script of vikramaditya motwane's lootera - 2nd draft

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    Registered at the Film Writers Associatio Reg # : 10729

    15/02/200

    2nd Draft

    Inspired from "The Last Leaf" by O. Henry

    screenplay:

    Bhavani Iyer

    Vikramaditya Motwane

    THE LAST LEAF

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    FADE IN:

    1 EXT/ INT. THE COTTAGE - PAKHI'S ROOM -- EVENING

    TITLES BEGIN

    An abstracted view -- very blurred, smoky. Undulating wavesof white.

    Slowly getting clearer as the vision opens up. Snowflakes.Pristine purity. A blanket of white over the landscape.

    And slowly coming into vision is a breath-takingly beautifulbarren tree.

    PAKHI (V.O.)'What we call the beginning is often theend. And to make an end is to make another

    beginning..'

    Moving farther away from the tree, through the glass of awindow, into a room, where the tree forms a fitting bookmarkoutside the window.

    The room gets increasingly focussed. A fireplace, a shelf ofbooks, farther and farther into the room, until one reaches adesk. A dried rosebud, a beautiful old clock, a paper knife,a pen-stand, ink, sheaves of paper. And on a singular sheetof paper --- Words, fingers, pen scratching on paper. Thewords etch out on the paper.

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'This isn't a story of love. Love takesaway too much, destroys too much, hurtstoo much... It's easier to hate. So, thisis a story of hate -- a hate that wasstronger than love...'

    CLOSE UP of the pen as an ellipsis is formed after the words.On the third dot -- the ink blot slowly dries as it permeatesinto the paper.

    TITLES END

    FADE TO BLACK

    2 INT / EXT. THE HAVELI & TOWNSHIP -- VARIOUS

    PAKHI (V.O.)'This story that began a while ago.. Atime when India's independence was still amuch-loved new-born..'

    FADE IN

    Images of a small flag-hoisting celebration, people wearingkhadi.

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    2.

    The Last Leaf, 2nd Draft, 1-2-2005

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'It brought a lot of changes.. Some good,some not..'

    A small shop being robbed by petty thieves.

    PAKHI (CONT'D)'In the tiny township of Siliguri, in theoutskirts of Bengal, many things changed..'

    Visual of the township.

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'The zamindars, who'd ruled small towns,almost like their own kingdom, were nowkings only of their own abodes...'

    Pakhi's mansion/ haveli lit beautifully by the evening sun.

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'And they drowned their sorrows in an excessof culture, books and music..'

    Strains of music as we move closer to the haveli.

    CUT TO:

    3 INT. THE HAVELI -- NIGHT

    The music gets stronger, mellifluous. A musical soiree is on.Several people listening intently, very elite. The mood isbeautiful, candles, lanterns, flowers, opulent.

    An all-male gathering in the center of the room. The womenfolk,exquisitely dressed are sitting separately in the balconyoverlooking the atrium.

    PAKHI (V.O.)'My father, Zamindar BikramadityaRoychowdhury was no different..'

    ZAMINDAR ROYCHOWDHURY is sitting at the vantage seat of thehost, listening to the music, absorbed.

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'Like any other Indian, Baba rejoiced whenthe British left Indian shores. What hemissed was like-minded companions that hecould discuss books, poetry and musicwith... But money makes up for a lot ofthings.. And of that, we had no worry..'

    The Zamindar looks toward the gathering with a dissolute air.He looks up towards the balcony and a smile breaks over hisface.

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'The only thing that worried Baba was me...'

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    3.

    The Last Leaf, 2nd Draft, 1-2-2005

    The enchantingly beautiful young Pakhi, about twenty one,sitting in the balcony, smiles at her father.

    Music plays on.

    ZAMINDAR (O.S.)

    (urgent note)Pakhi's had another attack of asthma...

    CUT TO:

    4 INT. THE HAVELI - PAKHI'S ROOM -- NIGHT

    Pakhi is sitting on a large armchair, gasping for breath. Anelderly maid, PISHI MA is holding her hand.

    The Zamindar enters the room with urgent strides, an elderlydoctor, DR. GUHA following him.

    ZAMINDARShe was fine this evening...

    The doctor takes Pakhi's pulse. She looks feverish, strugglingto breathe. Dr. Guha administers an injection. The Zamindarlooks on, terribly worried, almost close to tears.

    He moves away, looking out of a window, agitated, helpless.

    ZAMINDAR (CONT'D)(almost under hisbreath)

    I can't bear to see my child like this,time and again!

    DR. GUHAYou know how it is, Zamindar babu. Aslong as medical attention is close by,there is no cause for worry.

    The Zamindar doesn't reply. He looks at Pakhi, who's breathingis getting slightly easy now. She reaches a hand out in hisdirection, her eyes still closed.

    The Zamindar walks close to her and clasps her hand.

    CUT TO:

    5 INT. THE HAVELI - LIBRARY -- DAY

    The zamindar is looking among the large groaning shelves ofbooks. A gramophone is playing a lovely melody.

    PAKHI (V.O.)'Ours was a very different world..Sheltered, escapist... Baba had his world

    of books and music...'

    Pakhi is sitting at the window-seat, a pen in hand, book onher lap.

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    4.

    The Last Leaf, 2nd Draft, 1-2-2005

    PAKHI (V.O.) (CONT'D)'And I had my writing.. I wrote anythingthat came to mind.. Short stories, poems,thoughts.. Rather immature, but I wasgetting better.. And someday I would writea book.. lots of books.. I'd be a famous

    writer.. Then I'd meet someone wonderfuland live happily ever after.. I lived inmy dreams.. It was a fairytale existence..'

    CUT TO:

    6 EXT. THE HAVELI LAWNS -- EVENING

    Pakhi and her father walking along the lawns, talking. Analmost lyrically beautiful sunset.

    PAKHI (V.O.)

    'Life was simple, self-contained, like aplacid lake..'

    CUT TO:

    7 INT. THE COTTAGE - PAKHI'S ROOM -- EVENING

    The hand stops writing. Leans back -- anticipatory almost.

    PAKHI (V.O.)'Nothing is constant, not strife.. notpeace.. The tranquility of my life wasabout to be hit by a storm..'

    CUT TO:

    8 EXT. TOWNSHIP STREETS -- DAY

    Golden dust rising from the street as a lovely old vintage caris traveling the streets of the township. At a juncture, ittakes a turn and enters a long lane.

    Pakhi is sitting in the back seat of the vintage car, lookingout, humming a tune.

    Almost simultaneously, another car, rather dusty and not ingreat shape, coming from the opposite direction, turns intothe same lane. The two cars travel alongside for a considerabledistance.

    Pakhi looks to her left with curiosity. The two cars are almostadjacent now. Exactly the same moment, VARUN SHRIVASTAV, agood-looking young man driving the other car, looks in herdirection. Their eyes lock. Sheer chemistry.

    Pakhi reddens, but doesn't look away, holds his gaze. Suddenly,the young man's face breaks into a smile, utterly charming.

    Disarmed, Pakhi looks away, blushing.

    As the two cars reach a two-way fork, Pakhi's car turns to theright. Shooting a look over her shoulder, she smiles at him,without meeting his eyes.

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    6.

    The Last Leaf, 2nd Draft, 1-2-2005

    DR. GUHAChecked himself out... Seemed in an awfulhurry.. But he was pretty ok.. Nursehere ran a couple of tests.. I don't thinkthere's any cause to worry.

    Pakhi nods, absently, disappointed.

    PAKHIThank you, Uncle..

    She walks away from the doctor, in characteristic swift strides.A sudden thought makes her turn back.

    PAKHI (CONT'D)Did he say what his name was?

    CUT TO:

    11 INT. THE HAVELI - LIBRARY & CORRIDOR -- AFTERNOON

    VARUN (O.S.)Varun Shrivastav...

    Pakhi looks up with a start. She's arranging some books. Sheputs down the books in her hands in a hurry, and rushes towardsthe door.

    VALET (O.S.)I'll let Zamindar babu know..

    Down the corridor, she sees the main door. Varun is standingby the door, half of his face in clear vision of Pakhi. Pakhiis surprised, happy, curious.

    A moment later, he enters and approaches down the corridor,led by the valet. Hurriedly, she steps back. He passes byher room and disappears into the house.

    Pakhi stands at the door of the room, flustered, uncertain,contemplating what to do next. Just then, the valet walkspast.

    PAKHI(feigningnonchalance)

    Binod da, did I hear someone come in?

    VALETYes.. A stranger.. Never seen him before..He wanted to meet Zamindar Babu.. He saidhe's a..

    (struggling)A...

    CUT TO:

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    7.

    The Last Leaf, 2nd Draft, 1-2-2005

    12 INT. THE HAVELI - LIBRARY -- EVENING

    ZAMINDARArchaeologist. He's got a letter from theArchaeological Survey of India.. They would'greatly appreciate it if I would help

    him..'

    He laughs. While speaking, the zamindar stands at the table,perusing some books, while Pakhi is ticking off a list.

    ZAMINDAR (CONT'D)Looks like they've sent all the books thistime! Quite a miracle..

    (digressing)I invited him for dinner tonight...

    Pakhi turns away from her father to hide her expression, happy,

    excited. She walks towards the other end of the room, in rapidstrides, like always.

    ZAMINDAR (CONT'D)(gentle exasperation)

    How many times do I