Benjamin/Ben – Writer’s Help/Killer
Anamika/Annie - Actress
Vikas - Actor
John - Writer
Babe – Host
Nikhil/Nik - Producer
Scene fades away from black. Vikas sits at one end of the table. Annie sits to the left of Vikas and John sits to the right of Vikas. Vikas takes a sip of whiskey from the glass and talks while putting it down on the table.
Vikas: No, no, no! The best movie of RGV has to be Nishabd.
It is one of the very few movies that can be compared to Hollywood.
Annie: It was so boring! It did not make any sense. I mean like..... You would have to wait for a long time for a dialogue to appear.
It was too slow.
John: That was one of the best parts of the movie.
You could see pure acting. The emotions which the actors gave were amazing.
RGV took his time in depicting various scenes in a smooth manner.
Annie: Such stories do not target a wider audience you know!
People need entertainment and for that you need some masala in the script.
And also the story is completely bullshit! A romance between a 60-year old man and an 18-year old woman, what the fuck is that?
Vikas: I’ll agree to that but such things do happen in western cultures, not in ours!
It’s still a fictional story in the end.
Why don’t we appreciate his creativity?
John: (chuckles) his vision is good but I really hate his horror movies!
His horror movies are not even close to being scary.
In fact very few horror movies have the capacity to scare people in this generation.
My rating of horror movies will be good if the scary scenes at least make the audience laugh a little.
Annie: RGV’s horror movies are always funny cuz it’s always stupid! (Vikas laughs at Annie’s comment)
John: (chuckles) yeah his horror stuff is really bad!
But that’s not the point.
Point is people should stop taking logic into every movie they see.
When it comes to movies like espionage or or....umm robbery or based on true story movies then there has to be some logical elements.
The main purpose of a movie is always.... to entertain the people.
Vikas: Cheers to that (lift up the glass) and we are all in the business of entertainment!
Everyone raises their respective glasses and they have their drinks. Babe opens the door and escorts Benjamin into the hall and then Babe closes the door.
Babe: Hi everybody!
This is Benjamin and he is going to be your new poker player.
(Walks towards Annie) this is Anamika. (Ben shakes her hand)
Annie: (smiles) hi handsome and call me Annie! (Ben smiles back at her)
Babe: This is Vikas (Ben shakes his hand) and that is John (Ben shakes his hand).
Both Vikas and Annie are actors and John is a writer.
Oh and John specializes in writing murder scenes.
John: (Ben and Babe take their respective seats) speaking of murder scenes, Nishabd could’ve ended in a much better fashion if Jiah killed Amitabh and his family in the story!
It would show an explosion of her crazy fetish towards Amitabh.
Combined with perfect psychotic music it would’ve have been a killer ending!
Annie: Don’t mind John, he has a huge crush on RGV! (Everyone chuckles except John and John takes another sip of his drink)
Vikas: So Benjamin, what do you do for a living?
Ben: Well...... I help those people in the film industry who are need of it, especially writers!
Annie: Can I call you Ben?
Ben: Not a problem Annie!
Annie: Why kind of help do you offer Ben?
Ben: (pause) I help the writer in finishing his/her story.
I provide various solutions to producers and I help...... certain people with their personal problems.
Ben: It’s..... Copy-righted as you may say so I am not allowed to tell certain stuff.
Babe puts out the poker chips in front of Ben while he is talking to others.
Babe: Do you want a drink Ben?
Ben: Yes please. (Babe pours a drink for Ben)
Babe: So guys shall we start the game?
Vikas: Yes babe. (Vikas puts down his drink)
Ben: Ok so what kind of poker game do all of you prefer?
Vikas: (smiles) we prefer Texas Hold’em always!
Ben: Then Hold’em it is.
Ben picks up the pack of cards.
Ben: (smiles) let’s have some fun!
Ben gives a first shuffle and then all of them enjoy their game of poker. The song “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by “Santa Esmeralda” is played in the background for about 1 minute. Titles are shown. Once the music is over Ben lays down some poker chips on the middle of the table.
Ben: Bet 100.
Vikas: Happily folding! (Annie smiles)
Annie: Call the bet.
Ben: The last card please?
Vikas opens an ace as the last card in slow motion. Ben looks at John’s eyes and then at Annie’s eyes.
Why not raise when you had a good look at me?
Annie: Good look?
Do you think he was checking you out? (Annie and Vikas chuckles)
John: Drunken bitch! (Annie gives a smile back at him. John turns to Ben.)
Since you know I am bluffing why not I make it interesting! Bet 300.
That’s very interesting cuz I fold!
John: So Ben, what shall it be?
Ben thinks hard and then smiles back at John.
Ben: Annie, i think you had a better hand than him!
Thank you for talking a lot John!
I’m all in!
Annie and Vikas laugh together.
Vikas: Just got your ass kicked isn’t it!
Annie: I know!
Leave it John!
He really has your beat!
John: (thinking hard) Fine, I fold.
Ben chuckles and then shakes his head in disappointment.
John: Oh come on!
You’ve got to be kidding me!
Ben: I wasn’t kidding about Annie having your beat but you had better cards than me.
Flop is ace, two and three. Turn card is ten. Ben throws his hand cards on the flop. Ben had king and queen. Ben takes all the poker chips. Everyone is surprised and Ben chuckles. John had four and five as his hand cards and turns it over the table.
Babe: Smooth play Ben!
Ben: Thanks babe!
John: (smiles) well played Ben!
Give me 1000 more on chips Babe and put it in your account.
Babe takes out poker chips from the box and passes it to John. Babe records the account on her cell phone.
Annie: Who’s the dealer?
Vikas: You are, idiot!
Annie: Oh right, sorry! (Annie shuffles the cards)
Vikas: You still can’t shuffle properly, can you!
Babe, please shuffle for her.
Babe takes the pack, shuffles and then puts it on the table.
John: So Ben, you say you help writers in finishing their stories.
Have you ever tried writing a story by yourself?
Ben: Yes I did try but not full length stories!
I’ve written only murder scenes, different kinds of murders!
Annie: Murder scenes?
You like to visualize killing people!
Babe: Hear any one of his story and trust me you’ll love it!
Annie: It doesn’t matter cuz i don’t like murder stories!
John: You’re starring (pause) in a murder story!
Annie: There’s a difference!
Your story is classy so (pause and smiles) it makes me look good.
Ben: Don’t worry cuz my murder scene is also classy!
John: But sometimes violent murder scenes are a lot of fun like in Piranha.
Vikas: I’ll agree with that.
Annie: You guys are disgusting!
Ben: Hey guys, have you heard of another writer named Himanshu?
He is also a good writer and his speciality is also in murderous and crime stories!
John, Vikas and Annie all look at each other and Babe looks at the three of them.
Vikas: Himanshu you say?
Vikas: He is one fucked-up writer.
Ben: (pause and confused) why?
What did he do?
Vikas: (takes his drink) he is over-committed to his work.
Because of that he gets extremely paranoid.
The producer did not want the story to be very dark but Himanshu wouldn’t listen.
He doesn’t listen to anyone in the studio and he creates a scene at the end.
It is a little disturbing when you see a person sooooo fascinated and excited when writing crime stories!
Anyways six months into the project the producer kicked out Himanshu from the work and paid him 1 lakh rupees.
We brought in John as our writer later.
The best part was (pause) that 1 lakh rupees was nothing for the story which he had written.
Vikas starts laughing and others were smiling.
Ben: Oh my God!
This is some really fucked-up shit.
I can’t imagine such things happening in the studios.
By the way, nice going (smiles) with paying Himanshu such a low amount.
So what happened to the story once you got John in it?
John: Well the basic concept sticks the same, the murder scenes are the same.
I have only developed more screen time between the guy and the girl, introducing more chemistry between them.
Vikas plays the guy who is a murderer and Annie plays the woman who dies at the end of the movie.
Annie: You know I am gonna talk to Nikhil about that scene!
I don’t like my character to die in the movie!
I hate movies with sad endings!
Ben: I’m sorry but who is Nikhil?
Annie: He is the producer of this movie who fired Himanshu!
He was supposed to join us but I guess he is running late as usual.
(Signals to Babe) give him a call and find out where is he will you?
Babe: Yeah, sure.
Annie deals the other the cards on the deck while others are talking.
Ben: Don’t you think Himanshu could file a case against you guys?
Vikas: Well (pause) he did and he even got a good response.
Ben: Which is?
Vikas: (smiles) Nikhil bought the lawyer!
Ben: (chuckles) of course he did!
John: Enough about our project. Tell us your scene which you’ve written.
Babe: Sorry to interrupt guys but I’ve to leave now.
Vikas: What happened?
Babe leaves the apartment without answering Vikas’s question.
Vikas: Is there anything wrong?
Annie: Don’t worry so much Vikas!
I’m sure she went out to help one of her friends or something like that.
So Ben, tell us your story.
Ben: Well it’s only a murder scene ok!
It is between an assassin and a prostitute.
The guy walks in a corridor, elegantly lit up with yellow and red lights.
It makes you feel like in heaven with pleasure.
The guy walks up to his room.
When he opens the door slowly he sees his prize, he sees his beauty.
There, on the bed, lies his prize.
Her smooth long legs are dazzling.
She lies on the bed totally naked with her hands tied to the head of the bed.
The silk curtains blow as per the wind making her the centre piece of attraction.
The way she moves is a call to any man who wants to fulfil his desires.
She represents a whole new form of a goddess.
After his last assignment, the assassin feels that he has earned his prize.
Closing the door, he advances towards her to have a better look.
He gets on top of her and starts making love to her.
He cares for her body and she in turn responds to his moves.
He feels he has seen the light, the way she moves and pleasures him and then he has released all his past tensions.
He takes a good look at her once again but he still feels that his desires have not been fulfilled completely!
He felt the only thing missing was a silver blade.
He holds her down by closing her mouth with the fist of his left hand, grabs a knife with his other hand and slits her throat.
He looks deeply into the blood gushing out of her throat and how she suffers from that.
He looks and looks till the last blood comes out of her throat.
When he feels that her soul has gone beyond this world, he looks up with his eyes closed and exhales with pleasure.
The others stare at Ben for a few seconds. Vikas and John applaud.
Annie: (claps) that’s really good!
John: When did you start writing for yourself?
Ben: About 3-4 months back I had started writing.
Even you are also a good writer in murder stories as told by your friends (gestures Vikas and Annie) so how about telling me one of your scene in your current movie?
John: (chuckles) it’s copy-right material! (Smiles at the end)
Vikas: Don’t mind Ben!
It’s just that after an incident with Himanshu, our entire team has been warned of plagiarism!
A rumour was spread saying that Himanshu is looking for an even deal.
Ben: What can he do?
Annie: He could do anything he wants.
Nothing is impossible in this industry!
Vikas: We need not worry so much!
Nikhil has good contacts and he can protect the project!
Nikhil opens the door and is greeted by Vikas. Ben turns to his left, has a look at Nikhil and then turns back again.
Vikas: Hey we were just talking about you Nik!
Nikhil: What were you guys saying?
While John is talking to Nikhil, Ben is given a slow close-up. Ben is rotating a poker chip with his left hand and he puts down his right hand slowly under the table.
Vikas: We were just talking about our current movie and the story behind Himanshu.
Nikhil: That fucked-up bastard!
Vikas: We told him what all happened in the studio and how you defeated his case too!
Nikhil: He is one hell of a bastard!
He should be recommended to a doctor for his psychotic behaviour!
That court case is just the beginning!
When I’m done with this movie, I will see to it that he will not be able to work with anyone else in the near future.
John: (smiles) now that (pause) is really great!
Annie: Nik, I would like you to meet Ben.
Ben turns to his left.
Ben: (gesture) hey!
Nikhil: (nod) hi Ben.
Ben turns back and slowly lifts up his right hand.
Nikhil: So what business are you here for Ben?
Ben turns to his left to look at him.
Ben: Business? (Long pause) You are!
Ben shoots Nikhil on the stomach. Ben pushes the chair behind to get up. Ben shoots Vikas first on the head and then shoots Annie on the head while she screams and then points the gun on John’s head.
John: (scared and shouts) Wait! Wait! Wait! (Pause) who are you? (Exhales)
Ben gives a pause and slightly tilts his head to the right before answering the question.
Ben: My name is not important for where you are going!
(Pause) What is important is (pause) that is a courtesy (pause) from Himanshu!
Ben shoots John on the head. Ben holds his position for a few more seconds and then puts his gun inside his jacket. Ben takes out a cigarette and puts it in his mouth. He takes a lighter and lights up the cigarette. He gives his first puff of smoke and the song “The Verdict” by “Ennio Morricone” is played in the background for about a minute. In this minute Ben observes his kills and continuously smokes the cigarette.
Ben grabs a chair and takes a seat while the cigarette is still in his mouth. He opens all the hand cards on the table, takes the deck of cards and deals the flop open. Ben takes out his ringing cell phone and picks up the call.
Ben: Hello? (Long pause) Code is one three five.
Few seconds later Babe enters the apartment. Babe takes a look around the hall. Ben is dealing the cards.
Babe: At least you didn’t make a huge mess compared to your previous job!
Ben: (chuckles) Yeah!
Babe walks towards Ben and sits beside him.
Babe: What are you doing?
Ben: I’m seeing who won this round! Aah (pause) it’s Annie!
Babe: Please tell me you are not going to do what I think you are about to do right now?
Ben: (smiles) exactly!
Babe: How is it so easy for you watching the dead bodies?
Ben: If you are very uncomfortable about the dead then why do you still work with me?
Babe looks down then looks up at Ben and rests her hand on his face.
Babe: Cuz darling, (pause) I’m doing it for the deliverance of justice (pause) to my friends!
Ben smiles at her, takes all the cards from the table, shuffles it and starts dealing.
Ben: What would you say if it happens again?
Babe: I would still say that you are crazy!
Ben deals the hand cards open to the others except for him. Ben deals the flop open, then the turn card open and the river card open. Flop is queen, jack and seven. Turn card is three and river card is king.
Ben: Ok! So John has two and four which is nothing. Vikas has king and tow which makes it one pair. Annie has queen and ace which makes it queen pair. So what do you think?
Babe: (irritated) can we please leave?
Ben opens one of his cards and it’s an ace.
Ben: (smiles) anything you wanna say now?
Babe: If it opens then it really follows you!
Ben opens the other card and shows it to Babe put doesn’t see it for himself. Babe smiles at him and then Ben also smiles and throws the ace card on the table in slow motion.
Babe: Ace it is! Shall we leave now?
Babe and Ben get up from their respective chairs and walk towards the door.
Ben: I think I’ll change my name to Ace. How does that sound?
Babe opens the door.
Babe: Benjamin is not even your real name!
Ben closes the door.
Credits sequence starts with the song “Rabbia E Tarantella” by “Ennio Morricone” in the background.
-Written By Nishanth Gopinath
This screenplay tells the story of a group of individuals playing a poker game and how the decisions they have taken in their lives have made to come around into a single climax.