Not “meet”, we already had that, but “meat”, the serious center cut portion of it all. Fun thing is, this is an Indian film we are writing, so we get the center cut here, and then the next post is the pre-interval finale, then the Twist, then the post-interval reset, then the second “meat” part, then the finale-finale, and then the epilogue. So many pieces!
Characters and Setting:
Hero: Shahrukh as a middle-aged animal rights lawyer
Heroine: Tabu as a divorced single mom high school teacher, traditional but wishes she was modern
Setting: Modern India
Courtney opens the plot:
Shahrukh is a lawyer who specializes in animal abuse cases. Tabu’s ex got her dog in the divorce, but is being a bad owner to it. I’m gonna say not abusive, so not that sad, but like he locks it up outside at night which makes the dog whimper which upsets Tabu’s kids when they see it. Tabu’s divorce lawyer has no interest in helping her with a dog custody case, so she goes online and finds Shahrukh, impoverished passionate animal rights lawyer.
Miss Braganza brings it forward:
Tabu is skeptical about the whole “animal lawyer” thing and Shahrukh is a serious activist for animals in India; he’s never handled a divorce before. She goes to his office with her kids, and leaves them with the secretary. She goes in to talk to him and they eye each other skeptically. His dog is under the desk. She tells her problem and he does that thing they always do in movies where they write the amount on a piece of paper to avoid saying numbers of money. She looks at it and it’s super high. She explodes at him: How can he charge that much? He’s just a–scoff–animal lawyer! And her kids are really distressed and he’s taking advantage of a poor single woman! He explodes back: Does she even know what happens to elephants in this country? He works tirelessly for little pay for them! If a rich dilettante wants him to argue in her divorce, she is going to make a generous donation to those elephants! Tabu is slightly mollified. Shah Rukh’s dog comes out and puts his head in Tabu’s lap and Shah Rukh notes how much she likes him. Tabu’s kids come into the office and Shah Rukh shows them happy baby elephant pictures. Their eyes meet above their respective children and animals and they smile slightly. Tabu says she’s a high school teacher and can’t afford his fee. Shah Rukh says he will discount it if she will make a poster about his elephant initiative (she’s an art teacher). They shake hands. Fade into the musical montage of them having cups of tea, looking at elephants, and playing with the kids and the dog.
Okay, we have the set up, the first meeting, and now it is time for the real meat of the plot to start! Who can come up with a believable conflict/obstacle from here???? There’s the dog-hating ex-husband, the reason SRK has never married, Tabu’s character description of “traditional but wishes she was modern”, lots of little breadcrumbs that could turn into something.