Did not expect to have a Silly Sunday idea from a creepy stalker/internet troll podcast. But then there was a surprising little sweet romance in the middle of it!
Okay, the real story is a lovely little drop of sweetness in the midst of a lot of yuch. The podcast is about internet stalking, this one really REALLY creepy dude who obsessively stalked multiple people, destroying their lives online, for decades. And it was a mix of people he knew in real life and randomly met online. One woman he initially met online and she was young and in a bad place in her life so after talking to him a lot, she agreed to fly out and meet him, a nice trip if nothing else. They had sex and it was a little freaky which they both enjoyed, and then he started to get kind of odd, and progressively odder over the course of her visit, angry and dark and closed off, and she felt scared and trapped. But! Surprise bright spot! The one person she knew in town was his friend who he had introduced her to/shown her off to. He had seemed like a nice decent person, she actually spent some time with him one on one and he was kind and cheerful. So she showed up on his doorstep in the middle of the night asking to stay at his place, and he of course took her in and got her to the airport, because he was a normal human person. And then because he was a normal human person, he followed up to check in with her after she got home, and they became good friends, and eventually fell in love. In the real story, although they are still good friends, the relationship didn’t last and she ended up moving on to a better place in her life. But obviously in my film version, I want to contrast the sex positive heroine, the possessive weird boyfriend, and the normal decent guy who does the normal decent thing immediately without hesitation! And then Love Story.
I wanna do a modern Darr, basically, (the Ultimate Stalking Movie). We set up the Stalker romance with all the standard film tropes, and then flip it to show how wrong those tropes are. Our heroine is “wild” and has sex and needs to be redeemed. She meets a man online who is romantic and writes her sweet things and she writes sweet things back and it is a different sort of relationship than she has had before. Also, letter love song happens. Meanwhile, the “hero” is romantic and dreaming of the perfect woman, and tends to be lonely and prefer to stay home rather than go out clubbing and to parties. He has one friend who he confides in, but the friend is cynical and doesn’t believe in his One True Love fantasy.
And then, TWIST! Heroine flies out to meet him and he does the big arms thing and then they embrace and have sex. Happy/disturbing sex song, while she is goofy and happy and whatevs, he keeps being weirdly serious. And then she wants to go out but he wants to stay home, and everything starts to get weird. He just wants to stare at her, and she wants to actually do things in the world. The one bright spot is when he agrees to allow his friend who he “trusts” to take her out sight seeing while he works. She and the friend actually have a good time and laugh and enjoy things. And then she is back to the Room of Romance and it creeps her out so much, all the photos of her on the wall and poems and stuff, that in the middle of the night she packs up and flees to the friend’s house, sobbing out to him how STRANGE all of it was and how she just wants to stay safe and then fly out in the morning. Friend is a decent person and lets her in and gets her to the airport in the morning. And then cuts “hero” out of his life because clearly something is wrong with him.
Second half, start of a new romance! Heroine starts getting internet stalked and tortured by “hero”. She turns to friend for support and help because he is the only one who was sort of part of it with her. Friend starts getting stalked as well, and then they end up getting closer, and finally falling in love thanks to mutual interests and common personalities. And the film never suggests that this is her own fault for being sex positive and open, in fact she is rewarded by meeting this nice non-judgemental dude.
Isn’t that a great clapback at the traditional romance??? And obviously, Kat is the heroine, Ranbir is, of course, the “hero”. Best bit would be, we wouldn’t tell him he is secretly a villain, and he would play the whole thing totally straight thinking he was the “hero”. HA!
For the friend, I want someone really normal. Obviously, the temptation is to cast Vicky. But is that just TOO predictable? What about someone like Aparshakti Khurrana who always plays the friend, so you wouldn’t expect it?