Keep Yourself Alive

by Arjun Kumar Miglani

Short Film*
Email: brownboy.arjun@gmail.com

The future of mankind lies in the hands of fools.








                                     KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE (Second Draft)
                                                              BY 
                                                     Arjun Miglani















1. INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT.
Two college students, DARTH, a young man dressed in simple clothes with a simple haircut, and CLOUD, a young woman of similar ilk, are solemnly dining over an inexpensive fast food meal. Meanwhile, several obnoxious, inebriated YOUTHS filter in and out of the restaurant.

YOUTH 1
Dude, I am like so, totally, WASTED!

YOUTH 2
Fuckin' hardcore, yo!
Darth and Cloud glance up at each other, rolling their eyes.
CLOUD
You know, I really hate people.
DARTH
That's a bit extreme, don't you think?

CLOUD
Not at all. Take a look around you. Do these specimens make you proud to be of the homo sapiens variety?
Darth surveys the surroundings.
DARTH
These ones? No. But this particular demographic is hardly representative of humankind as a whole, is it? I'd be lying if I said I was delighted with the current state of affairs, but I still have faith in my fellow man.
Cloud stares at Darth menacingly.



And woman.

DARTH


CLOUD
Thank you. Sadly, I'm afraid I don't share your optimism. How can you have faith in a society that turns an idiotic party boy who
(MORE)



CLOUD (cont'd)
destroys his parents' home into an instant celebrity? The world is in trouble, Darth. Look around you.
These people are the future! Pardon my language, but humanity is well and truly fucked.

An awkward silence ensues as the pair continue to work on their meal.

DARTH
Not necessarily.
CLOUD

What?


DARTH

We're not “fucked.” There's still hope. I mean, take us for example. We're alright, aren't we? There must be others like us out there.As long as we ensure that there's a steady progression of people like us into society, the world should be in safe hands.
Cloud is considerably taken aback.
CLOUD
Wait. Waaiiiiit wait wait. WHAT? Was that your subtle way of suggesting that we need to find smart, yet attractive people to have sex with???
DARTH
Essentially, yes. Although I wouldn't have put it as bluntly. I was thinking more along the lines of raising a family. You know, a wife and two kids type thing.
CLOUD
That is the worst idea I've ever heard. That's even worse than the guy who designed the helicopter ejector seat.
DARTH
What's wrong with it? There are so many people out there. Sure, at first glance they might not be too
(MORE)



DARTH (cont'd) enticing, but with a little work,
I'm sure we could teach them our ways and make model citizens out of them. Everyone has some potential.

CLOUD
Wrong. If you're a tool now, you'll be a tool forever. NO-ONE has any potential. Potential is just a buzzword for lazy teachers to write on report cards for useless kids.

Another awkward silence takes place. They finish their meal and Cloud gets up, takes the tray and deposits it away. She returns to the table to find Darth smiling at her.

DARTH
What are your plans for tonight?
CLOUD
What plans? Do I ever have any plans? I'm going to go home and spend all night watching cartoons, eating cereal and masturbating. Not simultaneously, of course...
DARTH
I'm going to ignore that last part, and kindly ask you to never mention anything of the sort to me again.
Anyway, I have a proposition...
CLOUD
(laughing)
It's gonna have to be a hell of a proposition to make me change my plans.
DARTH
Hear me out. There's a million people out there tonight. I bet that by the end of the night, we can find someone we like. Let's just roam the streets and take it all in, and I'm sure before long we'll have met someone we wouldn't mind seeing again...

Cloud's blank face stares back at Darth, clearly completely unexcited by his suggestion.



DARTH
(continuing)
...Oh come on. We've got nothing to lose. Except our virg...
CLOUD
Don't say it. Worst joke ever.
DARTH
Look, you're never going to meet someone who has exactly the same tastes and opinions as you. I mean,you and I happily co-exist despite my love of ALL the Star Wars films, not just the first three.
CLOUD
My tolerance of you is a matter of necessity rather than choice. I could never respect a man that enjoys the pile of wank that is Star Wars One to Three.
DARTH
Why do you have to be such a snob? I don't approve of your love for Stevie Nicks, but I respect your right to a different opinion.
CLOUD
First of all, Rumours is one the most important albums in the history of the world. Secondly, how do you expect humanity to improve if you meekly let them make poor decisions, rather than letting them know how alarmingly wrong they are?
DARTH

Well, I...


CLOUD


Anyway, I despise everything about your plan, but, as you so eloquently pointed out, we have nothing to lose. I have but one request, which is that we separate for this mission. With all due respect, I don't need you cramping my style.


DARTH
(sarcastically)
Yeah, because I was just dying to have you by my side!
CLOUD
Sarcasm doesn't suit you. In fact, nothing suits you. Anyway, shall we be on our way?
DARTH
After you. I bid you good luck. God knows you need it.

Darth laughs at his “joke.” Cloud contemplates responding, but doesn't consider it worth her while. They exit the restaurant.

2. EXT. NIGHT CLUB. NIGHT
Darth notices a night club across the street from which loud house music is blaring. There is a large line waiting to get in, populated partially by attractive women. Excited, Darth crosses the road and joins the line. The other occupants of the line smirk, amused by his poor dress sense and general appearance. He slowly makes his way to the front of the line, where he meets the BOUNCER.

BOUNCER
I.D.
Darth fumbles around his pocket and finds identification, providing it to the bouncer. The bouncer glances up at Darth, then down at the I.D., then up at Darth again.

BOUNCER
(continuing)
Look, I'm going to be honest here. Your clothing flies in the face of every aspect of our dress code.Most bouncers would have laughed in your face and thrown you out without a moment's hesitation. But I'm not like the other bouncers. People look at me and think “Oh, he's a massive guy, he must eat babies and listen to Slayer in his free time,” or something. They think I'm some sort of monster but I'm not, I'm as compassionate as they come. And so, because I'm such a nice guy, I'm going to let you in. Do unto thyself...



DARTH
Uh yeah, thanks.
Darth hurries into the club, unwilling to hear the rest of the Bouncer's speech.

3. EXT. STREET CORNER. NIGHT
Cloud is walking down the street when she notices a groups of EMO KIDS moping on the corner, opposite a McDonalds.An acoustic guitar is lent up against a wall. She walks up to them cautiously. As she gets close, she looks directly at them, expecting them to say something, but they merely stare at the ground below them.

CLOUD
Why hello there!
There is absolutely no reaction among the group.
CLOUD
(continuing)
What are you guys doing here?
The silence continues, before one of the group finally looks up.

EMO
(solemnly)
We're staging a protest.
CLOUD
Oh yeah? What against?
EMO
McDonalds.
CLOUD
What have they done to you?
EMO
They're like, total corporate whores.

CLOUD
I see. And what is your protest, exactly?

EMO
We refuse to go in.





So?

CLOUD

EMO

We're very hungry.
The Emo kids cough and stagger, exhibiting signs of weakness.

EMO
(continuing)
BUT WE SHALL NOT SUCCUMB!
CLOUD
Well, good luck with all of that.
EMO
We have a song. Would you like to hear our song?
CLOUD
Well, uh, actually I really have to...

EMO
(shouting)
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR OUR SONG?
CLOUD
Yes, OK, fine, I'll hear the song.
Emo picks up the acoustic guitar, and positions his fingers to form an E minor chord. He then starts singing, never changing the chord position throughout the song.

EMO
(wailing)
Had enough of your lies/I don't want your fries! You fill me with worry/ I don't want your McFlurry!
Cloud is stunned by the sheer awfulness of the song.
EMO
It's a work in progress.
CLOUD
Good god, you mean there could potentially be more?
EMO
Yes.



Cloud frantically takes her phone out of her pocket and pretends to be receiving a call.

CLOUD
What's that? A fire? You say my house is on fire? You say my cat is on fire? Oh my God, I'll be right there!

EMO
Sorry about your loss. But what is death really, but merely an extens...

CLOUD
Yeah sorry gotta go, BYE!
Cloud runs away from the Emo kids.

4. INT. NIGHT CLUB. NIGHT
Darth enters the nightclub and is overwhelmed by the sheer amount of people and loudness of the music. Feeling claustrophobic, he desperately searches for a seat, but there is no room to move. Finally, he spots a spare space on a couch on the other side of the room. Realizing that this opportunity may never arise again, he abandons all habits of human decency and barges through the crowd to reach the seat, spilling countless drinks and knocking people to the floor in the process. He sits down next to an attractive, slightly DRUNK GIRL.

GIRL OH MY GOD, HI!!

DARTH
Um, yes, hello. How's it going?
GIRL
Awesome, totally awesome! I love this song!

DARTH
Really? Are you into this type of music?

GIRL
Oh, I like everything!
DARTH
Everything? How can you possibly like everything? Surely there must
(MORE)



DARTH (cont'd)
be some forms of music you dislike? Surely you appreciate some music to such an extent that you find other forms considerably inferior?
GIRL
No, I like everything!Hey do you like Bono?

DARTH
What's Bono?
GIRL
He's from U2, I was at a concert once and he did this amazing thing. He started clapping yeah, and then he got us all to clap as well yeah, and then after a minute,he said something so profound, guess what he said!
Darth is clearly disinterested and wants to leave.
DARTH
What did he say?
GIRL
He said that every time he clapped his hands, an African child died of hunger!

DARTH
Well, he should have stopped fucking clapping then.

The girl's enthusiasm is shattered, and she is on the brink of tears.

GIRL
That's so mean! Bono rules! He's done more for the world than you ever will!

DARTH
Well, I disagree with everything you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it!
The girl's mood brightens up again.



GIRL
Really? To the death?
DARTH
Well, maybe not. Maybe until I'm slightly threatened. Anyway, I'll be right back.

Darth gets up and hurriedly makes his way out of the club, with no intention of returning to the girl.

5. EXT/INT. INTERNET CAFE. NIGHT.
While Cloud is walking along the street, she notices a thin stairwell leading underground. Curious, she cautiously walks down it. At the foot of the stairwell is a tiny hallway leading to a room with a large glass window. Through the window she can see a horde of overweight men in front of computers, with one hand on the mouse and the other in a bag of chips,all wearing headphones. She hesitates for a moment, pondering whether it is worth her while to enter, but she decides to do so and opens the door, quietly. The geeks are so involved in their games that they do not notice her entrance. The distinct sound of keyboard mashing dominates the atmosphere.

GEEK 1
(talking to computer) You just got Pwned, n00b!
GEEK 2
(talking to computer)
ALL YOUR BASE, ARE BELONG TO US!
CLOUD
Ahem...Hello?
There is complete silence, as the geeks halt their activities and stare at Cloud in awe. Finally, the silence is broken.

GEEK 1
A g..g..gg..girl!
CLOUD
Yes. Don't be alarmed. I've just...
GEEK 2
Who are you and what do you want?


CLOUD
My name is Cloud. Don't ask. What do I want? Well, its quite complicated actually.
The geeks twitch about nervously in anticipation.
CLOUD
(continuing)
To put it simply, I'm looking for a partner. I'm very lonely, and I was hoping...

GEEK 2
Evil temptress! How dare you mock us so?



But...I..

Begone!

CLOUD GEEK 1
CLOUD

Fine. Be like that. By the way,while we've been talking, your Night Elves just got slaughtered by those Orcs.

Geek 1 looks at his computer screen and is horrified by what he sees.

GEEK 1
Sweet son of Satan! Say it isn't so! I've wasted my life and my looks!

As Geek 1 drops to his knees, tears flowing from his eyes, Cloud smirks and walks out of the room.

6. EXT. VARIOUS STREETS. NIGHT. MONTAGE
Background Music - ‘Love Is All Around’ by The Troggs
A) Darth dejectedly sits down on a bench. All around him he notices happy couples, seemingly being exceedingly flirtatious just to mock him.

B) Cloud dejectedly sits down on a bench. All around her she notices happy couples, seemingly being exceedingly flirtatious just to mock her.


C) Darth's POV - Darth finally gets up. Walking down the street, he desperately attempts to stop and talk to every woman that walks his way. However, they all snub him and continue walking past, without a word.

D) Cloud's POV - Cloud finally gets up. Walking down another street, she desperately attempts to stop and talk to every man that walks his way. However, they all snub her and continue walking past, without a word.

E) Eventually, after countless rejections, our heroes walk into each other.

END MONTAGE

CLOUD
(sarcastically)
Well thank you very much Darth, for such a fantastic idea. I can't imagine a better way to have spent my night. Oh wait...
DARTH
You know, if you didn't have such an attitude, maybe you would have had a bit more success tonight.
CLOUD
(sarcastically)
Yeah, you're right. If only I'd adopted your approach, I'd be surrounded by men right now.
Speaking of which, since you knew what you were doing, how come I don't see any beautiful women clinging to you right now?
DARTH
F...f..fu..fuck you.
There is awkward,stony silence between the pair, as they stand around not sure what to do next.

CLOUD
Ah, what the hell...Let's go home.
DARTH
If you want.
CLOUD
I do want. We've still got some Coco Pops left, and there's a Simpsons marathon on TV. Why did I ever leave the house?



DARTH
Yeah yeah. Just shut up and get us a taxi, alright?

Cloud smirks and gets ready to hail down a taxi. Eventually one arrives and they enter.

7. INT. TAXI. NIGHT.
Darth and Cloud both get in the back seat. The radio is playing ‘I Just Wasn't Made For These Times’ by The Beach Boys.

DARTH
If only people were more like us.
Darth and Cloud awkwardly move closer to each other.
CLOUD

...Yeah.


DARTH

I mean, I just wasn't able to have a decent conversation with anyone else tonight.

Cloud suggestively loosens her top, exposing more cleavage than is usual for her.

CLOUD

...Yeah.


DARTH

I honestly can't envisage a situation in which I'll ever meet a woman I like.
CLOUD
...Yeah.
Darth uncomfortably unbuttons the first few buttons on his shirt. Their eyes meet but they are visibly out of their element. As they move closer and and lock eyes once more, the taxi enters a tunnel.

ROLL CREDITS (Background Music - ‘Mr. Blue Sky’ - Electric Light Orchestra).

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