I can only take credit for kind of pulling all of this together, not for the ideas, that is all BollywoodNewbie/Alisa and HolyMuffinSallie. But it is so good, I feel the need to edit it together and expand and put it up on the blog.
Hrithik the Underrespected Star and Sanya the Underrespected AD and Anil the Secret Scriptwriter Make a Movie and Fall in Love
This started by us thinking about how Hrithik is so sincere about trying to learn and do better but it feels like people don’t respect that. And then thinking about what would happen if there was at least one person on set who treated him seriously and helped me. And then thinking about who that person would be and what if they fell in love? And finally thinking about how Anil Kapoor should be in every movie always. Thus, The Perfect Film.
We start by seeing three lonely unfulfilled people. First Anil, he gets up in the morning, makes breakfast, washes his dishes, lights incense under his mother’s photo (clearly he lived with her until she died, the apartment still has old lady touches around it), then goes out into the hall and looks sadly at a neighboring door that has a lot a pretty mat in front and a pretty nameplate and stuff, gently touches the name plate that has the name “Juhi” on it, then sadly picks up his old briefcase and leaves. Rides the train to work, walks through a film lot with dancers rehearsing and stuntman moving and doesn’t seem to even notice them, goes into a small office where he is handed a big stack of receipts by someone who doesn’t even stop talking on his cell phone, and sadly boots up his computer and starts going through them, then looks around for a second, and opens a file labeled “other expenses” and it is a film script.
The camera follows the receipt person, still on his cell phone, out of the office to another office where we see Sanya walking up on a couch with stacks of paper around her. The cell phone person gestures at her impatiently, she quickly gathers together a stack of paper and hands it off to him. And then the film rewinds as we watch the papers unstack and then restack and go back to the previous day when Sanya wakes up in a small room covered in film posters with her TV screen blinking because she fell asleep watching a movie. She rubs the sleep out of her eyes, tries to make herself tea and burns herself, spills on her clothes, throws on a dupatta to cover the stain, runs for the bus and misses it, takes an autorickshaw and fumbles to get enough change for it, then runs into the office where Anurag Kashyap (playing a version of himself) is angrily waiting for her, she tries to apologize, he cuts her off before she says anything, just hands her a big stack of script papers, and points at the calendar to indicate it has to be done by tomorrow. She sits down and starts flipping through the script and we see arty syllowets (sp?) of her imagining exactly how each scene should play out as she flips back and makes notes. It gets dark outside, someone silently brings her canteen food which she eats with one hand, she stands up and jumps up and down to stay away, finally finishes and sinks back onto the couch asleep. Which brings us to now, when the cell phone man arrives and takes the script from her.
And finally we follow the cell phone man onto set as we start to hear voices talking, everyone is gathered around one group, talking louder and louder, and finally the reveal of the Star, Hrithik. With Anurag sitting and talking next to him as everyone circles them and hands Anurag things and stuff. Finally Anurag is handed the script from the script man, hands it to Hrithik, then takes it away. Hrithik asks “wait, why can’t I see the full script?” Anurag says “don’t worry, don’t worry, we will give you your pages, you can just follow them, don’t worry about the rest of it, just enjoy, relax, simple!” And then we move into Hrithik’s silent montage. He is put in make-up, costumes, hair, just stands still while people move around and do things to him and don’t interact with him as a person. Finally he is handed a little stack of pages, his script. He takes it home, makes himself coffee, sits down to really study them. Flips through in five minutes. Stops, goes back, flips through again. Sighs because no matter how much he reads it, there is just nothing there to think about. Finally sets it aside, leaves his “thinking” desk and goes into the living room to sit on the couch and play video games, alone.
Intro over! Time for first song. We see a happy peppy song from within the movie they are shooting, with Hrithik leading the dance and the back-up dancers dancing, and in the background Anil typing away on his calculator and Sanya making notes and then looking out the window of her sad office to see what is happening on set, and Hrithik taking breaks and watching while everyone else talks to Anurag and is very busy and he just has cold drinks brought to him and is ignored. All three of them keep just missing each other, Sanya and Anil are in neighboring offices, Hrithik can look right over at their windows, but they don’t connect. Until the very end of the song when Anil leaves his office to go to the bathroom with the script open on his computer, just as Sanya goes into the hall to fill her water bottle and drops the bottle which rolls into Anil’s office. She follows it, it rolls under the desk, she goes to get it and SEES THE SCRIPT!!! Anil comes back to see her reading it and goes “what are you doing?” just as Sanya says “this is BRILLIANT! Can I read the rest of it?”
Anil is shy, tells her “no no, it is nothing, just for fun, please ignore”. But Sanya is all caught up in her artistry and says “this scene is wonderful, but have you thought what would happen if it was filmed as a voice over on top of the action instead of just a conversation?” Anil forgets his humility because he likes the idea just as Sanya has forgotten her shyness because the loves the script. He prints out a copy for her and makes her tea and anxiously watches while she reads. And then she starts to give him notes, but Anurag interrupts. Pokes his head in, doesn’t even acknowledge Anil, says “Sanya, why aren’t you in your office? I need you”. Sanya is all “I finished my work! I have another project”. And Anurag is all “Sanya, shut up, I need you to do something, I pay you to obey orders not sit and have coffee with some old duffer”. Anurag gives Sanya his “special job”. He explains the idiot movie star Hrithik is making a fuss, saying he won’t perform unless he can read the whole script. He probably can’t even read, the idiot, so Sanya is going to have to sit with him and walk him through it in small words. DON’T let him see the whole script, don’t tell him anything he doesn’t need to know, it will just confuse him. Sanya agrees in the moment, but then talks to herself after he leaves practicing what she should have said “I am not your slave. I have my own projects. I finally have a script I can direct, I am going to focus on my own career. I quit.” Anil pokes his head in and interrupts her, he made her more coffee and brought biscuits. She is nice to him, tells him she still wants his script, she will find a way to make it work around her other work. Anil is all “no no, you don’t have to be kind, it is just an old man’s dream” and Sanya is all “no, it’s really good! I want it, I love it, let me have it. I’ll find the time.” And then scrabbles in her purse and gives him a single rupee note to buy the rights.
Anil goes home that night, fingering the single rupee note. And he gets on the elevator and hears a beautiful love song playing, we hear bangles jingle, see a scarf float in the breeze, curls bounce, and then the reveal of her face, Juhi! She gets on the elevator with Anil, greets him cheerfully as “Mr. Kapoor”, tells him he is looking very smart today, and then starts happily chatting about her day, and how she got into a fight with the grocer because he was over charging her, and then found these lovely new ribbons that she is going to sew onto her clothes, and on and on. And how was his day? And Anil says “I am a scriptwriter now! Look, see, I was paid a rupee for my first script. And I want to give it to you, a small gift.” Juhi is overcome and shyly looks away while Anil grins. But then the elevator grinds to a halt and we see it was all a dream. Juhi is looking at him inquiringly, and Anil’s mouth is open and he can’t talk. She sighs, says “okay then Mr. Kapoor, see you tomorrow” and goes into her apartment while Anil sadly watches and then goes back to his own apartment.
And then we have Sanya. She is sitting in the backseat of an autorickshaw, shuffling pages and making notes, and talking to herself about arrogant dumb actors who think people have no lives of their own, and throws it all into her bag as she arrives at Hrithik’s luxury apartment. She arrives, and is immediately overwhelmed by the luxury, greeted by a servant who takes her in to wait, offers her a cold drink or tea or anything, Sanya says “no no” and looks around with big eyes. And then Hrithik comes out to her, with a big smile, anxiously asks if she was offered something to drink, she’s comfortable, doesn’t need anything? Sanya shyly says “no no, I’m fine”. Hrithik asks again to make sure she is really really sure, than asks if she would like to step into his workroom. He proudly shows her the desk he had set up to study his scripts, and that he has 4 different kinds of highlighters. And then asks to see the script so they can get started. And Sanya feels bad when she pulls out those same sad few pages and says that Anurag asked them to “focus” on this part. Hrithik’s face falls. Sanya says “But, it’s okay, I can tell you everything you need to know about the rest of it.” Hrithik’s face lights up again. And then Sanya starts to talk, telling the story of the film shot by shot, and Hrithik listens with his face all aglow. His secretary interrupts them to remind Hrithik he has to leave to make an appearance at a fashion show. Hrithik apologizes, tells Sanya again and again how wonderful this was, and insists on setting a time for her to come back. Sanya is all flustered and surprised but agrees. And then when they say good-bye, Hrithik grasps her hand tightly and says again “thank you thank you!” while looking deeply into her eyes and Sanya’s mouth falls open as she starts to feel feelings.
She is still trying to shake it off when she goes to meet with Anil at his apartment that night. He notices she is acting strange, and she laughs at herself and explains that star power is powerful, it’s stupid but she can’t stop thinking about Hrithik. Anil is sympathetic, and tells her she is young, nothing to be ashamed of to have a crush, it is at his age that it is ridiculous. Sanya insists on hearing his story. Anil love song flashback! She moved in a year ago. He heard her voice first, like a bird song, rising in the air as she yelled at the moving men. He watched her move around like a beautiful peacock ordering people around and moving her furniture. And then, she saw him! He was trapped! But she was friendly, she introduced herself and invited herself in for tea since he was her new neighbor, and sat down in his mother’s chair (where he had been afraid to sit since his mother died) and told her name, and that her son has a good job overseas and set her money for whatever she wanted, and she decided she wanted to move into the city, she was not made for small towns. But the city is so lonely! She is happy she has a new friend, Anil, her nice new neighbor. And then she left, without Anil ever being brave enough to speak. But she left her tea cup back, and Anil shyly shows it to Sanya, with Juhi’s lipstick stain still on the rim. He kept it. And also, a dupatta she dropped. And a lock of her hair that got caught in the main gate. And a bangle that fell from her dress. Sanya declares this is the most romantic story she has ever heard.
Okay, I’m at 2 thousand words and only like half an hour into the movie. But I have the rest of it figured out. Sanya convinces Anil to use their movie as an excuse to talk to Juhi and ask her to help with sets and costume planning. Hrithik eventually finds the script in Sanya’s bag and falls in love with it and declares it will be his next film, no excuses. Sanya continues to have a crush on Hrithik but thinking it is silly. Hrithik and Sanya teach Anil how to dance and dress and be romantic so he can impress Juhi but it keeps going wrong. There are lots of dance scenes, Sanya reveals that she took ballet her whole childhood and she and Hrithik love dancing together, plus Sanya has to keep being a stand in to teach him how she wants him to dance for the movie. But all this dance doesn’t work for Anil, Juhi isn’t interested when they try to invite her out to a dance club with them. It finally goes right when Anil is just himself, and Juhi reveals that she has been in love with him since first sight too, this mysterious tall dark and handsome man next door, she has been trying to attract his attention every way she could think of but he thought he was too sophisticated and urbane to notice a small town girl like here.
And then Anil accidentally reveals to Hrithik that Sanya has a crush on him which makes Hrithik suddenly think about her in a new way. He never thought an actual smart person like Sanya, someone he respects so much, could be attracted to him. With his eyes open, he immediately hopelessly in love. But he overhears her talking to herself and thinks she is just attracted to his body, not his soul, and he can’t be satisfied with that half love. In emotional torment, he manages to finish the film. But at the last moment it appears like it won’t release, Anurag Kashyap rears his ugly head to declare that since Anil wrote it on the studio computer, he owns the script and the whole film, it will only release if HE is listed as director (since his film with Hrithik came out and flopped and he needs a hit and can tell this one will be it). Hrithik is furious and makes a closed room deal with Anurag. Anurag can take full credit as producer, he will get credit for funding it and all the profits, and he will get credit in the industry as the “visionary” who recognized the script for what it was. Hrithik will give up his hopes of being respected as a producer and a thinker. But Sanya MUST keep her director credit. At the release party, Sanya learns all this for the first time, and also learns that Hrithik has retreated to his hill station vacation home to let her have all the honor on her own. And Anil and Juhi (who eloped the night before) tell her that Hrithik has been in love with her for months and she was so caught up in her low self-esteem she couldn’t see it, or let herself acknowledge her own feelings. Sanya knows it is true, runs away from her premiere party to go to the scenic hill station and find Hrithik who is sitting in his sadness sweater, and asks him to dance with her.
Happy ending montage, everyone wins a FilmFare (Juhi for costumes, Anil for writing, Sanya for directing, Hrithik for acting). Anurag fails in his next movie without Sanya to do all the work for him. Sanya and Hrithik get married and share his home office, him marking up his scripts and occasionally asking her questions, and Sanya and Anil already meeting to discuss their next project. And Anil is in big bright sweaters and shirts now, because Juhi is dressing him. And Hrithik and Sanya are very handsy and sexy and in love.