights...
Somebody is flashing
A beaten SPORTS CAR screeches to a halt near him. rolls the window down, shouting. NADIA Hey grumpy, wanna ride?
INT. BEATEN-UP SPORTS CAR - NIGHT
SONU gets in and NADIA drives jerkily, barely knowing how to operate the gears. SONU scans the interiors, impressed. NADIA (excited) Sexy, eh? It's PK's wife's old car. I look better in it, so he gave it to me. NADIA pops a tape into the deck and a Kalyanji-Anandji tune spills out of the speakers. Wow.
SONU They cruise through the Bombay night as the song plays. SONU (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Uh, I need to ask you something. A favor. NADIA (ignoring him) It feels good, eh, Sonu ? Streets are finally empty. Nice, Thank God. SONU (dying to speak) Uh, listen, would you like to invest in a new project? I'm starting something. NADIA (mocking) A project? Mmm. Got a good role for Nadia? SONU Uh, sure, but it's going to be a proper picture. A family movie. NADIA (chuckles) When did the Duggal Brothers start making family movies? SONU (CONT'D) (solemn) I'm serious, Nadia. I'm planning. Would you like to invest? A small amount? NADIA ME?? Ha! I look rich or what? owe money left and right.
46. She notices Sonu gazing at her in expectation. NADIA (CONT'D) Get Vicky to do it, no? 77
EXT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - NIGHT
TITLE - SUMMER 1987 The CAMERA tracks down a silent, derelict hallway, stopping outside a door lettered: DUGGAL BROS CINE COMBINE. A HAND pushes it open. 78
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - HALL - NIGHT
The CAMERA continues tracking inside the darkened, reelstacked hall. A SHADOWY FIGURE slips in through the front door. At the far corner, in a frosted-glass cabin, a light is on. Muffled MOANING can be heard inside. 79
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - VICKY'S CABIN - NIGHT GOLA, ISHARA and VICKY stare at the dull screen of a STEENBECK. A film squeaks through the tired machine. We see images of RANI in ecstasy, a MONSTER on top of her. ISHARA (excited) Whoa, look at that! You can just feel the heat. A real crotch-hopper, eh Golasaab? GOLA Downright filthy, Vicky. No one dared to go this far before. I'm proud of you... VICKY (cutting Gola off) My pleasure, sir. But this time we aren't giving it away. No more discount samples. Abruptly, he CLICKS the steenbeck lever off - Rani's image freezes. GOLA and ISHARA tense up. VICKY (CONT'D) Oh c'mon, Golasaab, I'm in the business. Sooner or later I got to talk price. Say five petis per reel... ISHARA shoots up and grabs Vicky by the throat, mid-sentence. He slams him against a filing cabinet violently.
47. GOLA (motioning to ISHARA) Don't bother. We have a deal. Get PK on the phone. I'm not in the mood to haggle with this hawker. ISHARA snatches up the receiver. Vicky massages his face, resentful, wincing as he speaks. VICKY (coughing) Go ahead. Call PK. He'll be the first to agree. GOLA's mouth shuts, tightening with distaste. VICKY (CONT'D) He's buying up all your suppliers, Golasaab. He's pushing you out. GOLA is visibly shaken. ISHARA (ear to receiver) Sir, no one is picking up. VICKY You're looking for a confirmation? (pointing to phone) Call any supplier. Try and buy some bits for next season. Vicky shakes his head and makes a clicking noise with his tongue. VICKY (CONT'D) Without our humble adult reelers, nobody will watch your films, Golasaab. (sighs) At any rate, there's not much you can do about it. PK's too connected, too cashed up. GOLA glares, clenching his jaw. GOLA I've never ever crooked you, Vicky. And this is what I get in return? VICKY I didn't crook you. I outsmarted you. PK crooked you. Vicky can't resist - he has a grin on his face a foot wide. But Gola and Ishara just stare in cold fury, a hard glaze spreading over them.
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - HALL - NIGHT
In the dark office hall, a flashlight travels over rusted film reels, cardboard boxes, drawers. A hand locates a key. It's Sonu, who stands in the darkness, teetering in nervous indecision over an open SAFE. He snatches a huge WAD of CASH. From Vicky's cabin, a muffled argument can be heard. casts a fearful glance behind him.
He mops his face, looking pale. He's about to stuff the entire wad of cash down his shirt when he suddenly looks guilty. He removes a pinch of bills from the wad, puts them back in the safe, then makes off with the rest. 81
INT. DELUXE CASTING AGENCY - DAY
The room is teeming with LOOK-ALIKES. AMITABH BACHCHAN duplicates cluster together, while the BRUCE LEEs share cigarettes in a corner. SHANU barges in with Sonu, everybody stands up. A Bruce Lee rushes up and does a fierce "Nanchaku" impersonation. SHANU (shouting at Flunky) Call Crossbelt Mani. Is this what he asked for? Shanu walks away irritated as the Flunky takes over. SONU (following behind) Uh, how much would the real thing cost? SHANU The real thing? Well, he's not available. He's dead. SONU No, no a real actor. Not this. How much?
A proper actor.
SHANU You want me to get the girls or not? I don't have all day. SONU Um, actually, we don't need any girls. I lied. (pause) I've been thinking. Uh, I want to make a film, Shanu. It sounds stupid but...
49. SHANU shakes his head and walks away, cursing under his breath. SONU (CONT'D) (desperately following) Just listen to me, will you? There's money to be made filming a romantic comedy... other's do it...Why can't I? Shanu halts.
Then he doubles up with unstoppable laughter.
SHANU Roman..tic... Comedy!
Sonu's solemn expression makes him laugh even harder, tears roll down his cheeks. SHANU (CONT'D) For a man who thinks he's a director, see - a man who thinks he's a star. (points to Amitabh duplicate) Go - Amitji is waiting... Sonu angrily slams a package down on his desk. It's a WAD OF CASH almost ten inches thick. Whoa. this? Sonu?
SHANU (CONT'D) Where the hell did you get You pulling something crooked,
The LOOK-ALIKES are staring. Shanu screams at them harshly. SHANU (CONT'D) Alright, EVERYBODY OUT! Private business. Pappu, out! Everybody clears out. SHANU jerks open a drawer, puts the cash away. Then he pulls out two glasses and a whisky bottle. SHANU (CONT'D) Come on, let's have drinks, eh? No questions. Here's to big-budgets! SONU (murmuring) Then, uh, you'll help? SHANU Of course, I've always been nice to you, kiddo, haven't I? You need a scriptwriter, no? Someone decent? Sonu nods.
50. SHANU (CONT'D) Best not to talk about this too much, ok? It's a little early to spread it around. (taps his address book) I'll make some calls. SONU (falters) Are you sure? You really think.. I mean... SHANU Don't worry, Sonu, that guy who wrote "Love Story 85", Nagaich? I know him. And KK Adarsh? Him too. Real professionals. They never cut corners. (pause) I'll need another thirty k right away just to, y'know, get things moving. Pay advances, things like that. Sonu hesitates. studying him.
Shanu extends his hand, his sharp eyes
SHANU (CONT'D) No backing out now, right, partner? Let's shake on it. 82
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - HALL - MORNING Sonu enters the hall cautiously. He hangs back, scared as hell to face his brother who's busy chatting up an ACTRESS in his cabin. VICKY You got to watch out, baby. There are more scoundrels per square inch in this business... Vicky spots Sonu and excuses himself, walking out of the cabin aggressively. VICKY (CONT'D) Where the fuck were you? You're lazing and loafing around, letting everything go to hell! SONU I was at the lab, ok? They had a censor raid last week...
51. VICKY Stop making excuses, dammit, we're not doing anything out-an-out illegal! SONU Then you talk to them. They don't want to release the stuff. What the hell can I do? I tried my best. I'm sick and tired of being ashamed.. VICKY (lashing out) ASHAMED? Who the hell is ashamed? Who would have brought people salvation if it wasn't for us? SONU Get your hands off me. VICKY (pushing Sonu) The ricksha-wallas, the factory workers, the front-benchers? Who would have brought hope into their pathetic little lives if it wasn't for us? They are screaming at each other now, Vicky gesticulating wildly. Sonu can feel the blood rising...All his emotions are coming at once - guilt, anger, fear. SONU Don't touch me, ok?
Don't touch me.
VICKY What we do here is for the benefit of mankind, understand? SONU That's a lie and you know it... VICKY (screams) Shut up, Sonu! Vicky on the verge of whacking him. But instead he kicks a table, knocking over a typewriter. Sonu storms out. The ACTRESS watches from inside the cabin in stunned silence. 83
EXT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - BALCONY - MORNING Sonu stares vacantly into empty space, eyes welling with tears. After a few moments, Vicky comes out onto the dirty balcony. He lights a cigarette roughly, then simmers in angry silence.
52. VICKY I'm sorry. I lost my head. sorry, it's just...
Sonu's lips move, but words don't come out. VICKY (CONT'D) It's just a bad week, ok. Look, I said I'm sorry. (pause) C'mon, PK's investors are backing us all the way. It means we belong to a family, an organization. It means nobody can fuck with us. Not Gola, not anyone. Understand? The old joviality returns to Vicky's voice, a little strained but more or less there. He lights a cigarette and gives it to Sonu. VICKY (CONT'D) C'mon Sonu. Tonight, we go to Hungry Eyes. Eat aunty's momos, like the old days? Ease the tension. Ok? Sonu nods his head sadly in agreement. VICKY (CONT'D) Then tomorrow you go sort this lab thing out. They just need a little handout. That's all. Vicky rests his hand on Sonu's shoulder and they stand in silence for a while. 84
INT. SAVITRI CO-OP BANK TELLER WINDOW - DAY
Sonu is at the teller window. The BANK TELLER is an elderly lady who studies the CHEQUE like a hawk. She functions at a snail's pace making Sonu restless ELDERLY LADY TELLER Could you please wait one moment, sir. The BANK TELLER disappears.
Sonu waits around impatiently.
She returns with a BANK MANAGER who motions for him to follow through a SERVICE DOOR. 85
INT. SAVITRI CO-OP BANK ACCOUNTS DESK - DAY The BANK MANAGER invites Sonu over to his desk. Sonu eyes his name plate and designation. It reads: Mr. M. Rathod MR. RATHOD Your name, sir?
53. Uh, Sonu.
MR. RATHOD (all businesslike) Mr. Sonu, We're disappointed in you, sir. Very, very disappointed. Please sit. Sonu is startled, he looks around. The bank is bustling nobody pays them any attention. He sits. The Bank Manager studies the cheque for what seems like a lifetime. We see that Rs. 8000 has been crudely changed to Rs. 80000 by adding an extra zero. SONU I-Is there a problem? MR. RATHOD Such a clumsy undertaking, Mr. Sonu. So poorly done. Why don't you just steal from Mr. V. Duggal's P&L? It's almost as if he's discussing a bank loan or a set of investments. MR. RATHOD (CONT'D) (flipping documents) Ah, I see. Your brother's account. I see. I think I understand the situation here. Family tensions? SONU (defensive) Steal? How dare you say... MR. RATHOD (sinister) Don't make this painful, sir. You want us to start spot checking accounts, making phone calls? The Bank Manager brandishes the forged cheque threateningly. SONU Now, wait a minute.
MR. RATHOD Please don't get emotional, sir. (pause) I'm on your side. The Manager's eyes narrow. He sits there watching Sonu who wipes his sweat, shifting nervously.
54. SONU (jittery) Ok, so what do you want? MR. RATHOD Give me a moment. He disappears. Sonu waits, fearfully scanning the place, jumping in his seat every time someone approaches. The Manager returns, coolly placing the cash on the desk. MR. RATHOD (CONT'D) There's your money, sir. Sixty Thousand. SONU It should be Eighty...You took Twenty?? H-how could you? MR. RATHOD 25% during business hours. my card.
Sonu grabs his card, then nervously shoves the money into his bag. MR. RATHOD (CONT'D) Let's not be shy with one another. Anything we can do for you here, just call. 86
EXT. SAVITRI CO-OP BANK
Sonu walks out, high-strung, clutching the cash-filled bag. A few doors down from the bank, Pinky's waiting in the BEATEN SPORT CAR, looking gorgeous. She's munching an apple. PINKY Let's go na Sonu. 87
EXT. ELEPHANTA ISLAND FERRY - DAY
A wooden ferry crosses the Bombay harbor. 88
INT. ELEPHANTA ISLAND FERRY - DAY
PINKY kicks her head back, the sunlight hitting her face. She laughs as the sea breeze tosses her hair. Sonu watches her, dreamily, drinking in every delicious detail of her. Bombay is visible in the distance. SONU We'll shoot the opening here. you like it?
55. PINKY It's beautiful, Sonu. (pause) Thanks again for the advance. so much, wow...
She flicks the money in her purse in disbelief. She reaches for his hand and doesn't let go. The wind blows hard, their clothes flutter wildly. 89
INT. ELEPHANTA ISLAND FERRY - DECK - EVENING They have found themselves a secluded spot on the deck of the ferry. PINKY Sonu, I don't even know the scenario of Miss Lovely. I mean, when... SONU Shhh. (puts his finger on her lips) It's still too early, Pinky. This is your first film, I don't want us to curse it. She nods innocently, then leans into him, snuggling her head against his chest. His clings to her, touching his lips to her hair. Her beauty is irresistible. SONU (CONT'D) (softly) The Producers are convinced and I'm convinced. That's all that matters. She touches his arm gently. PINKY And your brother? had potential? Sonu's face falls.
Did he think I
He slides firmly out of her embrace.
SONU (icy) How do you know about my brother? PINKY Your little friend told me... SONU (uncomfortable) No, but my brother is, he's more, uh, he makes horror films.
56. PINKY You didn't like Jaani Dushman? loved Mumtaz in Nagin? (pause) You don't want me to meet him? SONU No no, it's just, my taste. different. We're separate.
Pinky looks hurt and disappointed. There's little finger of hair hanging down the middle of her forehead, she looks at it, then it blows upward. This makes Sonu smile. He relents. SONU (CONT'D) Ok. I'll introduce you to him, ok? She pretends to sulk for a bit, then she makes a cheeky face. PINKY (Teasing) You're kind of touchy? look that type.
SONU Well, uh, maybe. PINKY (staring at him) You're a lot older than you look, aren't you? SONU Yeah, kind of. PINKY (smiling now) Why? It's cute. You don't like it? She smoothes the hair back from his head.
He pulls away.
SONU (resentful) Being a man and looking like a kid? Having people laugh every time you act like a man. Ha? PINKY I'm not laughing at you, Sonu. SONU Oh yeah, maybe you would? Suppose things had been different? If I met you at a party and tried to kiss you like any man, you would have laughed your head off.
57. PINKY is silent, watching him with a half-smile. SONU (CONT'D) And don't tell me you wouldn't, because I know you would. PINKY grabs him and presses her mouth against his. And then Sonu's kissing her like he's been waiting all his life to do just that. 90
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN - CABARET STAGE - NIGHT
A wild cabaret number: A showgirl in golden sequins writhes on the floor as a live band plays frantic PERCUSSION. 91
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN - NADIA'S TABLE - NIGHT
Nestled in a private corner, Nadia celebrates her 21st birthday. Vicky's holding court on a large table. SHADY FILM PEOPLE, HOODS in out-dated suits and their dolled-up GIRLFRIENDS make a racket. This is GOLA's OLD CREW (seen previously at the POOL & LIBERTY CINEMA) VICKY (laughing) Remember that girl from Lucknow? PK thought she popped it. DODGY GUEST (hysterical) Vicky gave her so many pills, she slept for two days! A SLEAZY OLD GENT is trying to pick up a STRUGGLING ACTRESS at the far end of the table. SLEAZY OLD GENT This is, what's your name, darling? ROUGH LADY (across the table) Hey Guruji! Saturday night, no wives, only girlfriends, eh? The cabaret act announces - "HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS NADIA!" and kicks off a bossanova number. Everyone raise their glasses in salute. Vicky fills Nadia's drink, spilling it everywhere. 92
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN RECEPTION - NIGHT GOLA, ISHARA and two THUGS push their way in. They make their way to Vicky's table as the bossanova tune builds.
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN - NADIA'S TABLE - NIGHT They arrive at Nadia's table. One of the DRUNKEN GUESTS gets up, a THUG shoves him roughly and he falls back on his chair. VICKY (angrily) Hey, what's the matter with you? Everybody's friends here, right? GOLA's THUGS starts flinging plates. A GIGGLY GIRL gets up horrified, ISHARA pushes her. She falls. HOOD (barking) Finish your dinner! Vicky's GUESTS are alarmed.
Nadia looks around, restless.
VICKY (tense, stepping forward) Take it easy. I told you - talk to PK. I've got nothing... ISHARA (furious, shoving Vicky) Talk? YOU talk to fuckin' PK. Give us what you owe us, you goddamn thief! Vicky moves in on GOLA, staring right into his face. VICKY Well that's the way it looks to you. (he pauses) Now I'll tell you how it looks to us. GOLA is taken aback. VICKY (CONT'D) Isn't your daughter getting married in December? Good family, I hear. (pause) We must come and pay our regards. ISHARA Hey shut the hell up... VICKY We're insiders here, old man. The groom's family know about your thing for minors?
59. (livid) Shut up!
Vicky gives Gola a wide grin. VICKY (strict) Don't embarrass me in front of my guests. (introducing people around the table) You know them, no? Vicky's GUESTS begin to smirk. These include some of Gola's former "friends" - including the Diamond Talkies Owner. VICKY (CONT'D) You see, Golasaab? It wouldn't be smart to ruin my party, would it? Vicky flicks an invisible speck of dust from his shirt. GOLA (under his breath) You can't run, Vicky. We'll come for you. Nadia's had too much to drink. She folds her hands, tilts her head, irritated. NADIA (interrupting) Thank you and goodbye. GOLA You should be smart enough not to get involved, bitch! NADIA You've ever done anything for me? I'm playing with big boys now, ok... The orchestra ends their tune with a bang. carries in the silence.
NADIA (CONT'D) ...not with your little wee-wee that can't even say hello... Nadia puts a hand over her mouth, too late. Oops!
60. Everyone turns to look. GOLA reddens, turns abruptly and marches out, flanked by his THUGS. He is followed by a titter that swells into guffaws. 94
EXT. TALK OF THE TOWN - FACADE - NIGHT
Sonu waits outside the neon-lit bar in anticipation - he checks his watch. In the background, GOLA and the THUGS storm out. Across the empty street, a TAXI passes to reveal PINKY, standing under a streetlight. She's stunning, in a shiny dress, with large hoop earrings and kohl eyeliner. She comes over to Sonu, who looks edgy. PINKY Did you wait long?
Pinky interlocks her arm in his, excited. Let's go in? 95
PINKY (CONT'D) INT. TALK OF THE TOWN RECEPTION - NIGHT
The camera tracks with them as the enter the smoky bar. Sonu nervously eyes Nadia's table, past the cabaret dancer who shimmies in and out of view. PINKY (O.S.) Quite a place, this! 96
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN - NADIA'S TABLE - NIGHT The ROUGH GUESTS at Nadia's table turn to gawk at them. SLEAZY GENT Do my eyes fail me? Who the hell is that? NADIA (bitchy laugh) Oh my God, Sonu brought a little friend... SLEAZY GENT 2 Nice girl that, but she ought to be careful around here. NADIA (at SLEAZY GENT 2) Everybody ought to go careful around here.
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN - PRIVATE TABLE - NIGHT Sonu veers Pinky in the opposite direction, guiding her to a private table. He's distinctly uneasy with all those eyes on him. SONU Uh, my brother's not here yet. I get you something?
The restaurant is full of mirrors. The walls are lined with them; mirrors of all shapes and sizes. PINKY is about to respond when something scares the hell out of her. She sees A MAN staring, reflected in the mirror. It's Vicky, who stands behind them, looking at her with a stricken expression. VICKY (to Sonu) Aren't you going to introduce me to your new friend? PINKY turns around with a shock, followed by Sonu. SONU Uh, I was, Bhaiya, I want you to meet.. This is Pinky. My brothVicky ignores him and offers PINKY his hand - she shakes it uncomfortably. He lets it linger. VICKY Pinky? Is that what you call yourself? Vicky's gaze wanders sleazily over her body, his eyes flaming. She looks away, uncomfortable. Sonu breaks the silence. SONU (clumsily) I mean, I want to, I would like to... VICKY (cuts him off) We just had a nasty little incident here. But I suppose you've got better things to do, eh? The politeness is strained. Then a HEAVYWEIGHT intrudes, whispering something into Vicky's ear. Vicky takes one last lusty look at her, then leaves. PINKY is devastated.
INT. TALK OF THE TOWN RECEPTION - NIGHT
She's rushing outside now, her tears welling up, Sonu following pathetically. PINKY I want to leave. This place is sick! SONU (feebly) I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I tried to tell you. This is no good for a decent woman. She increases her pace. SONU (CONT'D) Please, Pinky. Don't go. want this to end like... 99
EXT. TALK OF THE TOWN - FACADE - NIGHT She scrambles out of the exit.
SONU It's only 9, Let's go to the Trinity Club. We'll get out of here... Please. I can't.
PINKY SONU I'll see you tomorrow? PINKY ...I can't make it tomorrow either. SONU What do you mean? PINKY I can't see you for a while. SONU (pleading) Please, Pinky. Why? Pinky is silent. Why?
SONU (CONT'D) PINKY We shouldn't meet, Sonu. It's not good for me. Or for you.
63. SONU (pleading) But you're the best thing that ever happened to me. She looks away. SONU (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Look, we start shooting, I'm getting the script next... PINKY (cold) Stop lying to me. I...
SONU PINKY You're not the owner of your company are you? Not even a partner. Sonu looks broken. PINKY (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Your like his servant! (pause) I was wrong from the start... believing you could make me an actress. What a joke! You've never paid out of your own pocket in your life! Sonu is enveloped in sullen despair. He's holding back the tears. PINKY (CONT'D) It takes guts to act, Sonu, and I think you ought to have more guts the guts to do something! You can't go your whole life being scared of him... She sees his anguished look, then feels bad and touches his cheek briefly. Before Sonu can respond, Pinky's half way into a waiting TAXI. PINKY (CONT'D) (through window) Sonu, look, it's okay. I had a good time with you. It's alright. (she pats his hand) I need to get home now. SONU Please, Pinky. Don't go.
64. Before he can finish his sentence, the TAXI drives away. Sonu is left standing pathetically under a street light. 100
INT - AMBASSADOR - NIGHT
SOMEBODY is watching the encounter from a CAR parked across the street. DRIVER (O.S.) Saab, that was definitely her. It's PINKY'S UNCLE. And he doesn't look pleased. 101
INT - SCULPTOR STUDIO - DAY
A GIRL - seen from behind - walks through a cavernous studio full of life-size SCULPTURES. NEHRU, GANDHI and various HINDU DEITIES watch her in creepy silence. GIRL Uh, anybody home?
Someone is hidden in the shadows, a metal mask covering his mouth. He removes his mask to reveal a set of fangs. It's an old LUNATIC SCULPTOR, holding a bloody chisel in his crippled hand. The girl screams - it's NADIA. The LUNATIC SCULPTOR ravages her. JOLLY and the CAMERAMAN rush in for the shot. JOLLY (O.S.) C'mon Ajay, bite her neck, bite her neck! SONU, lost in thought, is holding a bicycle pump, spraying fake-blood on the actors. Jolly cuts it. VICKY (upbeat) ok, everybody's in the mood? Super! God, it smells like breasts in here! Vicky laughs crudely, then notices Sonu staring at him in contempt. His smile drops. Vicky returns the disdain and walks away. Sonu follows him as the shoot re-commences in the background. He's dying to speak. SONU Uh, Pinky. That girl...The other night. You know her? I mean... Vicky ignores him, occupied with the production at hand, shaking hands and slapping backs.
65. SONU (CONT'D) She's from Ajmer. I saw her on the train. We've been spending time... VICKY (wicked smile) Pinky. What kind of name is Pinky? Do I really need to know about this? Tell me, do I look interested? (pause) I known the nicey-nice babes out for kicks, ok? Women are all fuckin' liars. Sonu is crushed into silence.
Vicky lights a cigarette.
SONU (simmering) Don't talk about her like that. VICKY She could be a spotter, then what? Some woman detective from the censor board, snooping around, wanting to bust us for bits. Then what? SONU That's insane. No way in... VICKY You got to watch yourself when a prize fox makes a play... SONU It's impossible! VICKY C'mon, don't get emotional, kiddo. You wanna bang her, bang her. I'm just looking out for you. Ok? Vicky ruffles his brother's hair.
Sonu doesn't flinch.
SONU (cold) You're jealous. VICKY (sitting down) My, my. Getting a little cocky, are we? Sonu looks away, smoldering. Vicky takes a wad of notes from his briefcase, then nudges it into his brother's hand.
66. VICKY (CONT'D) So talk to Fanil, ok? Get a couple of girls, don't pay more than ten each. They need valid passports. 102
EXT - CITY STREETS - PCO - AFTERNOON
Sonu is calling from a public payphone, listening to the rings. Frustrated, he disconnects, then dials again. He's all wrung out. Across the street, two POLICEMEN are tormenting a handicapped beggar, prodding him with batons. They kick his wooden cart his coins spill onto the pavement. 103
EXT - CITY STREETS - BUSY CROSSING - AFTERNOON
There's a crowd of people waiting at a busy intersection. The CAMERA stays on Sonu as he walks against them, thrusts through them, gives it to them in the ribs. His temper continues to build as the city swirls around him. In Sonu's hand is a rolled up newspaper. He swings it jerkily, like a club, slapping it against a metal railing as he passes. 104
EXT - SONU'S FLAT - STAIRCASE - AFTERNOON
Sonu slams open the sagging metal door and emerges on the terrace outside his shabby flat, the sun flaring in his eyes. 105
INT - SONU'S FLAT - AFTERNOON He throws himself down at his desk. head in his hands, panting.
105 Then he sits still,
There's a faint creak. Sonu turns around. Pinky is standing on the terrace, looking sadly through a broken window frame. PINKY Sonu.. Y-you live here? Sonu's startled. PINKY enters, surveying the miserable apartment in shock. Her eyes have dark shadows and she seems to have lost some of her freshness. SONU I-I'm sorry, Pinky, for everything. I didn't mean to... She puts her hands over her face, sits down on a stool and starts sobbing miserably. SONU (CONT'D) Aw, now, wait a minute. Wait just a minute, Pinky.
67. Sonu feels himself coming apart inside, he can't bear to see her like this. PINKY (sobbing) H-he saw me with you, Sonu... SONU (stunned) Y-your uncle? What happened? (pause) Pinky, what happened? Did he hit you Pinky? She nods an ambiguous yes-no, her low helpless sobbing cuts Sonu like a knife. SONU (CONT'D) (anger rising) How dare he? You stay here. For however long you need to. I can PINKY (wiping her tears) I was really counting on this film, Sonu. (pause) The truth is I have no money of my own, I'm completely broke... Her voice trails off into silence. to hold her.
He reaches for her, tries
SONU Look, Pinky, I was going to tell you. This film... Miss Lovely... Pinky, I'm gonna make this film. I'm closing in on something... PINKY (pulling away from him - sobbing again) Sonu! Please. Not any more. I jjust can't stand it if you lie to me anySONU I'm not lying. I know it sounds crazy, Pinky. I want to show you...please...close your eyes. She sniffles, looking at him suspiciously. SONU (CONT'D) Close your eyes, Pinky.
68. She shuts her eyes. He neurotically digs through some junk, reaches behind a cupboard and comes out clutching a bulging SPORTS BAG. Okay.
SONU (CONT'D) He zips open the SPORTS BAG. It's packed tight with CASH packs and packs of paper-banded BILLS. PINKY (covering her mouth) My god! He stuffs some money into her pockets. PINKY (CONT'D) (stunned) No. Where did you.. I can't take this from you, Sonu. No. I've never taken money from any SONU (charged up) It doesn't matter. I - nothing matters but you. Right from the first time I saw you. He strokes her hair. She smiles now - a beautiful, sad smile. SONU (CONT'D) I paid Ravi Nagaich an advance to write the script. He wrote "Love Story 85" and PINKY (hesitating) No! No, we shouldn't. It's hard enough to think straight... SONU (whispering) You're going to be a star. you -
She kisses him. They collapse onto a filthy mattress on the floor, grabbing each other. She squeals with laughter, twisting away from him until he finally gets a hold of her. PINKY (softly) Oh Sonu, I love you so much. It's almost too much, to have her at last, after all these years of hunger and hopelessness.
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - ENTRANCE - NIGHT
Crowds of trashed revelers push through the revolving door of the SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB. A swirling sign flashes HAPPY NEW YEAR. 107
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - DANCE FLOOR - NIGHT
Nazia & Zoheb Hassan's "Boom Boom" is pumpin' on the sound system. AFRICA'S sporting Boney M style threads - dancing like crazy with a WILD WOMAN in a zebra-print jumpsuit. A mirrorball throws circling spots of light on Sonu and PINKY as they kiss passionately on the dance floor. 108
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO - MEZZANINE - NIGHT From the gallery above, a group of people - PK, Vicky, Nadia and two RUSSIANS - scrutinize the young lovers, smirking wildly. PK Your kid bro's quite a secret operator, eh? VICKY (cockily) Innocence is hard to beat... PK grins as he studies Vicky. VICKY (CONT'D) ...but this one is way out of his league. Vicky puts a cigarette in his mouth, then fumbles looking for a match. Instantly PK is holding out a lighter for him. PK Making designs on your brother's girl, eh? How terrible. PK clicks his tongue in fake disappointment, his eyes glinting savagely. VICKY (smirking) I don't know if I can restrain myself.
Nadia grabs her bag violently off the table, shattering a whisky glass. Then she storms off.
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - DANCE FLOOR - NIGHT
Nadia looks livid. She lights a cigarette clumsily as she cuts across the dance floor, bathed in a crimson glow. 110
EXT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - NEW YEAR'S EVE - NIGHT
She exits the club, her high-heels CLICKING loudly on the concrete. The HAPPY NEW YEAR sign flickers sadly near the empty entrance. The distant hum of the city is all we hear. 111
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB DANCE FLOOR - NIGHT
Sonu & PINKY are hot and sweaty as they collapse into a booth, laughing. They are all over each other, in love. Sonu says something to her, she can't hear. He puts his mouth close to her ear. SONU (motioning) I'll get drinks. She pouts but lets him go. Sonu disappears leaving PINKY watching the dance floor. She tilts her head back, a radiant smile spreading over her face. Suddenly she spots Vicky glowering at her from the staircase above. She panics, looks away, then hastily leaves the booth. He follows. 112
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - VARIOUS LOCATIONS - NIGHT
She's fighting her way through the crowd on the dance floor. He's shoving his way down a flight of stairs. She's running down a corridor. He chases after her. 113
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - SERVICE CORRIDOR - NIGHT SONICA!
VICKY PINKY stops and turns. She realizes it's no use running and waits for him with a hunted expression. PINKY (aggressive) PINKY. VICKY Sorry, baby, I only know Sonica. The Bar Dancer from Night Queen.
71. PINKY (uncomfortable) What do you want? Vicky looks at her a long moment. VICKY Stop playing games with my brother. He's not normal, understand... He doesn't know what he's doing. PINKY I-I didn't know he was your brother, Vicky. If I had... VICKY (mocking her) He thinks you're a sweet little girl. Nice one, Sonica, the virgin from a small town. Pinky is silent. VICKY (CONT'D) You want to ruin him? Do your vanishing act again? PINKY (interrupting) Vicky, you were married. With kids. VICKY What about your old man? Wasn't he married? PINKY His wife was dead. He was lonely. VICKY Bullshit! You thought he had a lot of money. And he conned you. I have a lot of money now. Interested? PINKY Fuck you, Vicky. (pause) It's not just a fling with Sonu. With him I can be who I was a long time ago... VICKY Oh my bleeding heart! Then tell him who you really are. Tell him, Sonica.
72. PINKY (choking back the tears) I'm just doing what I should have before I got married, ok? VICKY Even if you take everything Sonu has to offer, you'll never regain your lost innocence, understand? PINKY I really care about him, Vicky. You'll never understand VICKY (losing his cool) Yeah? Then lay it out for Sonu, no? Tell him about all your lovers, those old perverts. PINKY is overcome with emotion. She's sobbing now. her chin up with his fist.
VICKY (CONT'D) (CONT'D) You've had your fair share of men, no? don't I get another chance? Vicky grabs her and turns her towards him. VICKY (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Whaddaya say? She slaps him hard. No...
He grabs her, kisses her fiercely. PINKY
She begins to kiss him back. They hold each other tight. The chemistry between them is intense. Then PINKY pushes him away with a sob. She stumbles backward. Vicky reaches for her again, she pushes his hand away. No! Don't.
PINKY (CONT'D) She hurries out of the corridor without looking back. remains frozen, he doesn't turn to see her go. 114
INT. SUPER 9 DISCO CLUB - DANCE FLOOR - NIGHT Sonu pushes through the harsh blur of neon, smoke and sweaty bodies desperately looking for PINKY. But he can't find her anywhere.
73. Then he makes his way back to the booth where they were seated earlier, distressed. Another COUPLE have occupied the booth and are necking shamelessly. 115
EXT. INDUSTRIAL WASTELAND - DAY BREAK
TITLE - JANUARY 1st 1988 Dawn is breaking slowly over an industrial wasteland. A raincrow caws dryly. Beyond a cluster of dead trees, giant silver oil towers are visible. A CAR can be seen silhouetted against the murky sky. 116
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE - DAY
Sonu sits on a stool in a far corner, frowning, his back to the room. He dials a number desperately on the telephone. JOLLY and the CAMERAMAN are lounging on the hotel bed. A CHEAP-LOOKING STUD is showing off his sweaty muscles. JOLLY (muttering to CAMERAMAN) We'll make Nadia the school girl. (pointing to the STUD) He can be the policeman. Vicky sits in a chair, staring at nothing. of his reverie by JOLLY.
He's shaken out
JOLLY (O.S.) (CONT'D) So what do we do, boss? Eh?
VICKY JOLLY Nadia still hasn't turned up. We've been calling... Vicky blows his top. VICKY What the fuck do you want me to do? Use your fucking brains. Call Shanu, call Fanil, get a hooker, get somebody. JOLLY (interjecting, annoyed) Sonu should be handling this. Sonu slams the phone back in its cradle. SONU YOU fucking handle it.
74. The crew has been killing time in the heat, they're in a foul mood. JOLLY (jerking his finger at SONU) Hey, what's wrong with him, huh? You got a problem? SONU (snaps) Nothing wrong with me. wrong with you?
JOLLY HEY, watch you mouth, Sonu... Lazy moron... Don't try and SONU (standing up) Come on, asshole! You don't have the guts. Come on! VICKY All right, Enough! Keep your mouth shut! Big fuckin' man! SONU (squabbling back) You tellin' me that in front of this asshole? Who the hell does he... VICKY (shouts) SHUT UP! I'll give you a slap in the mouth, Sonu! There is a sudden pounding on the door. Everyone's nerves are rattled. AFRICA bursts in, breathless. AFRICA PK's been going crazy all morning. You promised him reels today? I can't walk down the street without ducking his guys... VICKY (stressed, to JOLLY) Call him. Tell him I'm sick. I'm down with the flu. JOLLY (panicky) Vicky, you know he won't buy it. He'll think you went sour on the schoolgirl reels -
75. SONU (getting up) I'm going home. 117
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PASSAGEWAY - DAY Sonu's storms down the passageway. to stop him.
Vicky comes charging out
VICKY Sonu, C'mon, I need your help. This is no good. That bitch Nadia's going to ruin everything. Go to her mother, straighten her out, ok? Sonu pauses for a moment. before. Please.
He's never seen Vicky this worried
VICKY (CONT'D) Do it for me, Sonu.
Sonu submits resentfully, walking away as Vicky continues. VICKY (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Knock some sense into the old lady's head. We need Nadia here pronto, ok? We got to deliver. 118
INT. HOTEL AIRCRAFT - PRIVATE SUITE - DAY
Vicky jerks open the hotel room door and steps back in. He is met with a strange silence. He scoops a deck of cards off the table, then grins at the crew who stare back, grumpy and sweating. VICKY (shuffling) Hey, C'mon, lighten up. It'll be fine. C'mon, who wants a little game? 119
EXT. MAHIM SLUM - DAY Sonu walks through the cramped he turns down a murky passage, window. Behind the grimy wire discerns a figure. Someone is looking boy with small, sharp,
119 alleys of a slum village. As he notices a soot covered mesh, Sonu glimpses a movement, watching him. It's a strange ugly eyes.
Sonu hesitates at a row of double-decker shanties, eventually climbing up some rickety steps. 120
INT. NADIA'S ROOMS - DAY Nadia's mother is in a complaining mood. She drones on as a baby screams next door.
76. NADIA'S MOTHER I haven't seen Nadia for three months. That bitch hasn't sent money home, either. Can you imagine? After all I've done for her.. It's pathetic, doing nothing for her sick old mother... As the old lady mutters, Sonu notices a TEENAGE GIRL in the inner room. She's tarted up in a fluffy red dress, and draws lipstick over her mouth. She squints at him in the cabinet mirror. Nadia's mother catches Sonu looking, then grins at him slyly. NADIA'S MOTHER (CONT'D) (whispering) You like her? That's Najma, Nadia's lil' sister. Pretty, no? You got a role for her? 121
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - VICKY'S CABIN - DAY The phone is ringing in Vicky's office. He tries to ignore it, looking edgy. It stops, then starts again outside in the hall. Jolly's eyes shift nervously.
He paces around the office.
JOLLY (high strung) See, it's them again. W-we can't keep avoiding them, Vicky. He wants that neg. (pause) We haven't shot shit, Vicky.... Vicky waits for the phone to stop ringing before he speaks. VICKY (troubled) Calm down. I'll ask PK for an extension. We're organizing more girls tomorrow JOLLY Uh, 'cause I-I was just wondering, without Nadia... I mean, we - we got to have a little more money. The boys wanted to know... VICKY (curt) It's too late for that. You're all in it with me. If I get it, you get it, understand?
77. JOLLY looks alarmed. 122
The phone starts ringing again.
EXT. INDUSTRIAL WASTELAND - DAY
KIDS play at the edge of a stagnant, infected pool of water. In the shadow of the giant oil tanks, A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN, is collecting old plastic bottles, filling her sack. Suddenly the woman SCREAMS in horror. A DECOMPOSING BODY is mired in the mud - mutilated limbs floating in the ooze. 123
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - HALL - DAY
The office is tense when Sonu enters. Calls are piling up on top of each other. Vicky is storming around - he charges towards a ringing phone and disconnects it from the wall anxiously. Africa and the CAMERAMAN smoke cigarettes, distressed. VICKY Just a fucking waste of time today. How the hell can all the bitches be busy? Call Kimi.. JOLLY She's contracted with GOLA. Vicky slams his palm down on a table angrily. Fuck!
VICKY Sonu is standing in a corner, dying to speak. Vicky pushes past him and heads back into his cabin. 124
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - VICKY'S CABIN - DAY Sonu follows him in, persistent, ignoring Vicky's crisis. SONU (blurts out) That girl, Pinky. She's not taking my calls. Since New Year's. (he stares at Vicky fiercely) Did something happen between you and her? VICKY (worn-out) Please. Not right now. ok?
Sonu is seething - the blood rushes into his face, his pulse is racing. He repeats the question again more forcefully.
78. SONU I want to know. Did something happen between you and her? VICKY (shrugging irritably) I told you, forget about her. You got screwed, she's split, and that's that. SONU That's a lie! Vicky picks up a briefcase begins to push past him. Before he knows what's happening, Sonu is tugging at his shirt aggressively. SONU (CONT'D) I want to know...I've got to know... VICKY gives Sonu a hard push, but Sonu clings on to him. tries to slap him off - Sonu just keeps clutching on.
VICKY (shouting) Get off me, idiot! Ok, you want to see how far I can go. Try it. Come on! (slaps him again) Be a man and have it out. C'mon, just try it... Jolly is trying to pry them apart - but Sonu won't let go. He's frozen in that position, hands clutching Vicky's collar. Africa and the Cameraman are horrified - they rush in to help. JOLLY (shouting) Break it up! Stop it - Sonu! him.
SONU (trembling) Damn you! VICKY You don't have the guts for my kind of life, that's all. Coward. You can't even go out and hook the girl you like! SONU The hell I can't! That's why she left, she couldn't stand the sight of you. (MORE)
79. SONU (CONT'D) She had all she can take, just like I've had all I can take. I'm sick of you. Sick of looking at you, sick of listening to you, sick of... VICKY whacks him hard. Then he pushes Sonu off him violently, panting, wiping his sweat, sneering at him mockingly. Within moments, Vicky thrusts past him and is gone. Sonu's head is spinning. lip. 125
A trickle of blood runs down his
EXT. INDUSTRIAL WASTELAND - LATE EVENING
POLICEMEN swarm the wasteland in front of the oil containers. A POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER snaps away. A YOUNG COP throws up in the bushes. CROWDS of ragpickers have now collected and are staring at the spectacle. Flies circle The CORPSE which is covered with a blue plastic sheet. 126
INT. SONU'S FLAT - DAY
Sonu is lying on his dirty mattress. A fan hums drowsily, he is stretched out before it's warm, narcotic breeze. He stares into space, brooding, trying to escape from the feeling of sullen despair, of hopeless frustration, that has crept over him lately. 127
INT. PINKY'S FLAT - DAY
PINKY lies against a fluffy pillow. Her expression is vacant, impenetrable. Unexpectedly, she raises a trembling hand, puts a cigarette to her lips. She inhales slowly. We cannot discern her surroundings. In deep focus, we notice a MAN asleep next to her. He SNORES gently. 128
INT. SONU'S FLAT - DAY Sonu is jolted from his daze by loud, hysterical knocking on the front door. He cracks it open, nervously. SHANU pushes himself in, panting, holding the evening newspaper. SHANU Sonu, have you fucking seen this? It's all over the papers! The headline reads: STRUGGLING ACTRESS FOUND MUTILATED.
80. Two grainy photos of Nadia sit side by side. One, a dainty portfolio picture. The other, a grotesque image of a decapitated corpse. SHANU (CONT'D) It's horrible. Her head was separated from her body. Sonu is in shock. SHANU (O.S.) (CONT'D) (reading newspaper) ...Police said that the girl's body, which was found on Tuesday was identified from a tattoo and birthmarks... (pause) This is really bad, Sonu... Sonu is dizzy, he holds the wall steadying himself. 129
INT. DIAMOND TALKIES - NIGHT
The POLICE kick through the door of a projection booth and drag the OLD PROJECTIONIST out by the hair. TWO ROOKIES take turns holding up reels and ogling at the nude women. The DIAMOND TALKIES OWNER is pushed against a wall, a flashlight in his face. Two COPS are making off with the day's BOX-OFFICE TAKE. COP (looming) Like to show filth, eh? The police raid the decrepit auditorium, holding flashlights, hauling out AUDIENCE MEMBERS. On screen, Nadia flickers like a ghost in a scene from BLOOD OF THE VIRGINS. 130
INT. ESSELL STUDIO - NIGHT
A SCANTILY-CLAD WOMAN is being threatened by a man in a monster suit. A posse of COPS invades the set. The woman SCREAMS. Soon, the police have both WOMAN and MONSTER in handcuffs. FANIL is arrested along with a few other CREW members. 131
INT. POONAM'S APARTMENT - MORNING At daybreak, POLICEMEN swarm an apartment. POONAM stands framed in a doorway wearing a fluffy bathrobe, looking haggard. A COARSE MALE VOICE questions her from off-camera.
81. COARSE MALE VOICE (O.S.) You ever been in custody? Poonam shakes her head - no. COARSE MALE VOICE (CONT'D) So you enjoy getting loose for the camera? POONAM remains silent. COARSE MALE VOICE (O.S.) (CONT'D) You're a prostitute? No.
POONAM (pause) I did it for love. Loud guffaws break out in the adjoining room. COARSE MALE VOICE (O.S.) (suppressing laughter) You did it for love? (pause) You're going to testify for love? Poonam doesn't respond.
The man clears his throat.
COARSE MALE VOICE (CONT'D) We need names and numbers of everybody the Duggals might turn to POONAM No, uh, I haven't seen them for over a COARSE MALE VOICE (O.S.) (menacing) Don't try my patience, understand? (pause) We know you had personal problems with the deceased, ok? You hated Nadia Khan, you wanted her killed POONAM (panicking) I-I- Wait a minute. Killed! That's insane! I don't know what you're talking about. Look, what the hell do you people want? A POLICE INSPECTOR is now revealed to be the source of the voice, his puffy little lips drawn back in a lusty grin. He scans her body greedily.
82. POLICE INSPECTOR (cocking eyebrow) What do we want? (pause) Well... What you offering? Let's just say we'll take whatever you have. 132
EXT. BUSY SUBURBAN STATION - EVENING
At dusk, office-goers swarm the entrance of a local train station. Sonu walks through the crowd, clutching an overnight bag, looking restless. He avoids a bunch of POLICEMAN who hover around a tea stall. Vicky stands across a busy intersection, watching him from behind a newspaper. 133
INT. TIK-TOK FAMILY RESTAURANT - EVENING Vicky and Sonu sit in a family booth. In the adjacent cubicle, a kid is celebrating her birthday party. Proud parents and other kids crowd around, cheering. VICKY (leaning forward) I've spoken to Africa. We'll stay there for a while until things cool off. There's just too much loose talk around. (to WAITRESS) Hey, you! One more shot, One beer. And his pastry. The WAITRESS is still buzzing around, wanting to say something. WAITRESS (interjecting) Sir, can I recommend our buffet dinner for Rupees 125... VICKY (snaps at her) Maybe you didn't hear me sister. Ok, get the manager to bring me the shot and the beer. He waves her away. Go. Shoo.
VICKY (CONT'D) WAITRESS B-but, I-I'm sorry sir, I was just -
83. VICKY (rudely) And I'm trying to get a drink. get it or not?
The WAITRESS leaves, mumbling apologies. SONU Y-you shouldn't be drinking at a time like this. Vicky gently slaps Sonu on the cheek. VICKY Look, stop worrying. This will blow over in a fortnight. Mane's on the job. He slides a BLACK BRIEFCASE over. VICKY (CONT'D) Wait for him, ok? When he shows up, give him this. They want a handout, Some bucks to tone things down, that's all. (pause) Nadia was a small-time tart, nobody cares, ok? Sonu frowns. Vicky gives him a hard look as he knocks back one last drink. Then he breaks into a warm smile. VICKY (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Ah, Sonu. You know that old Vicky will fix things up. You know that, don't you? Sonu nods dully.
Vicky gets up to leave.
VICKY (CONT'D) Relax, this case is open and shut. The kids are singing Happy Birthday. brother has disappeared from view. 134
Sonu watches until his
INT. VICKY'S CAR - NIGHT
The streets are empty. Vicky drives, his eyelids shutting from whisky and fatigue. In the rear view mirror, headlights catch his attention. His pulse quickens. A BLACK STANDARD 2000 is following him. down on the gas.
He pushes his foot
The CARS screech and a chase ensues through the nocturnal streets. Vicky is bewildered. The BLACK CAR drives up and begins slamming into him.
84. He finally slaps on the breaks, terrified. The BLACK CAR stops close behind and three figures get out. Vicky tries not to panic, but he's drenched in sweat, illuminated by occasional passing headlights. 135
INT. TIK-TOK FAMILY RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Sonu is fidgety as he waits in the abandoned restaurant. The last few PATRONS stagger out and the ceiling lights begin to flicker off. An ELDERLY CLEANING LADY is wiping down the walls. Sonu suspiciously. Sit outside. 136
CLEANING LADY Lobby is 24 hours.
EXT. CITY - DAY BREAK
As day breaks, shafts of light peek through silver clouds, illuminating the immense city beyond. 137
INT. HOTEL DIPLOMAT - SUITE - DAY BREAK Vicky is half-conscious, lying horribly battered and bloody on a plastic-covered sofa. The room is so bright, he can barely see. A group of HUMAN FIGURES are silhouetted against the flaring windows, watching him. The sound of a distant aircraft echoes through the hollow room. VOICE You promised us schoolgirls, Vicky. Vicky squints, barely able to discern PK, who towers over him like a shadow. PK Where is our delivery? (long pause) Your making me look bad in front of my clients, Vicky. PK gestures toward the BUSINESS CARTEL. The dark figures remain still and silent, inspecting Vicky like statues. VICKY (pleading) Uh, yes b-but... Nadia... PK saab, don't do this. Not now, please. I beg you. Don't do this to a friend -
85. PK Vicky, this is no way for pals to talk to each other. I've always been your pal, haven't I? Always friendly, easy to get along with, tossing the cash around. No? VICKY I-I can't operate. I don't have the film and I don't have the cash. Please. Let's work something out Vicky bends over, coughing, nearly choking. onto the floor in a little pool.
PK Look, you're my kind of guy. I like you, see? You're in a jam, and you come to me, no? And I'm always there? PK studies Vicky out of the corners of his shrewd animal eyes. PK (CONT'D) You said, let's work something out...so, okay. I'm fair. (pause) Let's work something out. 138
INT. TIK-TOK HOTEL LOBBY - DAY As dawn spreads into daylight, Sonu is suddenly forced out of his slumber. BELL BOY (loudly) Sorry to wake you up. How are you fellow? He's been sleeping on a chair in the lobby, which now buzzes with activity. Sonu stands up, groggy and red-eyed. He gathers himself awkwardly. Then, suddenly, he sees her... It's PINKY, accompanied by two ATTRACTIVE YOUNG WOMEN and two BUSINESSMEN, all in tailored suits. Her hair is cut differently and with that business suit, Sonu's not even sure it's her. Sonu watches, stunned, as she slides into the lift with the entourage. He hadn't been expecting to see her, and her appearance there makes no sense. PINKY turns and sees him. She looks into his eyes with a blank stare. The entourage begins to gaze at Sonu accusingly.
86. Sonu turns away, unable to look at her. He's crushed, humiliated, saddened. He just stands there frozen, looking away as if he never saw her. The lift doors close and she's gone. 139
INT. VICKY'S CAR - DAY We are rushing down a Bombay road, listening to the hypnotic spinning of tires on asphalt. VICKY (O.S.) It's bad, Sonu. Nothing else can happen now because the worst has already happened. You understand? Outside the car windows, the late june sun is slowly roasting the city. Vicky's driving, depressed. His face is bruised and cut, his eye swollen, his lip bloody. He looks like he's aged at least ten years. Sonu is stammering scared. SONU I-I don't know, Vicky. A Blue film. That's fucking crazy - A triple X, specially now! I mean, to get... VICKY (frantic) Just listen to me, will you? PK's given us one last chance. One last goddamn chance, ok? No crew, no film. We shoot on U-matic. Just you and me. Sonu drops his head on the window and doesn't speak for a while. Vicky checks the rear view mirror. A BLACK CAR is following theirs at a discreet distance. SONU I-I don't feel too well. VICKY We need to keep moving, Sonu. If we don't take this chance, we don't have any chance at all. Sonu looks pale. He shuts his eyes and rests his head on the seat. A car roars by.
87. VICKY (CONT'D) I know it sounds wild... but I just want to tell you, Sonu. Everything's going to be all right. We always make out pretty well in the end Sonu is distressed, he cuts him off. SONU But it's not bits, Vicky. A blue film is out and out illegal. We've never done it. We don't...even know... VICKY If there's a chance of us being caught, I wouldn't take it Sonu. Trust me! 140
INT. WONDER WORLD VIDEO GAME PARLOUR - DAY
Sonu stands suspiciously in the cramped aisle of a dingy video-game parlor, studying the GIRLS who walk past him with supreme indifference. Vicky turns up with a BURLY HUNK and a HAGGARD GIRL, both grinning from ear to ear. The HAGGARD GIRL lights a cigarette and smoke seeps out from the gap in her teeth. Vicky gives his brother a swift look as he passes. VICKY (chatting) Tomorrow at the party, the three of us get together... 141
INT. VICKY'S CAR - DAY The YOUNG COUPLE and the old CAMERAMAN are squeezed into the back, the brothers get in front. VICKY (introducing the couple) Meet Sonu, my brother. Say hello to my new friends. Sonu nods awkwardly. The HAGGARD GIRL ignores him and continues greedily counting the money Vicky's given her. VICKY (CONT'D) Ok, Sonu. Get things warmed up. The school uniform's in the trunk. Jolly's on the way. Set up. Shoot. You got to be out by nine. SONU Ok. But... I'm...Y-you want me to direct? I don't even know the story.
88. VICKY Boy fucks girl. That's it. (to the couple) Hey, don't start yet. The couple snigger crudely. 142
EXT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - DAY
At the eastern edge of Bombay, skeletons of rusted ships sink into a murky swamp. Vicky pulls up in front of a row of defunct barges. They get out and trudge through the bleak, marshy landscape. Sonu pauses, looking sickly. Vicky notices his uneasiness, then puts his arm around him. VICKY C'mon, there's nothing to be afraid of. How else do we get things back on track? We'll make this happen together, Sonu. Sonu resists, he doesn't want to go into the corrugated tinshed in front of him. The HUNK, the HAGGARD GIRL and CAMERAMAN wait for him up ahead, growing impatient. As they stand there, a FAT SHIRTLESS MAN appears on the bow of a rusted ferry. He stares in their direction. Both Vicky and Sonu notice him. Let's move. attention. 143
VICKY (CONT'D) You're attracting
EXT. TIN SHED - SHIP BREAKING YARD - DAY
VICKY goes up the staircase first, followed by the BURLY HUNK and the HAGGARD GIRL. Sonu and the CAMERAMAN toil up behind them, lugging the U-matic recorder, camera and lighting kit. The old CAMERAMAN eyes the girl's buttocks. She's sweating, her underwear peeks through her hot pants. He grins at Sonu. CAMERAMAN (panting) Times have changed, eh? 144
INT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - TIN SHED - FRONT ROOM - EVENING Vicky unlocks the musty, cramped shed and lets them all in. At the edge of the door, he hands Sonu the key. VICKY I'll come back in an hour, alright? (MORE)
89. VICKY (CONT'D) Mane's finally agreed to take the handout. We can be up and running in a month, Sonu! Then no more worries, not being half out of our minds all the time, wondering how the hell to make ends meet SONU Uh, h-hold it Vicky. Stay for a bit, no? At least until Jolly shows up? VICKY But I don't want Mane to think I never showed up. We need him to (pause) Ok, then you go. I'll stay here. Sonu hesitates.
There's a sickish feeling in his throat.
SONU W-well, I - I don't know, but I suppose VICKY (irritated) It's simpler I handle the cops. Vicky makes a reassuring gesture and scampers down the stairs. Sonu watches him, frowning faintly. Now right when he needs confidence most, it's all draining away. Just as he's about to enter himself, he looks at bow of the rusted ferry again, where the FAT MAN had been standing earlier. There's no one there. 145
INT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - TIN SHED - BACK ROOM - EVENING The tin-shed is dark and filthy, stacked with somebody's anonymous junk. The HUNK whispers to the GIRL, who turns to Sonu. HAGGARD GIRL What is this, yaar, you should at least have organized a mattress. The HUNK whispers again. HAGGARD GIRL (CONT'D) And, uh, get the place cleaned up, get a broom or something. Sonu turns beseechingly to the cameraman.
90. CAMERAMAN Now, wait a minute, Sonu. I got to look after this equipment. You go. Sonu frowns, but goes toward the door anyway. HAGGARD GIRL And get us some drinks. 146
INT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE - VICKY'S CABIN - DAY
Through the glass partition we can see a hoard of POLICE CONSTABLES outside in the HALL tearing through papers, files, boxes, film reels. They're ripping the place apart, destroying what's left of the DUGGAL office. COP Seal those boxes. disconnected?
Is the electricity
The phone rings. INSPECTOR MANE, in uniform, picks up the receiver, looking guarded. 147
INT. PUBLIC TOILET - DAY MANE enters an empty public toilet. He cautiously walks up to the urinal. Vicky, wearing shades, is already there. They stand side by side. MANE You put sunglasses on and come right out in the open, you've got guts. VICKY What the hell good is it going to do you to have me slapped in jail? MANE Vicky, you know it's not just about letting some boobs through. A girls dead. The big boys are giving orders now. VICKY looks annoyed, he takes off the sunglasses and goes into a cubicle. Mane follows, standing by the open door. Vicky's inside, kneeling, a briefcase lying on the closed toilet seat. VICKY (offering cash from the briefcase) Look, a little MANE (cutting him off) It's worse than you think. (MORE)
91. MANE (CONT'D) A bank clerk reported in. Your brother's been dipping into your account. What?
VICKY MANE There's talk of him making a film with your cash VICKY (dismissing him) Naah, c'mon, there's a rumor for every inch of film in this business MANE Wake up, Vicky. You're broke. Your account's empty. See, he even registered the title. Miss Lovely. He thrusts the FIR in Vicky's face. Vicky scans it, stunned. He steadies himself against the toilet seat. The INSPECTOR then purses his lips. MANE (CONT'D) (CONT'D) What about your wife? Doesn't she have a healthy bank balance? Maybe her father can offer us something? Vicky's head is swirling. MANE (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Any other relatives? VICKY (broken, mumbling) G-give me a month, Mane saab MANE God Vicky, please. I'm not interested in theatrics. Only in the money you owe us. VICKY (panicking) T-two weeks. Two weeks, I promise... MANE (shakes head firmly) Oh, I can't do that, Vicky! can't pay, I'm out.
Mane turns to leave, then feels bad for Vicky kneeling near the toilet bowl.
92. MANE (CONT'D) Look. As a friend. They're sure to haul you in before the weekend. Make some holiday plans, ok? MANE sighs, pats him on the back and leaves, looking sympathetic. 148
INT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - TIN SHED - FRONT ROOM - EVENING
Sonu enters amid clouds of dust, breathing hard. He dumps the bag of booze and the broom on the floor. The HUNK and HAGGARD GIRL have disappeared. SONU (confounded) What's going on ? yet?
Jolly isn't here
The old CAMERAMAN is sitting cross-legged on the floor, fiddling with the U-MATIC RECORDER like a child with a new toy. CAMERAMAN Nice, real nice. Magnetic recording. Video tape. It's the future, eh Sonu? SONU Where the hell are they? The CAMERAMAN waves a hand behind a corrugated sheet partition. Sonu goes towards the partition, then stops in shock. MOANING sounds can be heard. Uh!
SONU (CONT'D) (CONT'D) Sonu hurries back to the CAMERAMAN. SONU (CONT'D) (CONT'D) What the hell are you doing? Get the camera, they're at it already. The CAMERAMAN uncomfortably picks up his camera and positions it at the bedroom door. Sonu watches, absorbed. The LOUD PANTING continues. CAMERAMAN Uh, it's too dark. G-get the sungun. 149
EXT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - EVENING The marshland has turned blood red in the dying light. The tin-shed looks ghostly just perched there with the rusted ships looming in the background.
INT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - TIN SHED - BACK ROOM - EVENING
Sonu and the CAMERAMAN are crouched under a broken desk, shooting the action from floor-level. The moaning grows louder. Suddenly, there is loud hammering on the front door. The HUNK and the HAGGARD GIRL jump up in fright, pulling dirty towels over themselves. Sshh!
SONU Sonu swallows hard, the banging stops. The actors and the cameraman hold their breath, bathed in sweat. 151
INT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - TIN SHED - FRONT ROOM - EVENING
Sonu tiptoes down the hall, not making a noise - Suddenly he sees a face in the dirty window. A horrifying, broad face eyes wandering in all directions. Sonu screams. The banging resumes with a vengeance, this time it sounds like three or four fists. The metal clanging is so loud, the tin-shed sounds like it could collapse. The dark living room is suddenly bright as day. Four or five vehicles are beaming their headlights in from the vacant bog outside. The door crashes open. POLICEMAN with sticks charge in roaring. There is mayhem. The CAMERAMAN is clobbered against the corrugated tin. The HAGGARD GIRL screams. You there!
COP Stop bastard!
The HUNK runs out of the back, half clothed. Sonu clambers out the living room window, onto a roof. He doesn't stop. 152
EXT. SHIP BREAKING YARD - EVENING The cops chase Sonu through the swamplands and past the decaying ferries. The HAGGARD GIRL is running, screaming, plodding through filth and water. The cops chase them, hollering. Sonu stumbles and staggers. Soon they are all over him, slapping him, pulling his clothes and hair. Shaking him like a dog shakes a rat. Sonu screams in terror. Sonu and the CAMERAMAN, bruised and handcuffed, are crushed into a police van. The HUNK has his head in his hands. THE HAGGARD GIRL is crying hysterically, being roughly treated by a constable.
94. CONSTABLE Shut up, whore! 153
EXT. ANDHERI POLICE STATION - NIGHT
An unruly crowd has gathered outside the police station. Sonu and the other THREE PERPETRATORS are hauled out of a police jeep, their heads covered with BLACK HOODS. Flash bulbs go off. 154
INT. ANDHERI POLICE STATION - INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT A harsh light is turned on. Sonu sits on a metal chair, squinting. He is gaunt, unshaven - a complete wreck. Voices and grunts lash out from the shadows. A bunch of COPS are huddled together more interested in the cricket match on TV than in him. The game gets dull.
Their attention drifts over to Sonu.
SUBINSPECTOR SHARMA We got you cold, Duggal. SUBINSPECTOR GAWLE (walking over) Tell the truth kiddo, we'll make it easy on you... Sonu sags into the chair, terrified. SONU No-No! Please. I-I need one more phone call. Just get my brother here he'll SUBINSPECTOR SHARMA (laughs out loud) I told you. We want him here just as much as you do. Sonu looks devastated. SUBINSPECTOR SHARMA (CONT'D) (grinning) The way I see it, he stuck his neck out and yours got stepped on. SUBINSPECTOR GAWLE Ok Duggal - tell us why you killed the girl N-no!
SONU You got it wrong!
I told you -
95. SUBINSPECTOR GAWLE loses patience. His fingers knot around Sonu's shirt and he yanks him violently off the chair. SUBINSPECTOR GAWLE (threatening) You're gonna talk or not, Duggal? He slaps him hard across the face. SUBINSPECTOR GAWLE (CONT'D) (barks) Filthy pervert! You forced her to do bits and then killed her! SUBINSPECTOR KHEDKAR (poking Sonu with a cane) You have no respect for our wives and daughters, eh? No respect for Indian culture? Sonu closes his eyes and clenches his jaw as they slap him again. The camera holds. SUBINSPECTOR SHARMA (O.S.) It's a sickness that he has. You can see it on his face. Look at him! Sonu is forced back onto the chair. He is made to hold a pen. A piece of paper is shoved in front of him. SUBINSPECTOR KHEDKAR (barks) Confess, pig! INSPECTOR MANE is leaning against the wall, one eye on the TV, watching a funny Natraj Pencils ad. He doesn't want any part of what's going on. 155
INT. TAXI - MORNING
Vicky circles around the police station, watching from a distance. He mops his sweaty brow, looking desolate. He can feel the tears welling up. CUT TO 156
MONTAGE SEQUENCE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY-style photographs appear, with black bars over eyes. This is followed by grainy, naked bodies blackened out with markers. A passport image of SONU is held on screen.
96. DOORDARSHAN TV VOICE (O.S.) This man - Sonu Ram Duggal - if you can call him a man - has corrupted the morals of decent college-going youths, and has perverted innocents, scarring their minds forever. But there is a worse danger, a danger to all society. We see images of arrests, handcuffed girls shielding their faces and a title card that reads: PERVERSION FOR PROFIT 157
INT. HOTEL DIPLOMAT - SUITE - DAY BREAK
A MAN - seen only from behind - stares at a fuzzy black and white UPTRON TV. A dolled-up image of NADIA appears on screen, interspersed with photos of her decapitated body. DOORDARSHAN TV VOICE (O.S.) The recent tragic case of Nadia Khan establishes the sinful relationship between these depraved entertainments and violence of the most sickening nature. Yes, blue films - the kind of films made by the accused - blue films cause people to commit murder. Horrible murder. In the end, young Miss Nadia paid with her life for the very passions she aroused. The TV drones on. A hand dials a telephone number. 158
INT. DUGGAL RESIDENCE - EVENING The phone rings in a middle-class living room. Two KIDS, approximately 8 and 10 years old, wrestle on the floor. A WORN-OUT HOUSEWIFE, comes rushing to the phone. HOUSEWIFE (screaming at kids) Stop it! I'll whack you, Bunty. She grabs the receiver, then hesitates. Hello? wife.
HOUSEWIFE (CONT'D) Yes, this is Vicky Duggal's
She looks over, resentfully. Vicky's frowning, leaning against a wall, smoking a cigarette, thinking.
INT. JAIL CELL - HOLDING PEN - EVENING
Sonu sits completely still, like a sculpture. In the darkness, we see that he's in a jail cell crammed with motionless bodies. Many are asleep, others brood in quiet isolation. A PRISONER sits across from Sonu, making freakish faces, trying to get his attention. PRISONER (whispering) P-please sir - one chance? Sonu is mystified. Before he knows what's hit him, the PRISONER is doing a deranged and frightening performance - a melodramatic rendition of Rajesh Khanna in Amar Prem. The man, a failed actor, is clearly disturbed, and his bizarre performance spirals out of control. Sonu covers his ears he can't bear it. The prisoners begin to wake up. The man continues, his theatrics encircling Sonu, driving him crazy. Shut up!
SONU SHUT UP!
PRISONER (overwrought) ..Pushpa, wipe your tears! Wipe your tears - I can't see you cry! The prisoner continues, raving, not meaning to taunt him. Sonu sobs out loud, clenching his teeth, covering his ears... SONU God, I can't stand it. IT. SHUT UP!
I CAN'T STAND
Some of the other prisoners begin to snigger. Sonu's helpless shrieking turns him into someone else. He rocks back and forth, looking insane. 160
INT. PRISON CORRIDOR
TITLE - ARTHUR ROAD JAIL, SUMMER 1990 The sound of laughing, jeering and shrieking blend together and float through the empty corridor. The GUARDS hear the racket and come rushing toward the cell. 161
INT. JAIL DETENTION ROOM - EVENING Sonu is being violently whacked with a strap by TWO GUARDS. GUARD Son of a bitch! Bastard, you're gonna fuckin' do that again...?
98. Damn you...
SONU They keep whacking him. DR. DAS, An elderly jail doctor, is watching the proceedings, unimpressed. DR. DAS I said enough! You'll kill him. Unfasten him now. GUARD We SHOULD fuckin' kill him! The guards are panting, mopping the sweat from their faces. 162
EXT. AJMER TRAIN STATION - DAY
The small-town station is desolate. The camera tracks with PINKY as she walks at the edge of the platform. A train passes behind her. She looks up. Vicky is standing on the opposite side, glaring at her. She freezes in fear. 163
INT. JAIL DETENTION ROOM - DAY Sonu lies on the cold steel bed, shivering with a fever. DR. DAS applies disinfectant on his back with a piece of gauze. He let's out a gasp. DR. DAS (grim) How much longer you going to go on like this? Sonu looks broken. DR. DAS (CONT'D) I know it's hard to take, no letters or phone calls, Sonu. But you're stuck here. (pause) See, there was a bit of sympathy for you when you first came in. You weren't a criminal in the true sense of the term Sonu shuts his eyes. DAS stares at the floor, frowning, scraping his foot against a crack in the tile. Tell me. Sonu?
DR. DAS (CONT'D) Did you kill the girl,
99. SONU (faint) No! I told you. connection...
T-there was no
DR. DAS Well, I don't want them to hang you, that's all. They're pushing for a capital case - the death penalty. That's not good. (pause) Now if it was just a blue film, that's different. But with the girl's killing...both together, God Sonu starts weeping uncontrollably. moment, wagging his head.
Das watches him for a
DR. DAS (CONT'D) Maybe there's another way. (stares at him) Maybe you should plead insane. should be possible to prove. 164
EXT. CITY MONTAGE
TITLE - SUMMER 1992 An old cinema is being knocked down, and in the distance, newly-constructed office towers are visible. Television dish antennas crowd the rooftops. Workers are taking the neon sign off SUPER 9 DISCO. It begins to rain. heavy downpour. 165
Movie posters peel away, drenched in the
INT. JAIL CELL - EVENING
Outside a tiny little window, rain pours down in sheets. Sonu lays on his metal bunk, his face is thinner, his eyes sadder. He's grown a beard and his hair is turning gray. A TURNKEY walks past clanging on the cell bars. They switch off the lights. Sonu lays in the darkness for a moment, listening to the rain. Then he turns his back to camera and remains there in total stillness. In the faint light of the corridor, a YOUNG WOMAN walks toward the jail cell. 166
INT. JAIL CELL - NIGHT The YOUNG WOMAN walks cautiously through the shadows into the murky room. She's barely visible in the dull light.
100. PINKY (whispering) Mmm. Sonu, is that you? She comes close to him, touches his face. He strains to see her in the darkness. Pinky's fingers run over his lips, his eyelids. PINKY (CONT'D) Oh Sonu, I missed you so much. SONU (mystified) Shhh! What are you doing here PINKY (hushed tones) I had to see you. I never want to leave you again. He holds her face, a tear drops out of her eye. PINKY (CONT'D) Sonu, we are going to be happy, aren't we? SONU (whispering) It's all right. I'm happy right now. Pinky is silent for a moment, then she smiles mysteriously. Sonu reaches for her, holds her tight. Sonu runs his hands through her hair, but her hair is all bloody. Blood leaks onto the floor. She feels dead against his shoulder. He pulls away horrified. Pinky is now Nadia - lifeless, her neck slit, covered in blood. Sonu is horrified. He drops the dead body. When he looks again, Nadia has been replaced by the HAGGARD GIRL. She speaks in Pinky's voice. HAGGARD GIRL Don't leave me, Sonu. 167
INT. JAIL CELL - EVENING Sonu wakes up with a fright, looking wretched, shaking and coughing. There's a little rattle, then the cell door swings open. Dr. DAS and a WARDEN step in. DR. DAS God, Sonu, you look like hell. WARDEN Ok, you ready? We got good news.
101. DR. DAS The best in the world. Well, here, read it yourself. DAS hands Sonu a paper. The story is tucked into one of the back pages. There's a picture of Nadia sitting in GOLA's lap - a party picture from the old days. The headline reads: DISTRIBUTOR HELD IN SEX ACTRESS MURDER The WARDEN and DR. DAS smile warmly at Sonu. DR. DAS (CONT'D) You're going to be free Sonu! Sonu stares at them blankly - he doesn't respond. DR. DAS (CONT'D) Uh, maybe we should have a talk first, see that you leave with the right perspective SONU (weakly) B-but I don't want to go. I want to stay here for as long as I live. 168
EXT. JAIL EXTERIOR - DAY BREAK
TITLE - JANUARY 25th 1993 Sonu is dragged out into the jail compound forcefully. He's back in his old clothes, but almost unrecognizable with his scraggily beard. SONU (fighting) I'm coming back! A man has to be someplace. I belong here, you can't throw me out! YOU CAN'T! A GUARD ignores his fit, hurling his things on the ground. NO!
SONU (CONT'D) I'm not...
GUARD What the hell? You got your junk now hit the street! 169
EXT. BOMBAY STREETS - MORNING The streets are abandoned. The landscape is strange, smoggy, almost dream-like. The camera tracks with Sonu as he walks past a row of boardedup shops, mystified. A tarpaulin flutters noisily, stirring up a great flock of crows perched on the roof.
102. He walks past a burnt car - still smoking. 170
EXT. DUGGAL BROTHERS OFFICE -
Sonu rings the doorbell of their old office. A STRANGE FACE opens the door a crack, suspiciously. SONU Uh, Duggal Cine Combine? The door slams shut in his face. 171
EXT. AURORA STUDIOS BACKLOT - AFTERNOON Sonu enters the old studio cautiously. He stands at the mythological set where Pinky once danced. It's abandoned, ghostly. Somebody put up a clothesline and is now drying sheets there. Sonu hears a voice behind him. AFRICA Sonu fuckin' Duggal. A-Africa?
SONU He hugs Sonu warmly. AFRICA Call me Amos, ok? My real name. It sounds more... professional. My card. I'm casting now. Straight stuff, y'know, family entertainment. (pause) You... ok? Sonu gazes up dizzily at the skyscrapers. AMOS I haven't seen the old crew. Not since the riots, anyway. And who shoots films anymore? It's all TV now. (pause) Hey, but you know who I did see? That girl you were going with... what's her (softly) P-pinky?
AMOS Yeah, Yeah. She's shooting at Bobby the same studio I work at. She looks good, man!
103. Amos stares at Sonu, who sits down on the single unbroken swing in the garden, thinking. AMOS (CONT'D) (sympathetic) Had a pretty rough time of it, haven't you, Sonu? 172
INT. POONAM'S APARTMENT HALLWAY - DAY
A bird chirps somewhere inside Poonam's flat. POONAM opens it, stunned. She looks older but is still as tarty as ever. My God... 173
POONAM INT. POONAM'S APARTMENT - DAY
She's made him tea. He sips it awkwardly, like a man using a teacup for the first time in his life. POONAM (chattering away) So it was Swamiji who gave me respect and honor. He changed my life in a split second. He taught me to hate immorality and filth She looks over at Sonu. He's mesmerized with a hummingbird that flies around in a cage. Poonam doesn't like the way he's behaving. uncomfortable.
She begins feeling
POONAM (CONT'D) Uh, you don't want to see Vicky? SONU (muttering) It's all right. It doesn't matter. POONAM Look, I'm sure he would want to see you. I have his new address. (pause) But do me a favour, please? What?
SONU POONAM Promise me you'll never come back here again.
INT. GLAMOUR VIDEO
In a cramped industrial office, surrounded by video recorders, TWO VIDEO TRANSFER BOYS are duplicating pornographic VHS tapes. Vicky walks past an aisle of monitors. He's aged badly and walks with a little hunch. As he crosses into a cabin, he stops dead in his tracks, bewildered, not knowing quite what to think. Sonu is standing on the other side of the glass partition. VICKY I don't believe it. to -
Sonu, it's good
Vicky reaches toward his brother, intending to embrace him. But Sonu takes a step back, lowering his eyes to conceal their contempt. SONU Y-you just deserted me, Vicky. VICKY (bitter) Sonu, you stole from me. You never gave a damn about what I had to go through. How hard SONU I-it was hard here! was hard here!
You tell me it
VICKY Ssh now. Sonu. I've stopped thinking about it. It's over, Sonu. I shut down that goddamn film combine. The thought of it makes me sick. Everything is video now. No investment, pure profit. (pause) I know that girl made you do it, Sonu. Oh but she paid back SONU (in disbelief) W-what girl? Pinky? Vicky looks at him wide-eyed. My lord.
VICKY You still stuck on her?
SONU No, No. I-I just wanted to know -
105. Vicky begins rummaging through a cabinet, recklessly. VICKY Where the hell is it? I hoped you had gotten her out of your system. Well, she's certainly got you out of hers… (pause) She married Joshi, y'know… the music composer.. SONU (perplexed) Married... VICKY (chuckles softly) Oh yes, yes. She saw the right guy and latched right on. (pause) But she paid back, alright, gave me a start in the business. Business...?
SONU VICKY Well, Sonu. I was telling you this all along. All the caresses and the whisperings and the promises Vicky raids another cupboard, then finally pulls out a VHS tape. He pops it into the deck. VICKY (CONT'D) I know you think I'm still giving you bull on that babe, so take a peek at this... He flips a switch. The multiple TV monitors come to life. Tacky video titles read: "MISS LOVELY". The tape is hissy and we hear Vicky's offscreen voice talking to a girl in a towel with her back to camera, "Take it off.. oh that's very nice... yeah" VICKY (CONT'D) She's just what I said, huh? lying, was I?
It's Pinky in a blue film. Vicky is the male partner. He also seems to be the only other person present, operating the video camera clumsily. She giggles into the lens. It's like she's smiling at Sonu, inviting him... PINKY You think I'm pretty?
106. Sonu watches the tape, expressionless.
SONU (inaudible) VICKY Always been an actress. Aah, look at that… A leopard doesn't change it's spots. The phone rings. Vicky sits down at his desk to answer it. The tape continues and Sonu watches, dumbfounded as Pinky lays docile under Vicky's hungrily groping hands. VICKY (CONT'D) (everyday phone conversation) ...No. I already gave Sajid the money. Yeah.. On the monitor, Pinky looks at Sonu, the way Rani had many years before. Vicky pulls her sweaty body under his. She moans. Vicky puts the phone down and turns to his brother. VICKY (CONT'D) (ending call) Man, Sonu, getting cash out of Before he can finish his sentence, Sonu grabs a VHS player and swings it into his face. He clobbers Vicky in a manic fit of soul-sickening rage - repeating the action again and again. The next ten minutes is a nightmare. A confused and hideous dream. Vicky is bleeding from the head, his hands flailing. Sonu has the cord wrapped around his neck and is choking him. He can't stop the hate and frustration that's been seething inside him. Vicky clutches onto Sonu, gasping and clawing. He makes monstrous sounds as blood spurts everywhere. Then Sonu's pleading and apologizing, choking back the sobs, hysterically trying to bring him back to consciousness. The tape hisses away on the monitors as Pinky continues her performance, occasionally degenerating into fields of static. The VIDEO TRANSFER EMPLOYEES look on horrified at Vicky's body, twitching on the cheap Kashmiri carpet. Sonu backs out of the room, stumbling, covered in blood.
EXT. SIDE STREET - EARLY EVENING
The side street outside the industrial estate is tranquil. Cicadas make a racket in the trees. People on the street look on terrified as Sonu comes running blindly down the narrow alley. But there's no place to go. He's deserted - and the wilderness is all around him now. 176
INT. POONAM'S APARTMENT - DAY The phone rings in Poonam's apartment. it up.
176 She rushes to pick
POONAM (hesitating) Yes, this is she... She moves from confusion to shock without making a sound, mouth open, face showing the devastation we can only imagine. 177
INT. BOBBY FILM STUDIO CORRIDOR - EVENING
The camera tracks at floor level - along with a pair of legs in a golden dress that strides across a sound stage. 178
INT. BOBBY FILM STUDIO CORRIDOR - EVENING
Although Sonu is covered with blood when he pushes into the narrow studio corridor, he now walks with a strange sense of calm. Extras mill around, some cast strange glances at him not sure if he too is an actor. 179
INT. BOBBY FILM STUDIO - EVENING A music video shoot is in progress in the cramped, humid studio. The set feels like a cabaret from an old Bollywood production, but re-worked for the 1990s. Extras dressed as "guests" sit around on tables watching the floor show, clapping to the music. The song is a upbeat pop number with just the right tinge of sadness. SONU strides onto the studio floor, pushing past extras and crew members. PINKY makes her entrance, shimmering in a golden dress on the little stage, lip syncing to the song. Nobody can take their eyes off her. PINKY flirts with the crowd, winking, inviting them to come and dance with her. Her eyes look past Sonu. From her empty gaze, it's clear that he might as well have been invisible to her.
108. SONU (V.O.) It was like a beautiful dream. At last, two love hungry souls united. (pause) And there's nothing to be done about it now, of course, but you can't stop thinking. You can stop wondering... I mean, how did she get there? Where did she come from? (pause) I never even knew her name. (pause) But she was all I had, you see. All I'd got for all I'd done. Sonu stands there, immobile - watching her. He is bathed in a slowly pulsating red glow that intermittently hides and exaggerates the blood on his clothing. Sonu's frown disappears, his eyes soften, he's filled with tenderness. For the first time in years, he smiles. SONU (CONT'D) Miss Lovely. I know there's a story there. If only I could work it out properly. She's already distant, shining on that stage like the star she was always meant to be. -------------END