Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If You Can Do A Movie - Any Movie...

Someone asked me this question - if you can do a movie, any movie, what movie would that be?

Well, there is a story I've been trying to sell since I was 19. Over the years, it has evolved into what it is today. To date, no major production house has taken any interest in it, because I am sure it will not make money in Malaysia.

Yes, I don't think it will make money at all. And I still want to do it.

This is a story which, if I can do properly, I can immediately die happy.

It's called Nuklear, and here is the first act:

The last man on earth walks in a post-nuclear war KL. He sinks to his knees. In the narrative, he blames himself. If only he stopped all this.

The man wakes up from his dream.

A subtitle appears. Two weeks ago. This is Baki. He goes through his morning rituals, exactly as he does every day. Everything in his apartment is neat and balanced in a symmetrical manner.

He goes to work and his office mates make fun of him for being so OCD. Baki is shown at an office function, serious and straight as his office mates are all enjoying themselves. He is at a karaoke, and he is still wearing the same expression.

He is at work (all these shots use the same angle of Baki, but with different elements in the background) and he is at home. Baki goes home and he avoids fun things like the plague. He holes himself up in his room and watches depressing movies. He believes that if he laughs for five minutes, he would then cry for five minutes.

When he was a young boy of eight, Baki received a cat for his birthday. He was laughing for half an hour and then, the cat was run over by a truck, causing him to cry for the better part of a day. A man in a white suit would always appear as Baki is happy and be gone after he is sad.

Baki once was given an ice-cream cone by an uncle. Happy, he went for a walk in the park, where he was accosted by bullies and went home crying, with no ice-cream but with two lumps on his forehead. Man in suit appears.

Baki soon became a very dark and sombre child, afraid to laugh for fear of upsetting the balance of the world. He goes everywhere with a permanent sad frown on his face, and is usually the odd one out in any children’s group as he refuses to smile.

The next day is Saturday and Baki goes to see his ailing father. Baki meets Shira - a spunky young nurse who wouldn’t take no for an answer. Shira works at the hospice where Baki’s father is being cared for. When she sees him and his idiosyncrasies, she is just hooked and wouldn’t let go.

Baki, unaccustomed to being pursued, finally relents after he couldn’t shake Shira off.

Shira also has her quirks. She suffers from being tormented in her childhood by kids who called her She-Ra Princess of Power – a cartoon character. In response, she decides to embody the character and her heroic trait. This has turned her into having a superhero complex as well as an eternally positive, cheery outlook.
For one whole week, Baki spends his time dating Shira (fast-cut montage). They go to see movies, to the funfair, to Aquaria, watch TV at home, and play games on her PS3. Shira gives Baki a picture of her, to keep in his wallet.

For the first time in his life, Baki learns to smile and laugh again.
Then, Baki wakes up for work the next Monday, looks at the sign on his door and realizes that – damn! – he was happy the weekend before. In fact, it was the happiest time of his life. But the man in the suit is not there.

He fears the consequences of his happiness.

Indeed, bad things start to happen to him. He waits for the bus, and it starts to rain. A car splashes water from a puddle on him. He is late for work, and the company’s entire accounting database is zapped by lightning.

Baki goes home, dejected, and finally sees the man in suit, reading a newspaper. The man smiles and vanishes. Baki reads the newspaper he left and sees a headline saying a nuclear war is imminent.