EXIT

by Viktor Bogdanov

Short Film
Email: [email protected]

SYNOPSIS: This short movie script is a story about 5 friends – Pauline, Jack, Nico, Ian and Mark, - “united” with one grief – the death of their friend Vic. Each of them responds to this death in a different way. Instead of remembering Vic’s death day, the characters decide to continue celebrating his birthday. They gather at Nico’s art studio with “an avant-garde” exit to the building’s roof. But the sad friends’ party turns into a night of revelations… Sometimes in critical situations people lock themselves up in tight capsules, let the air out and choose to continue to live pressurized. This is a script about making the first step to exit the capsule.

EXIT

by

Viktor Bogdanov

Original script

 

Viktor Bogdanov
72 Pr. Gagarina 333
Kharkov, Ukraine 61001
[email protected]

 


FADE IN

NAT. STREET FRAGMENT - EVENING

MARK, about 28 years old, waddles on the crowded street.

SUDDENLY, he freezes and looks into the distance. He catches sight of SOMEBODY. Then he shakes his head and slowly walks on.

NAT. PARKING LOT IN FRONT OF THE DEPARTMENT STORE - EVENING

PAULINE, about 27 y.o., lean complexion, casually dressed, walks along the narrow aisles of densely parked vehicles. She has a vacant look. In one hand she holds a cigarette, in the other – a bottle of rum.

INT. JACK’S CAR - CABIN - EVENING

Pauline gets on the car and bangs the door loudly. JACK, her 30 y.o. husband, sits in the driver’s chair.

JACK
(crossly)
Pauline, I’ve told you one hundred times not to slam the door, have I not?

Jack starts the engine and twists the steering wheel. Pauline opens the bottle, takes a sip of rum and sighs with relief. Jack looks at her reproachfully.

JACK
You don’t wanna change! You always have to get drunk on this day!

Pauline makes some more sips, shivers and lights up a cigarette.

NAT. CITY’S STREET – EVENING

Jack’s car drives along the evening city past illuminated shop-windows and grey buildings.

INT. JACK’S CAR - CABIN – EVENING

JACK
Pauline, do you love me?

PAULINE
(indifferently)
I’m cold.

JACK
The heater is on. You’ll warm up in a minute.

Pauline shivers, turns her head and looks out of the window.

PAULINE
I doubt it.

She looks through the front window and makes another sip of rum.

INT. CD RETAIL STORE - EVENING

Mark stands in front of the shelf with audio CDs. He takes disk after disk, studies the cover of each and puts back. Then he selects one disk.

MARK
(enthusiastically)
Here it is! You are gonna love it! It’s a great thing!

NAT. AREA IN FRONT OF CD RETAIL STORE – EVENING

Mark shuts the front door and goes downstairs. SUDDENLY, he freezes and gazes at the faces of THE PEDESTRIANS walking by. Then he shakes his head and moves on.

INT. NICO’S STUDIO – EVENING

A small attic room: the walls are hung with the paintings and sketches; tripod easels are shifted to the room’s corner; iron stairs leading to the building’s roof are set up a little aside. The room is messy. There is an old chair next to the stairs. There sits IAN, about 30 y.o., a famous fashion observer. He is dressed accordingly. He smokes mincingly. NICO, his peer, an artist, sits nearby at the Japanese coffee table on a settee. He drinks wine.

Ian gets up and walks across the room towards a tiny étagère. There is BOOM BOX on top of the étagère. CDs are thrown about. He takes one and puts it into the disk drive. The room gradually fills up with flamenco music.


IAN
What time do Pauline and Jack come over?

NICO
Eight. I think…

Ian casts a glance at the wrist-watch.
 
IAN
Then they’ll be here any minute.

Nico stands up and begins to move in rhythm to the music.

IAN
I like your new studio! It’s a little bit too messy, but…this exit to the roof – it’s so avant-garde!

Ian walks around the room and gazes at the paintings on the walls. He stops at one of them and studies it.

IAN
My favorite! How can they be so stupid to ignore your gift?!

NICO
Actually, it’s the fate of many artists.

IAN
Idiots! But don’t worry. I’ve already had some important conversations about your future exhibition. Believe me, after the show these dummies are gonna worship you.

NICO
Well, I’m not a god to be worshipped…

Nico comes up to Ian, takes his hand and spurs him to dancing. Ian turns over and lights up a cigarette.

 

IAN
You know what your problem is, ha? You’re too diffident! And that is the main root of your bad luck!

Nico approaches Ian from behind and puts his arms round his neck.

NICO
I know…That’s why you left me.

IAN
Nonsense! I never left you! I just stopped sharing my bed with you, it’s a different thing! It’s just…just…

NICO
It’s just unbearable to live with me!

Ian turns over and gives him a charming smile.

IAN
Bingo!

THE DOOR BELL rings.

CUT TO

INT. NICO’S STUDIO – NIGHT

Music plays quietly. Ian sits on a settee and eats salad. Nico sits on the couch and smokes. Jack stands aside from others and studies the paintings. Pauline walks around with a glass of wine in her hand. She is already drunk.

PAULINE
I propose to drink to our BIRTHDAY KID!

All keep silent. Pauline sits on Ian’s lap.

PAULINE
Why the hell are you so sad and snobbish? It’s a goddamn party! Let’s dance!


IAN
Pauline, it’s not exactly the party…

PAULINE
(aggressively)
It’s not exactly the funeral, is it?!

Pauline shoots up and makes sound volume up. Jack gets up and goes upstairs to the roof.

NAT. THE BUILDING’S ROOF - NIGHT

Jack comes up to the edge of the roof and lights up a cigarette. Nico approaches him.

NICO
How’re you doing with her?

JACK
(shrugging his shoulders)
Hard to say. Sometimes everything seems to be just fine, she’s very tender and caring. But then all of a sudden she becomes… intolerable. She seems to do everything to spite me…

NICO
Well, she changed after…

JACK
(interrupting)
Yes, she did. But why didn’t you change? Why didn’t Ian change? Even Mark, he doesn’t seem to change much! Where is he, by the way?

NICO
Have no idea. He knows where to find us anyway.

Nico puts his hand on Jack’s shoulder.

 

NICO
Look, she’s always been bizarre, a bit lunatic. It’s just coz she’s very sensitive...

JACK
And what am I supposed to do with her hypersensitiveness?

NICO
You can either take her as she is, or…

JACK
Or divorce? That’s not want I want. I love her. Sometimes I think I love her more than she deserves!

NICO
I understand you…

JACK
And how are you doing? Still alone?

NICO
Yep! Unloved, unwanted, unrecognized.

Nico stands with a ghost of a smile upon his face. Jack hugs him.

JACK
Nico, if only I were gay, I’d fall in love with you! You deserve love! But God made me straight and my straight love does not make me happy at all…

Nico kisses Jack in the forehead.

NICO
Sometimes I wish I were straight, coz my gay love doesn’t make me happy either.

 

INT. NICO’S STUDIO - NIGHT

Pauline and Ian dance to the rhythmic music. Both laugh and make faces.

THE DOORBELL rings. Ian moves towards the door, Pauline pours some more wine into her glass and drains it in a gulp.

INT. NICO’S STUDIO - NIGHT
 
Mark comes in. Jack and Nico come downstairs from the roof.

MARK
(cheerfully)
And here I am! Tired of waiting, ha?!

PAULINE
(with a jeer)
Don’t be flattering yourself.

MARK
I’m happy to see you too, Poly.

Mark comes up to the table, pours some vodka into a glass, then pours some tonic in. He takes A PICTURE out of his pocket and puts it on the table between the bottles and plates. The picture portrays smiling Ian, Nico, Mark, Pauline and A HANDSOME STRANGER. Jack is not portrayed.

MARK
So, guys, let’s drink!

He pours vodka in four other glasses. Pauline places ONE MORE GLASS in front of him.

MARK
Yep, there’re six of us…

PAULINE
(to Mark)
You’re pathetic.

Mark gives her a gloating smile.

NICO
(raising his glass)
So, what shall we drink to?

MARK
Let’s drink to our birthday kid and let…

Pauline drains her glass in a gulp and throws the empty glass on the floor. The glass breaks. Jack grasps her by her sleeve. She throws his hand aside furiously. Everybody watches this scene silently.

PAULINE
(to Mark)
Why did ya shut up? Go on. And let what? Let him rest in peace? Is that what you wanted to say?

JACK
Pauline, cool down! Let’s just go home, I guess you’ve drunk enough for today.

PAULINE
(ignoring Jack)
I suggest that we all drink to you, Mark!

Pauline fills another glass with wine.

IAN
Poly, let’s go upstairs, get some fresh air…

PAULINE
No way! I need no bloody air! Let’s drink to Mark instead!
I really feel like drinking to him!

NICO
Pauline, stop it now!

PAULINE
Mark, I wanna drink to you and to your good luck! Coz you’re really lucky to be alive in spite of your fucking lifestyle.

Pauline comes close to Mark and adjusts his collar. Lack grasps her by her hand roughly.

JACK
I’m fed up with your quirks! Let’s go home!

PAULINE
Leave me alone!

She raises her glass.

PAULINE
(to Mark)
To your remarkable gift to ruin people’s lives!

Mark stands, eyes cast down. Pauline hits her glass against Mark’s one. Nico waves his hand and sits on the low stair. Ian opens the book and pretends to read it. Jack fills a glass with vodka and drains it in a gulp.

MARK
(smiling)
It’s a great toast! Let’s drink to it!

Mark drains his glass.

JACK
(to Pauline)
You finished?

PAULINE
It was just a prelude!

Pauline lights up a cigarette.

PAULINE (CONT)
We all are pathetic! We’re cowards! Locked ourselves up in tight capsules and are afraid of getting our asses out! We gather on this day for four bloody years and pretend that nothing had happened! Idiots! We deceive ourselves and believe it’ll be easier to live like this.

Pauline dashes around the room nervously.

PAULINE (CONT.)
We celebrate Vic’s birthday, drink and pretend to have fun and don’t fucking understand how stupid it looks like. Vic is gone! He passed away four years ago! He died in a car accident because of this bastard!
 (pointing at Mark)
Coz of his selfishness and insatiable desire for sex adventures!

NICO
Are you out of your mind? What the hell are you talking about? It’s nobody’s fault that he died! It’s only his fault! It’s not up to us to decide how many years one will live! He was fated to die young, that’s it!

Nico points to Pauline with his index finger.

NICO (CONT.)
And you have no right to accuse anybody of this! He died because of his own mistake. He shouldn’t have driven the car drunk!

PAULINE
I do have a right! We all know it’s Mark’s fault, but pretend it’s not!

JACK
Shut up!

MARK
Why? Let her continue!

PAULINE
Vic never sat behind the wheel drunk and we know it! Never! And on that fucking day he did!

PAULINE (CONT.)
And we all know why he did so, why he got drunk! Because he found out that you
(looking point-blank at Mark)
cheated on him with some cheap hustler! Didn’t you?

Mark takes the picture from the table and looks at it.

MARK
I did.

NICO
He knew Mark was a cheater!

PAULINE
Nope, he had no bloody idea until he saw it.

NICO
He did know! We discussed it with him many times! Believe me – it’s nobody’s fault that he died, nobody’s but his own! We all feel pain, but we should live on. And we try to live on! It’s only you who locked up in the capsule, only you!

IAN
And our decision to celebrate his birthday instead of his death day doesn’t mean we wanna pretend that nothing happened! We just don’t wanna remember the day he passed away!

Pauline sits on the couch and closes her face with her palms.

PAULINE
It’s a lie. Time will pass and none of you will ever remember him. You
 

PAULINE (CONT.)
(to Ian)
will become more successful and will soon keep aloof from us, the live, not to mention the dead. You
(to Nico)
will ruin yourself like all other losers and…

JACK
Shut up! You’re totally nuts! These are your friends!

PAULINE
(ignoring)
…and then we will keep away from you…
(to Mark)
And you – you’re not long for this world either.

Mark sits down on the floor and crosses his legs. He begins to tear the picture in tiny pieces. Pauline gets up, comes and squats near him.

PAULINE
One day your continuous searches for sexual adventures will be over when someone awards you with AIDS and then the justice will triumph at last!

NICO
(pouring wine)
And you? What about you?

Pauline stands up.

PAULINE
There’s nothing good about me! But one thing I know for sure – I’ll always remember him, always, always, do you hear?

 

 

MARK
(smiling)
Poly, Vic was a queer! He was an F-A-G, as gay as me or him or him! 
(pointing to Ian and Nico)
And he wasn’t crystal pure! He also might get AIDS as any of us!

PAULINE
Don’t go on! Shut up! He was a million times purer than all of you! And if not you, things could’ve been different between him and me!

JACK
(surprised)
Him and you?

PAULINE
Yes, him and me! We were lovers. Each time you went on your damn business trips, we met and made love! He wanted to have children and I could give him children!

Jack slaps Pauline with all his might, then turns over and leaves.

NICO
(looking with disgust)
You selfish bitch! You think Vic would be proud of you, ha?

Nico leaves after Jack.

IAN
This is a loony bin. I better go.

Ian leaves.

 


MARK
Well, babe, and after this you dare call him purer than us all, ha?

PAULINE
I’m not your babe.

MARK
So, he was a cheater and you still dare accuse me of his death?

Mark approaches the pile of old plates stored in the corner under the stairs. He takes one, puts it on his index finger and begins to rotate.

Pauline leans against the wall and slowly slides down.

MARK
You know what? All these years I thought I was a son of a bitch who shouldn’t have cheated on him. I thought it was my fault that he got drunk and drove that bloody car!
Thought it was my fault he lost control and ran smack into that fucking truck!

Mark throws the plate away and comes close to Pauline. He breathes into her face.

MARK
Do you have any bloodiest idea how it feels like to be responsible for the death of the most beloved person on earth? You can’t have any! It means you can’t fall asleep without taking the sleeping pills, coz each time you close your eyes you see his face. It means you see him everywhere – in transport, in the crowd, at work. Every-fucking-where! You even begin to go to the church and pray God begging for absolution…

Mark gathers the pieces of the picture and throws them on his head.

MARK (CONT.)
For four bloody years I’ve lived with this burden. I lost any interest for this fucking life! Do you realize it? Something very important died inside me…If only I were strong enough to kill myself, I’d do it, coz it’s unbearable to live while being dead! But I’m weak, very weak…

Mark takes a bottle of wine and goes upstairs.

Pauline sits on the couch and closes her face with her palms.

CUT TO

NAT. HIGHWAY – NIGHT

Jack’s car goes at full speed. Then it stops by the roadside.

INT. JACK’S CAR - CABIN - NIGHT

Jack throws his head on the steering wheel. He sobs quietly.

NAT. STREET AVENUE - NIGHT

Ian walks along the avenue with an absent look upon his face.

NAT. STREET AVENUE – AREA IN FRONT OF SOME BUIDING – NIGHT

Ian stops in front of the illuminated mirrored door and studies his reflection narrowly. He shakes his hand and walks on.

NAT. DARK STREET - NIGHT

Nico walks slowly. A LITTLE HOMELESS DOG tags along. Nico stops, bends and tries to stroke the dog. The dog runs away. Nico follows the dog with his eyes. He looks devastated.

 

NAT. THE BUILDING’S ROOF - NIGHT

Mark sits on the concrete parapet and rolls a joint of marihuana. Pauline appears on the roof. She comes up to Mark and sits nearby.

Mark slavers the joint with his fingers and lights it up. He makes a deep pull and passes it to Pauline. She takes the joint and inhales.

MARK
I bought him a present today…Radiohead’s new album…How do you think, would he like it?

Pauline nods her head.

MARK
I also think so…

PAULINE
I made it up.

MARK
I know.

PAULINE
Really?

MARK
I knew Vic too good to tell you for sure he wasn’t a cheater.

PAULINE
Why didn’t you say it in front of the guys then!

MARK
I wondered how far you’d go.
What about Jack?

PAULINE
I never loved him.

MARK
Why did ya marry him then?


PAULINE
Coz of despair. I was so much afraid of loneliness. You must know how it feels like when you return home and realize you have no one to cook for, no one to argue with…The woman should feel man’s presence by her side, otherwise she stops feeling like a woman.  And today I’ve just put everything into place.

MARK
You’re crazy.

PAULINE
Nico’s right, I locked myself up in the capsule, let the air out and chose to stay pressurized. 

MARK
I think you got locked up in the capsule long before he died…

Pauline gets up and looks into the darkness.

PAULINE
All these years I was trying to justify his stupid death. It seemed to be so illogical…

MARK
Well, any death at young age is illogical…

Pauline sits back, takes a joint, pulls and coughs.

PAULINE
I made up the happiness that we might have had together. I convinced myself that if only he’d stayed alive, we could’ve had this fucking happiness. I clutched at this chimera with my last ounce of strength.

Pauline puts her hand on Mark’s shoulder.
PAULINE (CONT.)
And it was a goddamn self-delusion. And jealousy. Of course he was gay, fucking queer loving another fucking queer!

Mark begins to laugh hysterically.

Silence. Pauline gets up and begins to dance. She cries while dancing. Mark joins her and they dance together. It is a very sad and silent dance.

Camera moves from dancing Pauline and Mark and gives panorama of the night city.

PAULINE (O.S.)
Maybe it’s time to exit the capsule?

FADE OUT

Download Script

Script Submission Form

Sponsored Links