So, this week, I had 3 half-baked ideas (first and second from conversations in comments with Asmita, 3rd from conversation with Joyomama), and no fully baked ideas. So I am going with the 3 half-baked.
Scheherazade in the Hindi film Industry:
Pretty simple concept. The Arabian Nights idea was that the king discovered his wife cheating on him, and to avoid that ever happening again, decided to get married every night, and kill his wife every morning. I suppose an alternative method of avoiding being cheated on would have been to just not get married again. But apparently he had to have sex every night, and only with a woman to whom he was married. Anyway, then he married a woman named Scheherazade, and she told him a story every night but didn’t finish it, so he would keep her alive one more day to hear the end. And so on and so on for a thousand and one nights (thus the title of the book).
Okay, update version! Famous movie star comes happily home from the FilmFare’s where he has just won again, eager to share his joy with his beloved wife who stayed home sick. Only (of course) to find her in bed with his greatest rival. Shock, dismay, anger, etc. etc. etc.
And so, instead of ever risking falling in love again, and now cold and bitter and angry, he asks his manager/secretary to arrange a different date for him every night. All up and coming young actresses who want the publicity and the connections, most of them offer sex as well. But he will never risk seeing them for more than one night.
Until our spunky heroine gets the call. Actually, her roommate gets the call, Spunky Heroine is trying to be a producer/director/screenwriter, not an actress. But this is her opportunity to meet a major star and give him a narration. So she pretends to be her roommate, dresses up sexy and all that, and goes on the date. It is awkward right from the start, she doesn’t know how to act in a fancy restaurant, gets confused when the papparazzi start taking photos, and so on. Until she and the bitter actor end up hiding out in back room of the restaurant from the papparazzi and to kill time she offers to tell him a story.
Because they are interrupted before she can finish, and he has to know how it ends, he has his manager call for a second date, his first second date in years, the next day. This time he takes her somewhere that she might be a little more comfortable and just wants to talk, and she finishes the story. But then starts another and doesn’t finish it.
Over the course of months, they meet night after night. She finishes one story and starts another. He had her sign a contract and started paying her after he wanted to use the first story. But, he explains, he is very busy during the day and these evening meetings are the best time for him.
As they meet night after night, slowly they start talking about more than work. In a natural way, she shows up looking tired, he asks what happened, she talks about preparing for her sister’s wedding and family pressure, and so on. He tells her about how frustrating it is to feel like everyone always wants something from him, how tired he is of no one knowing the real him. Etc. etc.
They both have “real” lives that continue around this, she starts getting more job offers for assistant director jobs and so on, and starts a relationship with a co-worker, that ends in tears when he steals her idea. She doesn’t tell Bitter Actor all the details or ask him for help, but he can tell she is upset and is gently supportive and caring. Meanwhile, Bitter Actor tries to start a real relationship with a “perfect” woman, a wealthy socialite who understands his life and looks good on his arm. But he finally breaks up with her because something is missing, and she gets loud and ugly about it. And Bitter Actor is a little drunk at the meeting that night, and spunky heroine gently tucks him in on the sofa in his office and pats his head until he goes to sleep.
It all comes to a head when Spunky Heroine is offered her big break, a small producer offers to let her direct her own film from her own story. Only she realizes, this means she can’t split her focus any more, she has to give up her nightly meetings with Bitter Actor. She sadly explains this to Bitter Actor, who is delighted! Thrilled that she is getting a break, enthusiastic about the possibilities for her future career, has no issue tearing up the contract she signed with him, shakes her hand and wishes her well. Spunky heroine leaves, feeling vaguely dissatisfied. She pursues her career, but feels a strange emptiness every evening. Until, finally, her movie premieres. Everyone is gathered around talking to her and she doesn’t know exactly what to say or how to handle the attention, when suddenly Bitter Actor is there! He seamlessly steps up and takes her arm and says the perfect thing. And then he is there, all night, not taking her spotlight but showing her how to handle the attention in the best possible way, meet the people she is supposed to meet, say the right things to the press, and all that. At the end of the night, Bitter Actor smoothly helps her leave at just the right time and sweeps her away in his familiar car that they used to drive in every night. Spunky Heroine settles back in the luxurious seat and says “I’ve missed this!” Bitter Actor says “I’ve missed this too”. And then gives a big speech about how he told himself at first it was just business, and then just convenience, and then just a habit. And finally, that she was young with her whole life and career ahead of her and he shouldn’t keep her tied to him. And so he pretended to be happy for her, pretended to let her go. But after 6 months apart, he has realized that it wasn’t just the stories that kept him coming back, it was her. And then they make out.
Bitter Actor: Shahrukh, Madhavan, Sanjay, Aamir (in Dil Chahta Hai mode), anyone else?
Spunky heroine: Anushka, Alia, Taapsee, Parineeti, Sonam, anyone else?
Cheating Wife: Aish
Next story idea! I just want a reason for Sanjay and Madhuri to make out again. Or, multiple reasons for them to make out again!
Idea 1: Sanjay single dad, Madhuri fake wife
Sanjay is a completely happy single father to 5 adopted children. However, when he returns to the city from the remote village where he taught school and originally took in these children, he runs into issues getting them accepted to a good school without papers or a wife or anything.
He hires Madhuri, divorcee desperate for money with no marketable skills who applied for a position as his secretary, to pretend to be his wife for the school interview. Only, during the interview, for Reasons, they end up inviting the principal to stay at their house for a week. Madhuri has to move in, pretend to be mother/wife, bonds with the children, and there is much much sexiness with her and Sanjay. Having to share a bedroom, covering up suspicious conversations by pretending to be embracing, etc. etc.
(Speaking of sexiness, how did I not know about this song until just now???)
At the end, the whole thing comes out when Madhuri’s ex shows up and Sanjay gets in a fight with him. The kids aren’t allowed into the school, Madhuri leaves sadly thinking she has ruined everything, only to be surprised when kids plus Sanjay show up at her sad little apartment and ask her to marry “them” and be part of their family forever.
School Principal: Boman Irani? Kirron Kher?
Madhuri’s ex: Akshay? Anil?
Idea 2: Sanjay as father of the groom, Madhuri cool aunt of the bride, bride elopes.
Sanjay’s sister arranged the first meeting and the whole relationship, Sanjay has never met the bride or her family. He is flying in from overseas last minute for the wedding. Arrives just in time to be told the bride has run away, his son is heartbroken, and the whole family has lost their honor. Furious, he bursts into the bride’s room ready to yell at whoever is there, and finds stunningly beautiful Madhuri, the bride’s cool aunt.
Madhuri is super apologetic, putting him on the wrong foot right from the start. She suggests maybe they can find a way to work this out. Sanjay takes the opportunity to suggest a second meeting, dinner the next day for instance.
What he doesn’t know is that Madhuri is so guilty because this actually is all her fault. She advised her niece to pretend to agree to an engagement to send her father off her trail, told her not to feel guilty when the boy started to fall for her a little but keep her eye on the prize, and told her that the best time to elope would be the absolute last minute before the wedding. And now she is just staying close with Sanjay so she can stay close with the groom’s family and make sure none of them talk to the bride’s family. Because they might figure out that she and the bride lied about a dowry request in order to get a suitcase of money for the bride and her elopement boyfriend to use to start in life.
Madhuri and Sanjay end up spending time with Sanjay’s depressed son, Madhuri gives him a make over and tells him that he doesn’t need an arranged bride, he can find one on his own. And then she teases Sanjay into a mild make over as well, and takes him dancing, and generally livens up the boring business household bit by bit. Until Sanjay shyly kisses her in the middle of a salsa lesson. But before their romance can take off, bride and boyfriend return. Sanjay is furious when he learns about Madhuri’s involvement and assumes that she was only spending time with him and his son to cover her tracks, doesn’t listen to her explanations. Son is the one who finally convinces him, that the wedding not happening was a good thing, and Madhuri really did care about him. Sanjay surprises Madhuri at her, roses, ring, etc., big proposal.
(She can teach him this dance!)
Idea 3: Sanjay as successful Supercop, Madhuri as criminal
I want this to be more of a farcical thing. Sanjay is a supercop, but his boss insists that he take a boring petty case because a politician is forcing it. So, he has to investigate the theft of a statue from a politician’s house. He quickly figures out that the politician stole the statue himself, by lying to an old man that it wasn’t worth much and giving him a few rupees, despite it being worth thousands and a beloved family heirloom that the old man was only selling in desperation.
Sanjay goes undercover at the tiny guest house building where the old man lives, pretending to be a new tenant. And meets Madhuri, the landlady, who is very practical and business like, but also incredibly warm and kind to the half of her tenants that she really just lets stay there because she cares about them, she is only charging token rent. The young woman who ran away from an arranged marriage and is trying to find a job, the young man who’s been out of work for months and she stopped charging rent so he could send his savings home to his mother, and of course the elderly man who she takes food to and helps take his pills and so on. Sanjay moves in, at first things the elderly man might have been working with the young man who’s out of work, then figures out all the secret things the young man is doing is just because he is in love with the young woman who ran away from an arranged marriage, and slowly narrows down suspects until he realizes Madhuri is the criminal.
(Is Mahaanta just the sexiest movie of all time and I never knew it before?)
All of this is very early on, and also very early on, Madhuri lets him know that she has figured out he is a cop. By some super clever thing like the wear on his shoes. So from then on, it is a cat and mouse game with both of them aware of it. He is trying to get her to confess, or to figure out where the hid the statue, and she is just playing with him and at the same time enjoying charging him exorbitant rent to offset all her free tenants.
Sanjay quickly reaches a point of just wanting her to confide in him so that he can save her from prosecution, but Madhuri is proud and stubborn and still won’t talk. Plus, she enjoys making Sanjay do stuff for her, like helping the young man find another job, and arranging his wedding with the young woman (and making sure her divorce is legal) and so on. On the wedding night, the rooms of the house have been rearranged for the party and so the couple can have a nice first night, and Sanjay somehow ends up without a bedroom (because out of town relatives are sleeping there). He goes in with the old man, who tells him he is missing his chance, and being stupid, clearly Madhuri arranged it this way, she still has her bed. Sanjay is all “no! maybe? no!” about it, but the old man pretends to be coughing and needs his pills that are in Madhuri’s room. Sanjay goes to her room, finds her slightly tipsy, she says the pills are in the old man’s room, he just forgot. And then she asks him in, tells him she isn’t ready for the night to be over, does he want to have a drink with her? Sanjay says yes, and Madhuri nostalgically talks about her own wedding, years ago, she was so pretty (pulls out wedding photo), and then her husband died within a year, and she’s been all alone since then, and is no longer so pretty. Sanjay, of course, tells her that she is even more beautiful today than she was then, Madhuri is touched, they have sex. Next morning, while they are giggling and flirting a little bit about taking turns sneaking out to the hall without anyone noticing, Sanjay is left alone in the room, drops something, bends down, and suddenly sees the statue. Madhuri comes back just in time to see him pick it up, misunderstands, big fight.
Which is resolved days later when Sanjay shows up on her doorstep with flowers, ring, and statue. He had a fake made and gave it to the politician.
Politician: Prakash Raj
Old Man: Rishi Kapoor
Young Man: Rajkumar Rai?
Young Woman: Aditi Rao Hydari? I want someone really fragile looking
Okay, final one! S&M SRK
Shahrukh is an aging boytoy of a powerful woman. Let’s say, Bipasha Basu. He’s officially her “assistant” and a former model, but everyone kind of knows the truth. Except his younger sister and family in the village to whom he sends money every month, the reason he keeps doing this.
One day, out of nowhere, he gets a call from his sister saying that he has to go meet a woman, she is arranging his marriage, it’s time. He tries to duck it, gives all kinds of excuses, but his sister won’t take no for an answer, she has found the perfect woman. So finally Shahrukh goes to meet her, and it’s Rani! Who is a high school principal at an all girl’s school, never been married, old friend of his sister’s, and primed to fall in love and set an engagement with Shahrukh since he sounds like the perfect man. Shahrukh is charmed and tells her he can’t get married for reasons he can’t explain, but can’t resist having a series of meetings for coffee and talking and so on. Until one day they are spotted together by Bips who calls for Shahrukh like her little lapdog and he has to come running.
Rani uses her research skills to track down who Bips is and figure out what is happening thanks to gossip online. And she calls in all her skills and knowledge from dealing with teenage girls to “rescue” Shahrukh. Manages to get an invite to the next charity function Bips is putting on, lets her know that she will be “taking” Shahrukh from her, and it is ON.
Now, for the explicit sexy bits, we all know the sub is actually in control, not the dom, right? So I say, with Bips, Shahrukh is used in the bedroom as the dominant one. Which is part of what tires and disgusts him because it isn’t what he actually likes doing. She works all day running her fancy corporation, and then calls on Shahrukh to dominate her at night. We can even have a bit of a twist on the audience expectations, we see him being all angry and growly and kind of tossing her around a bit and ordering her to take her clothes off and tying her up and stuff. And then the phone rings, Bips easily slips a hand free and grabs it, is all efficient and impersonal, and then hangs up and immediately orders Shahrukh to go get her a cup of coffee and her laptop, she has to work, and we see that actually she is the one in control.
But with Rani, in their first meeting, after he says he can’t marry her for Reasons, she surprises him by grabbing him and kissing him. And it just sort of naturally goes from there. At a later meeting, he gets tangled in a curtain trying to get out of a changing room, his hands trapped, and she kisses him again while he has to be still. He meets her in her office and overhears her yelling at a student and jokingly asks her to yell at him like that, and they both get really turned on by it, especially when she slaps his hand with a ruler. Finally, she asks (as part of her plan although he doesn’t know that) if he would be willing to give her a “first night” even if he won’t marry her, he goes back and forth but finally agrees because she asked so sincerely and simply. And she is nervous when the moment happens, so he reminds her that she is in control and can order him around, which really works for them, he ends up with his arms tied to the bed posts with her dupatta, while she alternates kisses with light slaps on his face, and so on.
And then Shahrukh returns to Bips, realizes he can’t do this any more, she blows up at him and tells him she will destroy him and his whole family, he says he is sorry but he can’t, and leaves. Rani can’t reach him, understands something terrible has happened, goes to Bips, who doesn’t even want to see her, but Rani takes charge, says she can’t harm Shahrukh, because if she does, Rani will use her teenage girls to spread rumors about exactly what Bips and Shahrukh have been doing every night under the sheets, she had better let him alone and let him live, and also give him a nice severance package.
And then Rani and Shahrukh take the money and start a school together in his home town and the “happy ending” is them locking up at night and going into their bedroom where Rani changes into full dominatrix gear and Shahrukh is happily handcuffed to the bed.
Evil Rich Sub: Bips? Vidya? Sridevi? Madhuri? Kajol? Is Priyanka too on the nose?
Good Teacher Dom: Rani? Vidya? Madhuri? Kajol? Juhi?
Casting thoughts? For any or all of the films?
If we only had money enough for one movie, which one should it be? Or at least, if we only had money enough for one Madhuri-Sanjay movie, which one should it be?
Also, is there any way ever that we could get Shahrukh to agree to be in an explicit S&M type romance or is that just a hopeless dream?