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The Beach






The Beach

Written by John Hodge

Based on the Novel by Alex Garland

 

 

© Figment Films ltd. 15 June 1998

 

  1. EXT. BANGKOK. NIGHT.
  2. A single headlamp in close up shines directly and brightly out

    Extreme noise and light.

    Beyond its glare can be seen the outline of a motorized tricycle ("tuk-tud") and its Thai driver

    A young man, Richard, sits in the back, his rucksack beside him, swaying with the motion of the vehicle. He is worn and sweating.

    They travel through nocturnal Bangkok: fleets of tuk-tuks, taxis, road works, food vendors, dogs, tourists.

    Music and credits.

  1. EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. NIGHT
  2. The bright headlight comes to a halt.

    Richard climbs down from the tuk-tuk

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    When you hit Bangkok, there's really only one place to go.

    The street is busy, full of Thai's and travelers.

    Richard picks his way through the crowd, his rucksack on his back.

    He absorbs the scene as he passes boarding houses and hotels, and the shops and stalls selling food, clothes, pirated tapes, jewelry, travel tickets, and international phone calls. Restaurantes are filled with western travelers watching American films or European sport.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    (continuing)

    The Khao San Road is a decompression chamber between east and west. It's where you learn to breathe car fumes and tropical air for the very first time, or else carefully rearrange your memories before you catch your flight home.

    Richard is approached by a young male Thai Hustler who walks backwards in front of him while making his pitch.

    HUSTLER

    You need somewhere to stay?

    RICHARD

    I'll be OK, Thanks.

    Richard politely ignores each of his subsequent offers.

    HUSTLER

    What do you want? Sell your passport? Buy passport? Airline tickets? You want silk? I'll take you to the best silk place? You get a suit in twenty-four hours. Diamonds? You want to come with me, you get present for your girlfriend. Maybe no girlfriend. You want a girl, no problem. Good time. Boy girl fucking no problem. You want to drink some snake blood?

    At this last one Richard stops and addresses the Hustler.

    RICHARD

    No thanks.

    Richard walks on, the hustler fading out behind him.

    HUSTLER

    You want designer clothes? I get you Versache, Gucci, Armani, no problem. You want a camera, all the best makes: Nikon, Leica, Canon I can get you.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    Yeah, it's all here: you an phone home, meet up with strangers, split up with your friends, watch Hollywood movies while you sip Budweiser and eat a burger or get some massage and green chicken soup. You could be anywhere in the world bu you could only find it here. And what do they want, all these people?

  1. EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. NIGHT./ INT. BARS AND SHOPS. NIGHT.
  2. Various young travelers, male and female, in snapsho9t exerpts, address their comments to the camera or each other.

    TRAVELER 1

    Where you been?

    TRAVELER 2

    Where you going?

    TRAVELER 3

    I've been there

    TRAVELER 4

    It's a waste of time

    TRAVELER1

    We just got back

    TRAVELER2

    Fantastic

    TRAVELER 3

    How much did it cost?

    TRAVELER5

    A complete rip off.

    TRAVELER3

    Too many people. There's a much better place along the coast.

    TRAVELER 4

    We're going exploring. We've read this book. It tells us all the best places to explore.

    TRAVELER 2

    I know a place that everyone says is really unspoiled.

    TRAVELER 1

    I heard they built a big hotel there.

    TRAVELER 5

    Some sort of sewage problem, apparently.

    TRAVELER 1

    We're going anyway: all the rooms have got air conditioning.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    But for me it's all about finding out something about a place, and something about yourself. And when you get off the beaten track, that's where you find out what there is to find out.

    Richard turns into one of the restaurants.

  1. INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT.
  2. The restaurant extends deeply back away from the street. Richard passes many diners not dissimilar to himself. Some are talking, many are engrossed in the video entertainment.

    At the back he reaches a reception desk where he drops his pack.

    A Thai female HOTEL RECEPTIONIST sits behind the desk. She immediately shows Richard a "menu" of available rooms. The menu offers a spread of prices for single/double/window/fan/aircon/bathroom.

    Richard points to the cheapest combination and hands over 300 baht.

    The Receptionist becomes aware that he is being started at.

    A worn, disheveled man in his mid-thirties is standing at the nearby bar, a bottle in his hand, studying Richard. This is Daffy.

    RICHARD

    Good evening.

    Daffy says nothing but continues to stare and takes a drink.

    Richard will not be stared down. Neither turns away.

    The Receptionist passes over a key and smiles broadly.

    HOTEL RECEPTIONIST

    Welcome to Thailand.

    Richard turns to her.

    RICHARD

    Thank you.

  1. INT SHOWER. NIGHT

  2. In a small windowless shower room, Richard stands motionless, eyes closed, facing with pleasure the spray of cold water.

  1. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT
  2. The sound of the shower can be heard through a door marked with a shower sign.

    The sound stops and the door is opened. Richard emerges with a towel wrapped around his waist, carrying his key and washbag.

    He walks the short distance to his room. He puts the key in the door but the lock is stiff and he has to fiddle with it, bent over and dripping water on the floor.

    While he is doing so, the sound of footsteps climbing nearby stairs can be heard.

    There is the sound of a loud wolf-whistle.

    Richard turns to the source of the whistle.

    A beautiful European woman is smiling at him. This is Francoise. She approaches and takes the key from his hand. She turns the key in one direction, then the other, while twisting the handle.

    FRANCOIS

    Et voila.

    The door swings gently open. She stands back

    RICHARD

    Thank you.

    Footsteps approach from the stair.

    Francoise is joined by a young man, ETIENNE, who catches up with her. He nods at Richard as he takes her arm. They walk away from Richard to the next door.

    FRANCOISE

    Bonsoir.

    RICHARD

    Eh - bonsoir.

    ETIENNE

    Goodnight.

    The couple reach their door. They enter their room and the door is closed behind them.

    Alone in the corridor again, Richard contemplates their presence.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    I was traveling alone for two reasons. First of all, being alone allows you more opportunity to absorb your experiences on a personal level. Secondly, and this I felt acutely at that moment, there was no one who wanted to go with me.

  1. INT RESTAURANT. NIGHT
  2. Richard is in the restaurant which is quiet now.

    He is alone at a table eating and drinking. On a high shelf several feet away a Hollywood action film, all gunshots, car chases, and explosions, plays on the television.

    Most of the tables around him are empty.

    Richard is interrupted by the man he met earlier, Daffy, who pulls up a chair beside him.

    DAFFY

    Excuse me.

    RICHARD

    Yes?

    DAFFY

    I'm Daffy.

    RICHARD

    Richard. Hi.

    DAFFY

    Look, I'm sorry to bother you but I was wondering if you could help me out.

    RICHARD

    Help you out?

    DAFFY

    Yeah; just ten or fifteen dollars maybe.

    RICHARD

    I'm sorry, I don't think so.

    DAFFY

    I'm waiting on some money coming through. It's just that at the moment, you know, I'm short. They're going to chuck me out. On the street in Bangkok, that's bad.

    RICHARD

    I'm really sorry but I just arrived; I'm on a pretty tight budget myself. I just can't afford it.

    DAFFY

    Just five dollars, please.

    He leans in close to Richard

    DAFFY

    (continuing)

    I'll share something with you.

    RICHARD

    I'm sorry. I can't lend you any money.

    Daffy retreats.

    Richard turns back to the video and his food.

    Daffy approaches two young women sitting at a nearby table.

    DAFFY

    Excuse me, ladies, is there any chance you could help me out. I'm down on my luck at the moment.

    The two young women seem uncomfortable. Richard notices.

    DAFFY

    (continuing)

    if you could see your way to lending me some cash -

    RICHARD

    Here.

    He leans across and holds out a ten dollar note for Daffy.

    DAFFY

    Thank you, sir. Thank you. I promise I will repay you.

    RICHARD

    Just take it, OK.

    Daffy takes it.

    Richard returns to the video as a big yellow explosion is reflected on his face.

  1. INT. RICHARD'S HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.
  2. Some light enters from the street through a small window.

    Richard lies on his bed, watching the fan rotate above him.

    He is listening to the sound of Etienne and Francoise engaging in noisy sex. They reach the climax of their activity and fall silent.

    Richard just has time to enjoy the silence when a new disturbance begins, this time from the next room in the other direction. It is a man, Daffy, banging on the wall just above Richard's head and shouting in time.

    DAFFY (O.S.)

    Have. You. Got. Anything. To. Smoke.

    Have. You. Got. Anything. To. -

  1. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT.
  2. Richard knocks sharply on the door of Daffy's room.

    The door is opened immediately by Daffy, looking even worse then before.

    RICHARD

    No, I don't have anything to smoke.

    Daffy stares at him for a moment. Recognition dawns.

    DAFFY

    You. You're the guy that lent me the money.

    RICHARD

    Yeah, that's right. Now could you be quiet so I can get some sleep.

    DAFFY

    Ten dollars. I'll find a way to pay you back. How would you like to know About somewhere special? The perfect beach. Paradise. No one else knows about it. That's got to be worth something. What do you say?

    RICHARD

    Look I don't care about the money right now: I just want some sleep. So if you could be quiet -

    DAFFY

    Yea, OK. I will be, I will be, I promise.

    RICHARD

    Thanks.

    Richard turns away.

    DAFFY

    Richard -

    He turns back.

    DAFFY

    (Continuing)

    Been nice knowing you.

    He sticks his hand out.

    Richard politely reciprocates.

    RICHARD

    Sure.

    They shake hands.

  1. INT. EXT. RESTAURANT. DAY.
  2. The restaurant fronts on to the street where a new day's activity is beginning.

    Richard watches this as he eats his breakfast.

    He notices Etienne and Francoise sti down at the next table.

    RICHARD

    Bonjour.

    ETIENNE

    Good morning.

    FRANCOISE

    Did you sleep well?

    RICHARD

    Not too bad.

    FRANCOISE

    I hope our noise did not keep you awake.

    Richard looks from one to the other.

    RICHARD

    The noise? Don't worry. You're on holiday.

    ETIENNE

    She means your neighbor. The Scotsman

    RICHARD

    Oh, that noise! Yes, he certainly did.

    ETIENNE

    We moved rooms because of him.

    FRANCOISE

    He tried to borrow money from us.

    ETIENNE

    What idiot would lend him money? It would disappear.

    FRANCOISE

    He said if we lent him money h would tell us about a secret beach.

    ETIENNE

    It's on an island that no one get to.

    FRANCOISE

    But he has been there, off course.

    ETIENNE

    It was ridiculous; all this at three o'clock in the morning.

    RICHARD

    It would be nice though, if there was a place like that. You know, that no one could get to.

    ETIENNE

    Of course, but look; all these people. If that place existed, they'd all be there.

  1. INT. TRAVEL AGENT'S. DAY
  2. On a large board are details, photographs and prices of various standard excursions. A Thai TRAVEL AGENT reels them off at great speed.

    TRAVEL AGENT

    Nakhon - Pathom - Phra Ptahom Chedi - Damnoen Sadual floating market - eight hundred baht. Kanchanburi - Erwan national Park Phrathat Cave, huang Khamin Falls - six hundred baht. Nam Tok, hellfire Pass, Three Pagodas, Sai Yok National Park - fifteen hundred baht. Bang Pa In Royal Palace, Ayatthaya, Wat Phra Manhathat, Wat Raburna - one thousand baht. What do you want?

    Richard studies the board but is not excited.

    RICHARD

    Twenty Marlboro light, please.

    Instantly the Travel Agent produces the packet of cigarettes from a shelf and lays them on the counter.

  1. EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. DAY.
  2. Richard lights up and looks around.

    He looks through the tapes at a stall.

  1. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY
  2. Richard walks along the corridor towards his room, his new tape playing on his walkman.

    On his door, a folded sheet of paper is attached with a pin.

    Richard lifts it off and unfolds it.

    It is a detailed and carefully drawn map of a cluster of islands. Some are named. One is unnamed. On it, some features are marked; hills, forest, river and a letter X.

    In the corner it reads "X = beach".

    Richard switches his Walkman off.

    He studies the map then walks to Daffy's door and knocks.

    No reply.

    Richard twists the handle and pushes gently. The door opens.

  1. INT DAFFY'S ROOM. DAY.
  2. The room is dim, be even so the blood can be seen sprayed and smeared around the walls, sheets and floor.

    There is no sign of Daffy.

    Richard treads carefully, avoiding the pools of blood on the floor.

    He reaches the other side of the room. There, wedged in the narrow gap between bed and wall, is Daffy's corpse. His wrists have been cut.

    Richard studies the map again.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    You hope and you dream, but you never believe that something's going to happen for you, not like it does in the movies. And when it does, you sort of expect it to feel different. More visceral. More real. Like IMAX maybe. I was waiting for it to hit me, but it didn't. And just for the record, I never did get my ten dollars back.

    Richard switches his walkman back on.

  1. INT. POLICE STATION. DAY.
  2. In an office, two policemen, one in UNIFORM and the other a DETECTIVE, stand over Richard while he signs a statement.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    The police didn't want to waste any time on it. They were just pissed off becase he was traveling on a false passport, name of Mr Daffy

    Duck, birthplace Ruritania, which kind of fucked up all the paperwork. They pulled everyone in from the hotel, but all they wanted form me was a statement saying I found him and it looked like he cut his wrists. No problem.

    The detective studies Richard's passport.

    DETECTIVE

    What are you doing in Thailand? Tourist?

    RICHARD

    Traveler.

    DETECTIVE

    You go to Patpong? See smoke from pussy, ping pong ball from pussy, razor blade from pussy; bird from pussy.

    RICHARD

    I don't think so.

    DETECTIVE

    Why not? Thai girls best in the world. Thai food best in the world. Thai dope best in the world.

    RICHARD

    I wouldn't know anything about that, sir.

  1. INT. POLICE STATION CORRIDOR. DAY
  2. The door of the office opens and Richard walks out.

    Lined up in the corridor, slouching against the walls, are several other travelers from the hotel. At the front of the queue are Francoise and Etienne.

    The officer beckons Etienne into the office and closes the door.

    Richard and Francoise acknowledge each other with a smile.

  1. INT. RICHARD'S HOTEL ROOM. DAY.
  2. Richard is seated at the top of his bed, addressing his speech out of shot while he holds the map.

    RICHARD

    OK, this island may not actually exist. And even if it does, we might not be able to get there. But look at it like this: what else is there to do around here?

    Richard is alone.

    RICHARD

    (continuing)

    So what do you think? Are you going to come or not. I'd be thrilled if you'd join me, you and your…you and your boyfriend.

  1. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY
  2. Richard knocks on his neighbors' door.

    Etienne opens it.

    RICHARD

    Hi. You want to take a hike? I mean a trip. A journey. With your girlfriend and me. I mean the two of you, and me. It's a secret island. Paradise. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    Francoise appears behind Etienne.

    FRANCOISE

    Hi.

    RICHARD

    Hi there. Here, take a look.

    He shows Etienne the map.

    RICHARD

    (continuing)

    It's a map. The dead guy left it for me; I think it's the place he tried to sell you. It's going to be just fucking great. You want to come? I'd be thrileld if…

    Francoise and Etienne are looking at him.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    I realized that I had absolutely no idea of how I was going to get there.

  1. EXT. RAILWAY/THAI COUNTRYSIDE. NIGHT.
  2. A train travels at night alongside fields.

  1. INT. TRAIN. NIGHT
  2. Richard is awake. Opposite him, Etienne and Francoise are slumped together in sleep.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    Etienne, however, and I have to hand it to the guy, was fucking great. He organized the whole thing: tickets, timetables, best route, the whole damn trip.

  1. EXT. SEA. DAY.
  2. The bow of a passenger ferry crashes through a wave.

  1. EXT. BOAT DAY.
  2. The decks are crowded with travelers and their packs. Amongst them are Richard, Francoise, and Etienne. Maps and guidebooks are being studied by many. The noise of the engines and the wind deters conversation.

    RICHARD (V.O.)

    Thanks to him we hit the final stop on the tourist trail inside twenty-four hours, where, Etienne assured me, we would hire what he called a "local fisherman" to take us on the last stage of our journey.

    1. INT EXT. TRUCK. DAY
    2. Inside back of a covered, converted pick-up, four people are seated down each side, amongst them Richard, Francoise, and Etienne.

      Behind them as they bump along, can be seen the dusty red road bordered with dense green shrubs.

      The truck stops.

    1. EXT. ROAD. DAY.
    2. Richard unloads the final of the three rucksacks from the roof of the truck, passing it down to Etienne who stands at the back with Francoise.

      The truck pulls away, revealing as sign, "Seashell Bungalows".

    1. EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY.
    2. A simple wooden shack on stilts, one of several standing in a line at the edge of the beach. There is a small porch to the front.

    1. INT. BUNGALOW. DAY
    2. A spartan room: bed, mosquito nets, chair, cupboard, fan.

      Richard dumps his rucksack.

    1. Ext. SEA/BEACH. DAY.
    2. A long inflatable tube is towed past by a motorboat, its passengers whooping with delight.

      As it passes, Francoise is revealed, standing in the water, looking in towards the shore. She begins to walk in.

      On the beach there are sunbathers, games of beach volley ball, and vendors selling food and sunglasses.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      This was just the kind of place I didn't want to hang around. Not that it's lacking in comfort. Quite the opposite. It's got everything. Everything you could possibly need to make you feel at home. And what's the point of that.

      On the beach Francoise picks up a towel.

    1. EXT. BEACH RESTAURANT. DAY.
    2. The restaurant fronts on to the beach. At the back there is a bar.

      Richard sits alone at a table with a drink, watching the scene on the beach, including Francoise.

      Etienne pulls up a chair and sits down.

      Francoise will join them as the dialogue proceeds.

      ETIENNE

      It's arranged. Tomorrow morning. Eight hundred baht.

      RICHARD

      Nice work.

      ETIENNE

      There is one problem.

      Etienne opens the map on the table.

      ETIENNE

      He will not take us to the island. It's in the National Park and it is forbidden to go there. But we are allowed to travel to this one to stay for one night.

      RICHARD

      That's the wrong one.

      ETINENNE

      I know that.

      Francoise sits down with a drink.

      RICHARD

      So from there to there?

      FRANCOISE

      We swim.

      RICHARD

      Swim?

      ETIENNE

      We leave our rucksacks on this island and then we swim.

      FRANCOISE

      You can swim?

      RICHARD

      Yes, of course I can swim. How far do you think it is?

      ETIENNE

      One or two kilometers.

      RICHARD

      Oh. Great. Not far at all. I don't like to be negative, but do you think we should let someone know where we're going?

      ETIENNE

      Why?

      RICHARD

      We're going to swim "one or two kilometers" across open sea, from one uninhabited island to another. Something goes wrong. What then?

      FRANCOISE

      Have you told someone?

      RICHARD

      No.

      FRANCOISE

      I think it's a bad idea to tell anyone.

      ETIENNE

      Richard, it's secret. That's the whole point.

      RICHARD

      Yeah, OK. Foreget it. We won't tell anyone.

      Richard picks up the map

    1. EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY
    2. Richard sits on his veranda, under cover. Beyond him is a tropical downpour.

      He hears two sets of footsteps rushing up the stairs of the next door bungalow. Two men, Americans, Zeph and Sammy, try to open their door but cannot.

      ZEPH

      Fuck, I knew we locked it. We should have left it unlocked.

      Sammy addresses Richard

      SAMMY

      We lost our key

      RICHARD

      Where did you lose it?

      ZEPH

      On the beach. Or in the water.

      SAMMY

      The truth is we don't know.

      RICHARD

      You try reception?

      ZEPH

      Closed. Back later. We hope.

      RICHARD

      Pretty annoying

      SAMMY

      It's a disaster, to which there is only one sensible, considered, appropriate, and timely response.

    1. EXT. BUNGALOW. NIGHT.
    2. All three are stoned. A joint is passed around while Zeph sings badly.

      ZEPH

      I smoke two joints in the morning, and I smoke two joints at night, and I smoke two joints in the afternoon, and then I feel alright. I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war. I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints and then I smoke some more. I can't remember the rest.

      RICHARD

      Perhaps you smoked too much dope.

      ZEPH

      Not possible

      SAMMY

      Do you know the Kentucky friend mouse story?"

      RICHARD

      Woman bites chicken leg, turns out to be a mouse. Or a rat. It's an urban myth.

      SAMMY

      Exactly. Always happened to someone else.

      RICHARD

      So?

      SAMMY

      So there's an urban myth, well more of a rural myth, going around here at the moment. It's about a beach.

      RICHARD

      Uh-huh.

      ZEPH

      Yea. This beach is perfect. It's on an island, right, hidden from the sea. Imagine: pure white sand and enough dope to smoke all day every day for the rest of your life. Only a few know exactly where it is and they won't tell anyone.

      SAMMY

      Of course no one's actually ever met any of these people, only met someone who has. You know what I mean. It's a Kentucky fried mouse.

      RICHARD

      I hadn't heard that one before. But it's good. It's a good story.

      A torch shines on them, jolting them into some sort of reaction and a woman's voice calls out.

      THAI WOMAN

      Hey, you! I got your key!

    1. INT. BUNGALOW. DAY
    2. Richard's rucksack is packed an by the door.

      Richard is sitting copying Daffy's map on to another sheet of paper. He finishes and writes a note on the copy.

      He puts the original in his pack and lifts it.

    1. EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY.

    2. Richard hops over the fence to the veranda of Zeph and Sammy's bungalow.

      He slips the folded copy under their door.

      He looks around to check that he has not been seen.

    1. EXT BEACH. DAY

    2. Richard walks along a narrow wooden pontoon, his rucksack on his back.

      He stops about half way along at a small narrow wooden boat with an outboard motor.

      He looks down into it.

      Etienne and Francoise walk past him along the pontoon without stopping and disappear from view.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      OK, let's face it. There is no such thing as a local fisherman anymore. There really isn't the demand for them. If you want to catch fish you put down a hundred kilometer drag net.

      Richard walks away along the pontoon.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      (continuing)

      And if you want to go somewhere - you get a taxi.

    1. EXT. SEA.. DAY.

    2. Richard, Francoise and Etiene sit at the back of a small powerful motor launch which skims across the surface of the sea with great noise and speed.

    1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
    2. The motor launch idles gently as it drifts into the shallows of a small deserted bay.

      Richard Francoise, and Etienne jump from the boat into the shallows.

    1. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
    2. As the sun sets they sit in silence, each shovelling down forkloads of noodles.

    1. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
    2. The only sounds are those of crickets and the waves gently breaking on the shore.

      Richard is lying asleep on the sand.

      He is woken by someone rummaging through the rucksack beside him. It is Francoise, removing clothes, books, souvenirs. Eventually she finds her camera, a mini-tripod and a cable-release.

      She places them on an unfolded T-shirt on the sand.

      RICHARD

      Francoise -

      FRANCOISE

      Sshh. Etienne will be angry if I wake him. He thinks I waste film taking photographs of the sky.

      Richard wakes up and works out what she is doing.

      RICHARD

      I think so too.

      FRANCOISE

      One night I will get the perfect photograph.

      She presses the cable release.

      FRANCOISE

      (continuing)

      Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six.

      She lets the shutter close.

      FRANCOISE

      (continuing)

      Take a look.

      Richard leans over and squints down the viewfinder.

      The sky is framed. Francoise leans into the frame.

      Richard draws back.

      RICHARD

      You realize that in the eternity of space, there is a planet, just like this one, where you are photographing back towards us. You're photographing yourself.

      FRANCOISE

      Incredible

      RICHARD

      There are infinite worlds out there, where anything that can happen does happen.

      FRANCOISE

      So on one you are rich, on another poor. On one you are a murderer, on another the victim.

      RICHARD

      Exactly

      FRANCOISE

      Richard, you know something -

      She hands him the cable release while she adjusts the camera.

      FRANCOISE

      (continuing)

      That is just the kind of pretentious bullshit that Englishmen and Americans always say to French girls so that they can sleep with them.

      RICHARD

      Sorry. I thought I was doing quite well.

      FRANCOISE

      It's just the sky, Richard.

      She presses his thumb down on the cable release, her hand around his.

      FRANCOISE

      (continuing)

      Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept…

    1. EXT. NIGHT. SKY.
    2. Francoise voice fades away over an image of the night sky.

      Time lapse: the sky rapidly changes to day.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      When you develop an infatuation for someone, you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn't need to be a good reason, a bad one will do just as well. Taking photographs of the night sky, for example: in the long run that's just the kind of dumb irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But at the time - it's the charming eccentricity you've been searching for all these years.

    1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
    2. From a different beach they look towards their target: the island. It is 1-2 kilometers away.

      Richard, Etienne, and Francoise stand on the beach looking towards it. Each is in their swimwear and a T-shirt, and carries a plastic bag, inflated and tied, in which they carry their valuables and some rations.

      ETIENNE

      One kilometer

      FRANCOISE

      Two.

      ETIENNE

      Richard?

      RICHARD

      I don't know - I'm American.

      ETIENNE

      So?

      RICHARD

      We think in miles, not kilometers.

      ETIENNE

      So how many miles do you think it is?

      RICHARD

      I have no idea but it looks like a long way.

      FRANCOISE.

      Too far?

      RICHARD

      If it's too far, then we'll drwon. But if we don’t' try then we'll never know.

      Richard wades into the water.,

      RICHARD

      So, let's go.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      You have to enjoy a moment like that. You just don't know, you see; it may never happen again.

      Once more.

      RICHARD

      SO, let's go.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      I am such a fucking hero. "Let's go". I felt like I'd waited all my life just to say something like that. So I replayed it a couple of times, taking it from different perspectives.

    1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
    2. Multiple repeats of Richard's moment from various perspectives and speeds.

      RICHARD

      So: let's go.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      You have to enjoy a moment like that. You just don't know, you see: it may never happen again.

      Once more.

      RICHARD

      So: let's go.

      He dives in and begins swimming.

    1. EXT. SEA. DAY.
    2. They are far out to sea now, several hundred meters from the shore.

      Richard swims at the front, the other two about five meters behind.

      RICHARD

      Everyone ok?

      ETIENNE

      We're ok.

      RICHARD

      I think we're about half way.

      A few strokes later.

      ETIENNE

      Richard - I saw a fin!

      RICHARD

      What!

      ETIENNE

      A fin!

      They all stop and tread water.

      RICHARD

      A shark fin?

      ETIENNE

      I don't know, just a fin. Over there. About a hundred meters.

      RICHARD

      Big?

      ETIENNE.

      Yes.

      RICHARD

      Well what the fuck do you expect me to do about it.

      ETIENNE

      Nothing. I just thought you ought to know.

      RICHARD

      Well to be honest, Etienne, I would rather have not known about it.

      ETIENNE

      I'm sorry.

      RICHARD

      A bit fucking late.

      He starts swimming again.

      A few strokes later he hears a short sharp scream from Francoise.

      ETIENNE

      Francoise! Francoise!

      Richard turns around. Francoise is gone. Her plastic bag bobs on the surface. Etienne is frantic, hysterical.

      ETIENNE

      (continuing)

      She is gone!

      RICHARD

      What happened?

      Etienne submerges briefly and resurfaces.

      ETIENNE

      She just went under the water. She was pulled under. Oh God, I don't see her.

      RICHARD

      Was there a shark? Did you see a shark?

      They both start looking down at their feet and circling frantically in the water.

      ETIENNE

      I don't know! I don't know! Oh God.

      Suddenly Richard screams.

      Francoise surfaces, pulling up his ankle.

      She and Etienne laugh at Richard.

      RICHARD

      Very funny. You Europeans, you have ssuch a playful sense of humor. No wonder your comedy has conquered the world.

      He swims on.

      ETIENNE

      What about Moliere?

      RICHARD

      Fuck off.

      He swims on without looking round.

    1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
    2. One by one the three swimmers emerge from the sea and collapse on the beach. They are absolutely exhausted and lie there on the sand, unable to speak.

      Eventually, they tear open their plastic bags, drink some water and eat some chocolate.

      Richard has a little water left in his bottle. He notices Francoise and Etienne eyeing it enviously.

      He holds the bottle out towards them, then snatches it back and swigs down the last of the water.

    3. EXT. FOREST. DAY.
    4. Richard, Francoise, and Etienne walk through the forest behind the beach.

    1. EXT. FOREST. DAY
    2. They scramble up a steep slope through dense foliage.

      Richard, at the front, pauses to let the other two pass him, then he follows.

    1. EXT. TOP OF SLOPE/CLEARING. DAY.
    2. Richard reaches the top of the slope and follows the other two through a gap in the foliage.

      He joins Etienne and Francoise who are standing in awe at the edge of a large clearing filled with cannabis plants.

      ETIENNE

      Nice Island.

      They smile and examine the plants.

      Richard wanders a short distance away.

      Something glinting on the ground catches Richard's eye. He leans down and picks it up. It is an empty brass cartridge from a rifle. Richard looks around.

      Just ahead he sees the remains of an extinguished campfire, and beyond that, protruding from the undergrowth, a pair of male legs and beyond them, the butt of a rifle.

      CLOSE IN on the nest in the undergrowth. The legs and gun belong to a Farmer. He is asleep. His physique is strong and his skin weathered.

      Richard turns back to Etienne and Francoise. They are still strolling amongst the plants.

      Richard begins to back away.

      The Farmer wakes.

      He lifts his gun and stands up to look out over the dope field.

    1. EXT. FIELD. DAY.
    2. There is no one there.

    1. EXT. FIELD. DAY.
    2. The farmer looks around, sees nobody. His attention is attracted by a whistle.

      He looks over. A group of three more, similarly armed Farmers emerge from the forest at the other side.

      He waves at them. They beckon him across.

      He sets off through the field.

    1. EXT. AMONG PLANTS. DAY.
    2. The three inturders continue to crawl along the ground between the plants

      Suddenly Richard stops. The farmer's footsteps come closer.

      His feet pass in the gap between Richard and Francoise. He pauses. They lie frozen in place. He lights a cigarette and drops the match. He moves on.

      They breath again.

    1. EXT. EDGE OF FIELD. DAY.
    2. Richard, Etienne, and Francoise reach the far edge of the field and enter the forest again.

      FRANCOISE

      My God, what are we doing here?

      ETIENNE

      Shit. This was not on the map, Richard.

      RICHARD

      I didn't draw the map, Etienne.

      ETIENNE

      It's a fucking mess.

      RICHARD

      I didn't force you to come, so don't blame me.

      FRANCOISE

      We should go back. It's too dangerous. We shouldn't be here.

      RICHARD

      Go back? How? Swim perhaps? Great idea. Back in the water? Well fuck that. You swim back if you want to. Both of you. I'm not.

      ETIENNE

      Richard - she is frightened. So am I.

      Richard looks at them. They await his lead.

      RICHARD

      Well, we're not going back.

      Richard smiles. The other two are still nervous.

      RICHARD (V.O)

      Once again, I think you'll agree. A moment worth savoring.

      1. EXT. FOREST. DAY.
      2. They flit thorugh a lest dense forest, up a slope, looking carefully around as they go.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        The most satisfying aspec, of course, was that Monseigneur Practical, Mr. Timetable, Mr I'll-sort-it-out-with-a-local-fisherman, he turned out to be not so hot in your actual primordial fight or flight situation, your combat zone, where what it takes to stay alive is quick thinking and nerves of steel. I didn't need to say anything. I knew it, and so did he.

        They reach the top of the hill. Richard looks back. Down below they can see the dope fields.

        They continue

      3. EXT. FOREST. DAY.

      They are travelling downhill now, beside a stream.

      They stop to drink from it.

      ETIENNE

      If we follow this down, it should lead us all the way to the lagoon.

      RICHARD

      That's right, all the way down.

      RICHARD (V. O.)

      He was right. All we had to do was follow the water and we'd be in paradise. Only I twasn't going to be that easy.

      1. EXT. WATERFALL. DAY.

      Water thunders from a clifftop to a pool

      Etienne and Francoise are lying flat on a rock, peering over the edge of this high waterfall. It falls in a single giant step.

      On either side of the waterfall, cliffs curve away to form a massive circle enclosing the lagoon and an area of land covered in forest.

      Etienne crawls back a few paces to where Richard is sitting on a rock. Francoise continues to look over.

      ETIENNE

      Well, Richard, how are we going to get down?

      RICHARD

      Why are you asking me?

      ETIENNE

      Why shouldn't I?

      RICHARD

      Because you can have an opinion too.

      ETIENNE

      I have an opinion

      RICHARD

      OK, so let's hear it.

      FRANCOISE

      We'll jump.

      RICHARD

      Don't be stupid. Etienne?

      ETIENNE

      We'll climb down over there.

      RICHARD

      There?

      ETIENNE

      So, what do you think?

      FRANCOISE

      Listen to me - we can jump.

      RICHARD

      No, if we try to climb there we'll all be killed. Over there looks better.

      ETIENNE

      Maybe we could make a rope out of some creepers.

      RICHARD

      Yes, or maybe we could build a hang glider and a giant staircase.

      FRANCOISE

      (Shouting)

      Please!

      They turn to her. She is standing with her back to the drop.

      RICHARD

      What?

      She turns around.

      ETIENNE

      No!

      She jumps.

      She falls towards and into the pool.

      Richard and Etienne scramble to the edge and peer over.

      She surfaces and waves.

      Richard and Etienne look at each other.

      RICHARD

      OK, so we'll jump.

      1. EXT. WATERFALL. DAY.

      Richard and Etienne jump.

      They sink and then surface.

      All three are ecstatic and elated, charged with the excitement of the fall and the joy of a journey's end. They exchange hugs and kisses.

      They become aware of a single person clapping slowly.

      They turn to see Keaty, a young Afro-Caribbean Londoner, standing a few paces away.

      KEATY

      Congratulation. It took me the best part of an hour to work up the balls to do that. Mind you, I was alone, so you have to make allowances.

      They say nothing.

      KEATY

      (continuing)

      I'm Keaty.

      RICHARD

      Are there many people here?

      Keaty raises a hand to stop Richard's question.

      KEATY

      The Q and A comes later. First of all, I think you'd better meet Sal.

      1. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY.

      Sal, a woman in her early thirties, is seated on the floor opposite Richard, Francoise, and Etienne.

      Sal is studying Daffy's map. She hands it back to Richard.

      Gathered around them are about twenty assorted inhabitants of various nationalities, all weathered travelers in their twenties or thirties.

      The longhouse is single story building made from wood and bamboo lattice, about thirty meters long. It is divided up by low partitions into single or double sleeping areas, some of which are personalized, others not. There is also an open area where this action takes place.

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      At first they were more interested in the map than us. It seems that Daffy, the guy who drew it, he was a founding father, he discovered this places and set up the community five years ago. Then about one year ago he starts to get depressed, six months later he leaves and that's the last they hear till we turn up.

      RICHARD

      He's dead. He cut his wrists open in a hotel room on the Khao San Road. The police didn't know what to do with the body. I guess they'll incinerate him or something.

      SAL

      Do you tink he gave a mpa like this to anyone else.

      RICHARD

      I don't know. I don't think so.

      SAL

      And you, have you told anyone or shown anyone this map?

      ETIENNE

      No.

      FRANCOISE

      No.

      RICHARD

      No.

      SAL

      Good.

      1. EXT. ISLAND SCENES. DAY/NIGHT.

      Commence a montage of various scenes of island life involving its citizens and the newcomers.

      The longhouse stands at one edge of a clearing, dominating it. Scattered around are several other smaller huts and a few tents. Other locations are the beach, the garden, and the forest.

      We see the inhabitants

      • at work in the garden
      • in the lagoon
      • relaxing on the beach
      • around the fire at night

      RICHARD (V.O.)

      Now I've got to say that my first impressions were not favorable. Oh God, I thought, it's a tribe of hippies. I thought we'd have to talk about our positive energies a lot, kiss the earth every morning and recycle our waste products by some unspeakable mechanism. Fortunately not. It really was some kind of a paradise. We grew some fruit and some dope. The farmers on the other side left us alone and we didn't trespass on their turf.

      1. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY
      2. Everyone, including Francoise, Etiennne and Richard is sitting around a big wooden table set for dinner. Two people are serving side dishes of vegetables and rice.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        Sal was the leader but it wasn't a big deal. There wasn't any ideology or shit like that, it was just a beach resort for people who don't like beach resorts.

        One man begins drumming softly on the table with his hands. Another joins in, then another. Soon everyone is tapping out a rhythm, against the table or a bottle or a coconut shell, using their hands or a knife or chopsticks.

        This is intercut with the following scene to the point where the newcomers have joined in and it reaches a crescendo as the main dish -a massive complete swordfish, is served.

      1. EXT. ISLAND SCENES. DAY.
      2. Various characters are introduced in different locations; at work or at rest; speaking to Richard or (as if to him) to camera.

        First the three Swedes.

        RICHARD(V.O.)

        There was the Swedes: Christo, Sten, and Karl.

        CHRISTO

        We like fishing

        KARL

        Fishing. Yeah.

        STEN

        Yeah.

        CHRISTO

        And in the winter we like skiing.

        KARL

        Yeah.

        STEN

        Yeah.

        CHRISTO

        But in Thailand - there is no skiing.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        Then there were the Yugoslavian girls.

        SONJA

        We are from Sarajevo.

        MIRJANA

        Our hearts are full of loss

        RICHARD

        I'm sorry.

        They start laughing at him

        SONJA

        It's alright.

        MIRJANA

        We tell everyone that.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        There was the Weathergirl.

        WEATHERGIRL

        I feel a tightness in my pelvis; it's gonna rain.

        Heavy rain falls.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        And yes, unfortunately, there was a man with a guitar.

        GUITARMAN

        (singing badly)

        "Come as you are, as you were, and as I want you to be…"

        RICHARD(V.O.)

        The only person I didn't like was Sal's boyfriend, Bugs. He was one of those pricks who just won't shut up about all the great things they've seen and done, all of which are just that little bit better, bigger, more dangerous, more extreme, more remote, more unusual, more thi more that more fucking everything than anything you've ever done.

        BUGS

        We were in the dessert for three weeks. It's forty-eight in the shade and there's bugger all of that to speak of. We're on one and half liters a day; it's practically suicide. But every morning we'd look east and see the sunrise, and I'd thing, if I die today - it's worth it.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        The local diet was pretty good and most evenings we'd smoke some dope. Most afternoons too, as a matter of fact, but I had a personal rule never to smoke before lunch, although as time went on I allowed myself a certain number of - special occasions".

        Richard smokes dope.

      1. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY.
      2. The drumming reaches its crescendo and the swordfish is laid out.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        This became our world. Pretty soon nothing else mattered anymore: family, friend, future achievements - who cares. Back home was just standing behind a counter all day wearing a stupid fucking hat saying, "how can I help you sir, eat in or take away?" All gone, all faded away. I settled in. I found my vocation.

      1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
      2. Richard, Etienne, and Francoise are standing in waist-deep water. Each is holding a bamboo spear.

        Their hair is longer and their tans deeper than when they arrived.

        They are watching Christo who stands a short distance away, spear poised for the kill while he talks through the process.

        CHRISTO

        OK. Now you stand still. You wait. The fish come. You wait until the fish are still. They trust you. You wait.

        His speech is hypnotic, calming. His students take in the view.

        CHRISTO

        (continuing)

        And then-

        He suddenly throws the spear into the water. He lifts it out triumphant.

        CHRISTO

        (continuing)

        You kill

        A dying fish wriggles on the end of the spear.

        CHRISTO

        (continuing)

        Now, you try.

        Richard, Etienne and Francoise wade apart a little and into deeper water. They wait and look.

      1. EXT. UNDERWATER. DAY & EXT. SURFACE. DAY.
      2. Their feet and legs are visible. At first nothing is happening, then a few fish swim into view.

        Richard throws and misses. The other two throw and miss.

        CHRISTO

        No, no, no. Too fast. Slowly.

        They pause

        Richard throws. He hauls his spear from the water.

        RICHARD

        Yo!

        A decent sized fish wriggles on the end.

        CHRISTO

        You are a natural!

        They all congratulate him.

        Richard raises the spear aloft.

        RICHARD

        And I say unto you: I shall provide.

      1. EXT. CLEARING. DAY
      2. A bamboo spear, loaded with fish like a giant kebab, is carried across the clearing towards the cooking area wehre the chef and his helpers are at work.

        The spear is held by richard who smiles as he deposits the fish on the broad wooden chopping surface.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        That's right, I had an aptitude, a hidden talent. All these years I'm good for nothing, turns out I'm a full-on old fashioned hunter fucking gatherer.

      1. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY
      2. As Richard enters there are only a few people inside.

        He walks to the partitioned area and looks for a packet of cigarettes among his possessions.

        Opposite to him, Keaty is lying down, reading the Bible.

        KEATY

        Ah, the hunter gatherer returns. Satisfied with a good day's killing amongst the fruits of the sea?

        RICHARD

        That's me: a good day's killing.

        KEATY

        God has smiled on you.

        RICHARD

        He has?

        KEATY

        He has made you sharp of eye and swift of limb. In other words, you catch a lot of fish, you'll be very popular around here.

        RICHARD

        Great.

        KEATY

        Don’t forget to thank Him, will you?

        RICHARD

        I'll try.

        KEATY

        He'd appreciate that. Anyway, first day's fishing, first day's catch, you lot are just about ready to join the community.

        RICHARD

        I thought we already had.

        KEATY

        Not yet baptized, my son, not yet baptized.

      1. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT
      2. A blade burns in the fire.

        Keaty lifts the knife from the fire.

        The entire community is assembled, watching.

        He takes Etienne's wrist.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        Every society must have its rituals. They're what binds you together, they tell you that you belong. Ours was simple. Last one to arrive tattoos the next.

        KEATY

        It hurts. OK?

        Etienne nods.

        Keaty swiftly cuts the simple symbol just below Etienne's shoulder and smears blue powder into the cut.

        Etienne winces.

        Keaty finishes and hands the knife to Etienne who heats the blade briefly in the fire before he turns to Francoise. He kisses her arm before he cuts.

        Francoise takes the knife.

        Richard offers his arm. She grips it tightly. She hesitates.

        He looks into her eyes.

        She cuts. He grimaces. She works on, holding his arm.

      1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.
      2. A few candles still burn as people prepare to turn in for the night. Richard is lying in his sleeping area. He is watching Francoise.

        She is standing, visible only from the waist up above a partition. She is inspecting her tattoo.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        All the excitement of arrival had given me something to think about, but it wasn't enough to displace my major preoccupation. You can go to the most beautiful place in the world, but the sunlight shall not bleach they passion, nor the tide wash away thy desire.

        A hand. Etienne's appears from below, beckoning her down.

        She takes the hand.

        Just for a moment her eyes meet Richard's and then she lowers herself towards the ground, disappearing from view.

        The last candle is extinguished.

      1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
      2. A game of soccer is in progress, involving most of the population, men and woman.

        Etienne is playing well.

        A few people, not involved in the game, are scattered along the beach, relaxing. Amongst these are Francoise and Richard, who is watching the game.

        RICHARD

        He's good.

        FRANCOISE

        Who?

        RICHARD

        Etienne. He's good at soccer.

        FRANCOISE

        Oh, I wouldn't know.

        RICHARD

        You don't like soccer?

        FRANCOISE

        No. It's so boring.

        RICHARD

        Yea, but he is good. Look. Nearly scored.

        FRANCOISE

        Is that good or bad?

        RICHARD

        I think it's good. Not that I think there's anything good about being good at soccer. Anyone could do that. I could do it if I wanted to. I just don't want to. That's all.

        She sits up.

        FRANCOISE

        Richard.

        RICHARD

        Yes?

        FRANCOISE

        What are you talking about?

        RICHARD

        I don't know. Just conversation.

        FRANCOISE

        Do you have a girlfriend?

        RICHARD

        Here?

        FRANCOISE

        Anywhere

        RICHARD

        No. Why?

        FRANCOISE

        Just conversation.

        RICHARD

        I'm not jealous, if that's what you're thinking.

        FRANCOISE

        No, it's what you are thinking. You are far from home. You meet a girl. It's exciting, why not? You are attracted to her - it's in your eyes. Perhaps in hers as well. So you think something might happen; it's easy to believe, it's exciting. But she has a boyfriend so you are jealous. Don't worry. It's natural. Now I have seen enough football. Shall we swim?

        Richard is stunned.

        RICHARD

        So would I be wrong?

        FRANCOISE

        What?

        RICHARD

        If I thought something might happen - would I be wrong?

        She touches him.

        FRANCOISE

        Richard, how would I know? I don't know any more than you.

        She walks away.

        Richard watches her go. He turns to the football.

        Etienne scores.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        And that's all it takes. Nothing more than a few words and the softest touch and your life is different, won't ever be the same again. Man dies, leaves you the mystery map to the secret island: happens every day. But you get a smile from someone you want: well that's special, that's worth the journey.

        1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

        Richard is sitting in his bed.

        He is watching Francoise in conversation with Keaty across the other side of the room. During Richards (V.O.) their conversation ends and Keaty walks away, leaving Francoise momentarily alone.

        Most of the population is present in the room. Sal is reading.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        I would have liked to have continued our discussion, to thrash out the details of our forthcoming affair, but every time I had the chance to catch her alone, something always got in the way.

        Francoise is alone now. Richard is about to move across when the center of the room is occupied by commotion.

        At the heart of this are Bugs, and an Italian man, Gregorio. Bugs is holding a pair of pliers. Gregorio is in pain.

        Richard watches.

        BUGS

        I can deal with it!

        GREGORIO

        I don't want you to deal with it.

        BUGS

        It won't take a minute.

        GREGORIO

        No! Please, no! I must go to the mainland.

        Onlookers join in.

        VARIOUS

        No way/ You can't go to the mainland/ No, etc.

        GREGORIO

        Sal!

        Sal looks up for the first time.

        SAL

        Sorry, I wasn't really tuned in. You want to go to the mainland? To see a dentist, is that it?

        GREGORIO

        Yes.

        Sal is casual but firm.

        SAL

        No. It's out of the question.

        She returns to the book.

        With help from two or three other people, Bgs drags Gregorio to the floor and rips out the offending tooth with a pair of pliers. Gregorio screams.

        RICHARD (V.O.)

        I was sort of disturbed by this, but really only by the method, by the way that Bugs handled it. But the guy couldn't leave; I could see that. When you have something secret, everyone's got to take responsibility to keep it that way.

        Francoise has gone.

        1. EXT. BEACH. DAY
        2. A tropical lightening storm is in progress.

          At the edge of the beach, Christo, Richard, Sten, and Karl are standing under the ineffectual shelter of a palm tree, ecah holding their spear. A short distance away, under anotehr tree, sit Francoise and Etienne, hand in hand.

          They are all contemplating the sea and the sky. Christo has a swimming mask and a snorkel.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          In any case, I was more concerned about the Francoise situation. After such a promising start, it just didn't seem to be reaching its natural conclusion. In truth it was beginning to annoy me; I mean what's the use of being in paradise if you can't have whatever you want. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the whole idea?

          CHRISTO

          The problem is seeing the fish. With the rain and the poor light, they are very difficult to catch. It could last for days. Sometimes when it rains, we get hungry.

          RICHARD

          Hey, Etienne, you going fishing?

          ETIENNE

          I don't know, maybe if -

          RICHARD

          Don’t' worry. You just sit there. I'll go, OK? I'll go. You just sit there.

          He takes the mask and snorkel from Christo and marches down towards the sea.

          ETIENNE

          Good luck

          Richard looks back at them but says nothing. He pulls the mask on and resumes his march into the sea.

        1. EXT. LAGOON. DAY. AND UNDERWATER. DAY.

        2. Richard swims along near the sea-bed past rocks and coral but can see no fish.

          He surfaces and swims further out.

          He hears shouts from the shore. He turns and treads water.

          The shouts from his colleagues are indistinct, carried away by the wind and the rain.

          RICHARD

          (Shouting)

          I can't hear.

          He takes the mask off to clean the lens.

          RICHARD

          (Continuing)

          And you can't hear me.

          He puts the mask back on and turns away from the shore.

          He freezes.

          There is a shark's fin in the water, moving towards him.

          He looks around. The shore seems far away. He starts swimming frantically towards it.

          The shark closes in.

          Richard submerges and turns to face the shark.

          The shark approaches head on. It is about five feet long with the appropriate teeth.

          Richard is terrified, convinced he is about to die.

          The shark swoops towards him at speed.

          It stops, its teeth centimeters from his mask. It pauses then flicks its tail and swims past Richard.

          He is astonished.

          It circles him and approaches again, pausing just in front.

          Tentatively, Richard raises a hand.

          The shark does not react.

          Richard pats it gently on its snout.

          It swims around him again.

          Richard sees small fish swimming around him. He spears one and holds it out on the tip of his spear.

          The shark snatches it off and repeats its circle but does not threaten Richard.

          He smiles.

          As it approaches again, he holds the spear in both hands and lowers it by his side.

          The shark bobs in front of him, curious and friendly.

          Richard's arms begin their forward motion as his V.O. commences.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          I ducked to one side, then to the other as it passed me. First on my left, then on my right.

        1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

        2. Grilled shark steaks have been passed around and eaten by all while Richard stands and relates his adventure. He cannot resist a glance at Francoise, who listens with rapt attention.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          But it could see that I was getting tired, so I stood my ground as he swam in for his final attack.

        1. EXT. UNDERWATER. DAY.

        2. Continuing the shark scene.

          The shark is bobbin in front of him, practically wagging its tail.

          Richard is smiling.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          And at that instant, it was either the shark or me. The shark knew it, I knew it.

          Richard's arms flex. The spear travels up. It stops. Richard grips the spear tightly as it shakes.

          Blood spurts out towards Richards' mask in pulses and the sea turns red around him.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          Nothing personal, of course. It's the way of nature. But I swear that in the last flicker of its dying eyes there was a moment between us, when it said -

        1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

        2. Richard continues his story.

          RICHARD

          "Hey Richard - enjoy your dinner."

          There are cheers to the end of his story.

          Bugs waits until these die down.

          BUGS

          Strange thing, killing a shark, isn't it?

          RICHARD

          Just a big fish, Bugs.

          BUGS

          Just a big fish? Maybe. Maybe when it's still a baby and it hasn't really learned to kill yet, then maybe it's just a big fish. But when it's a great white angry mother with the taste of human blood on its tongue, well then it's a different story.

          Richard yawns noisily. Some people laugh.

          He notice Bugs scowling at him.

          RICHARD

          Sorry, Bugs. Is it just me or does this wet weather make everybody tired? Maybe we can hear your "very different" and I'm sure "very fascinating" story some other time.

          There is a flurry of exaggerated yawning, sniggering, extinguishing of candles and calls of "goodnight".

          Bugs does not laugh. He stares at Richard.

          Richard is smiling as he extinguishes the final candle.

        1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
        2. A sunny day. A game of cricket, under the supervision of Keaty, is about to begin.

          KEATY

          Wicketkeeper. First slip. Second slip. Gully. Square leg. Long leg. Silly mid-off. Cover point.

          At low tide, two sets of cricket stumps have been set up on the beach some twenty yards apart. The stumps and bats have been roughly hewn.

          At one end, Sten stands with a bat, ready to defend his stumps. At the other end stands Keaty, who is umpiring. Behind them, the bowler warms up, holding a small rubber ball.

          Among the ten fielders are Etienne and Francoise.

          Richard, the second batsman, walks toward Keaty, practicing with an air of exuberance.

          KEATY

          (Continuing)

          We thank you Lord, for the twin pillars of civilization, Christianity and cricket, even when played by those of another faith., Amen. Ok, right arm over the wicket; first ball.

          The bowler runs up and bowls. Sten hits the ball and it is fielded for no run at leaisurly pace by Etienne. Keaty and Richard watch.

          KEATY

          (Continuing)

          You do realize that killing a defenseless shark won't make any difference.

          RICHARD

          Difference to what?

          KEATY

          You and Francoise, that's what.

          RICHARD

          Sorry Keaty, but I don't know what you're talking about.

          KEATY

          That is why you killed it, isn't it? Ducked one way then the other! All to impress her, I suppose.

          The second ball is bowled and fielded.

          KEATY

          (Continuing)

          But you haven't got a chance in hell. I'm not saying you won't get a quick fumble in her knickers down the back of the longhouse but in the long run.

          Third ball

          RICHARD

          I don't need to discuss this with you.

          KEATY

          No ball!

          RICHARD

          Also, you're wrong.

          Third ball re-bowled and hit well.

          KEATY

          Four runs!

          He turns back to Richard.

          KEATY

          (continuing)

          Richard, you are a novelty act. He is the main attraction.

          RICHARD

          Thank you for your opinion, Father.

          Fourth ball.

          KEATY

          I don't mean to bring you down. I just wouldn't want anyone to get hurt

          RICHARD

          If you don't shut up, you're the one that's going to get hurt.

          Silence

          KEATY

          One other thing.

          RICHARD

          What?

          KEATY

          He's better looking than you.

          RICHARD

          Thanks.

          Fifth ball bowled and hit. The batsmen both run, Richard and Sten exchanging places.

          Richard prepares to face the bowler

          KEATY

          Right arm over the wicket. One ball remaining.

          The ball is bowled. Richard hits it in the air.

          KEATY

          Catch it! Catch it!

          Etienne catches it.

          Keaty signals "out".

          Richard walks away from the wicket, past Keaty and the celebrating fielders, Francoise among them, who have gathered around Etienne.

        1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
        2. Richard reaches the fringe of the beach where Sal is sitting alone, half watching the game.

          SAL

          Aren't you going to stay and watch the game?

          RICHARD

          No. As a matter of fact, I'm going to go for a long walk.

          SAL

          Don't forget about this evening. You wouldn't want to miss it.

          RICHARD

          Why? What happens this evening? Another obscure English sport with which to humiliate the Americans?

          SAL

          It's the anniversary, Richard.

        1. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT.
        2. A pair of hands, Sten's, tap loud and fast on a small drum.

          The inhabitants are sitting in a group. They are all holding half coconut shells.

          Sonja walks along with a large clay bottle, filling each shell with a milky liquid.

          Sal is standing up.

          The drumming stops.

          SAL

          To the first six years.

          They all drink.

          Richard cringes at the unpleasant taste.

          Beside him, Etienne proudly gulps down the whole drink.

          Sonja refills the cups, pouring freely.

          SAL

          (continuing)

          And looking forward to the next one.

          They all drink again.

          Once again, Richard sips while Etienne empties his cup.

          RICHARD

          So who was actually the first here?

          SAL

          Well, technically, Daffy was the first person on the island.

          RICHARD

          So why did he leave?

          There is an immediate silence.

          SAL

          What?

          RICHARD

          Why did Daffy leave? What made him unhappy?

          The silence persists.

          RICHARD

          (continuing)

          Sorry. Have I broken a rule?

          SAL

          No, Richard, don't worry. Daffy left because he felt that in coming to paradise we had inevitably destroyed it.

          RICHARD

          Because you built a shelter.

          SAL

          He was a purist.

          MIRJANA

          He was crazy.

          There is a general murmur of agreement.

          RICHARD

          Must have been.

          The atmosphere is still slightly awkward.

          Guitarman breaks the silence by plunging into a rendition of a popular favorite.

          Sonja refills the cups.

          Once again, Etienne tilts back his head and drinks.

        1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.
        2. The longhouse is empty. Outside a different, slower tune is being played.

          The door is kicked open.

          Richard struggles in, carrying Etienne draped over his shoulder.

          Francoise follows.

          Richard lets Etienne slide off onto his bed where he lies, inert and comatose.

          FRANCOISE

          Look at him. It's disgraceful to drink so much.

          RICHARD

          I think he just got carried away with the excitement of the occasion.

          FRANCOISE

          Don't make excuses for him. I'm so embarrassed.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          Now, I thought, this si my moment. It's now or never. Now or never. Now or -

          RICHARD

          Francoise -

          FRANCOISE

          Richard, would you like to go tot the beach with me.

          RICHARD

          Yes!

        1. EXT BEACH. NIGHT.

          Richard and Francoise walk down the shore to the moonlit sea.

          Francoise wades in up to her thighs. Richard follows.

          FRANCOISE

          Do you like it here, Richard?

          RICHARD

          I love this island.

          FRANCOISE

          Do you think about home?

          RICHARD

          No.

          FRANCOISE

          Nor do I. Do you think that I ignore you?

          RICHARD

          Me? No.

          FRANCOISE

          It's because I am with Etienne. It's difficult to spend time with you.

          RICHARD

          I don't suppose there's any special reason that you should, spend time with me, that is.

          FRANCOISE

          Of course there is: I like you, a lot.

          RICHARD

          And have you mentioned this to Etienne.

          FRANCOISE

          No. It's our secret.

          They are very close now, looking into each others' eyes.

          Suddenly Francoise looks away.

          FRANCOISE

          (continuing)

          There!

          RICHARD

          What?

          FRANCOISE

          Look! The plankton. Shrimps. In the dark, when they are disturbed, they glow.

          She dives in. He follows.

          UNDERWATER. NIGHT.

          Their faces, close together, are illuminated by the phosphorescent plankton.

        1. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.

        2. They surface, kissing passionately.

        1. EXT. CLEARING. DAY.
        2. Under a shelter in the cooking area, the Chef walks up to two sacks of rice and slashes them open.

          He picks out two clumps of green, rotten mush and holds them out towards Sal who stands nearby.

        1. EXT. CLEARING. DAY
        2. The inhabitants of the community are sprawled around the area, generally facing towards Sal who addresses them. Francoise is sitting with Etienne but turns to acknowledge Richard with a smile at some stage.

          SAL

          Alright, I've got some bad news. As some of you may have heard, a couple of sacks of rice have gone rotten. Now this is not a disaster -

          VARIOUS

          Oh, no.

          SAL

          Yes, that's right: I need a volunteer to go to Ko Pha Ngan with me to buy some rice. So please don't all volunteer at once.

          There are no volunteers. Everyone avoids Sal's eye.

          SAL

          (continuing)

          Keaty?

          KEATY

          I went two months ago.

          SAL

          And so did I. Anyone else?

          Still no volunteers.

          SAL

          (continuing)

          Richard?

          Richard has been scrutinizing Francoise's back.

          RICHARD

          What?

          SAL

          What about you? Will you come to Ko Pha Ngan with me?

          RICHARD

          Sure. Yea. I'll come with you.

          SAL

          Great.

          She smiles at him.

        1. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY
        2. Richard is sitting on his mat with a pencil and a piece of paper. A line of people wait to pass him some crumpled baht and their order.

          Their recitals overlap.

          MAN 1

          Toothbrush, toothpaste, sixty cigarettes, a new hat, some elastoplast, a pair of swimming trunks, four bars of chocolate and some razors.

          WOMAN 1

          One hundred aspirin, one hundred paracetamol, six boxes of regular tampons, toothpaste, soap and some shampoo.

          MAN 2

          Toothpaste, a ball of string, four double-A batteries, and twenty condoms. No, make it forty.

          WOMAN 2

          Six bars of chocolate, moisturizer, four boxes of tampons, assorted sixes, two bars of soap and some toothpaste.

          MAN 3

          One tin of beef curry.

          WOMAN 3

          A newspaper, some boiled sweets, shampoo and conditioner, two hundred cigarettes, a pair of plastic sandals, small, a new swimsuit, size ten, bright but no flowers, a plain T-shirt, a jar of Vegemite and three cigarette lighters.

          The last to sit down opposite Richard is Bugs. He sits close, their knees almost touching.

          Richard is posed with his pen, ready to take note.

          RICHARD

          Anything I can do for you?

          Bugs smiles.

          His right arm whips out and he grabs Richard by the testicles.

          Richard buckles forward in pain.

          BUGS

          Yeah. When you get to Ko Pha Ngan, keep your hands to yourself and your dick in your pants.

          He releases Richard.

          Preplexed and in pain Richard watches Bugs walk away.

          1. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.
          2. Everyone is asleep. Track along past the sleeping forms to stop at Richard.

            The figure looking down at him is Sal.

          3. EXT. CLEARING. DAWN.
          4. Sal and Richard are walking away from the longhouse in the early morning light. Sal has a small parcel of cannabis wrapped up in a plastic bag.

            RICHARD

            Why are we leaving so early.

            SAL

            If you hang around, people take advantage of you, give you orders for all sorts of shit - clothes, condoms, Vegemite and God knows what else.

            RICHARD

            Right.

            SAL

            We go to Ko Pha Ngan, sell the dope, buy the rice, and come back. That's all.

          5. EXT. BEACH / Water. Day.
          6. Sal walks into the water and begins swimming out towards the cliff.

            Richard watches then dives into the water.

          7. EXT. LAGOON / CLIFFS. DAY.
          8. Sal waits for Richard as he catches up with her at the base of the cliffs inside the lagoon.

            RICHARD

            Over?

            SAL

            Under.

            RICHARD

            Anything I should know?

            SAL

            Don't breathe till you get to the other side.

            Sal submerges.

            Richard watches her disappear into an underwater tunnel into the rock.

            He takes a deep breath.,

            UNDERWATER. DAY.

            Richard enters the tunnel, passing from the light into the dark.

            He enters near total darkness.

            Far ahead is a narrow point of dim light.

            He swims towards it.

          9. INT CAVE. DAY.
          10. Richard surfaces, breathing deeply. He is in a cave within the cliffs, from which a small entrance opens on to the sea beyond.

            Within the cave is a large flat rock and moored beside that is a small narrow boat with an outboard motor.

            The ceiling of the cave is high and opening into it is a chimney (which will be in use later). Additional light enters through this.

            As Richard surfaces, Sal is already in the boat.

            SAL

            Welcome to the garage.

            She pulls the start cord. The small engine's loud roar reverberates around the stone walls.

          11. EXT. SEA / CLIFFS. DAY.
          12. The small boat emerges from the cave on to the sea, Richard at the front and Sal at the helm.

          13. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
          14. By the light of the moon, they come to land on a deserted stretch of beach. Richard jumps into the shallows as Sal cuts the engine.

            Lights dance in the sky some distance away.

            Sal and Richard drag and shove the boat up the beach.

            The full moon shines brightly. The insistent beat of dance music is heard.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            All the way I was sort of looking forward to the party, but when we actually got there -

          15. EXT. BEACH RESORT. NIGHT.
          16. The street is lined with bars each pumping out western music on its own sound system.

            Richard and Sal walk along the strip.

            They turn towards a bungalow complex. Sal is still carrying the parcel of dope.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            - I couldn't be bothered. It all seemed kind of trashy and out of place. This was why we kept the secret. If these assholes ever found out about our island they'd take just one night to spoil it forever.

          17. EXT. BUNGALOWS RECEPTION. NIGHT.
          18. The reception area is covered by an awning. An old warped pool table stands in the center. Sal and the receptionist, SUMET, greet each other and speak in Thai. There are no subtitles but when they discus sthe number of rooms they indicate with their fingers: this is not seen by Richard.

            SAL

            Good evening.

            SUMET

            Good evening, how are you?

            SAL

            Very well, thank you.

            SUMET

            You brought something?

            SAL

            As always.

            Sal puts the parcel on the desk. Sumet weighs it in her hand.

            SUMET

            Good.

            SAL

            We'd like to stay one night.

            SUMET

            Two rooms?

            SAL

            One.

            Sumet looks at Richard.

            SUMET

            A good choice. Young and strong.

            She squeezes his arm and laughs.

            SAL

            She says she's got two rooms. No problem.

            RICHARD

            Great.

          19. INT. PHONE BOOTH. NIGHT.
          20. Richard is in one of a line of booths in an international call office/general tourist store.

            RICHARD

            I don't know. I just don't know. Maybe this year, maybe not. I like it here. Things are different out here.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I phoned home and discovered that I couldn't communicate. I realized that I was no longer the person they knew.

            RICHARD

            You don't understand.

            He hangs up.

            He steps out of the booth. On the other side of the store are racks of patterned shirts and hats.

            Richard walks across and stares just beyond them.

            He is looking in a mirror, at himself, tanned and weathere-beaten.

          21. INT.SUPERMARKET. NIGHT.
          22. Richard browses, selecting the items on his list, then spending time choosing soap, eventually opting for a brand marked "Genuine French Soap".

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            In fact the more I thought about it the more I realized that none of this world made any sense to me. I'd left it behind. We all had, and in its place we'd found somewhere special, and we were determined to keep it that way.

            He drops the "French" soap in his basket.

          23. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
          24. The music is far away now. Richard and Sal struggle along the deserted beach to their boat carrying a pallet laden with sacks of rice.

            They arrive and drop the pallet.

            RICHARD

            Now I understand why no one wants to come for the rice.

            INT/ EXT. BAR. NIGHT.

            The bar opens out to a street just back from the beach. It is busy.

            Sal and Richard stand at the bar with their drinks.

            SAL

            So how does it feel to be back in the world?

            RICHARD

            It's not like I remembered it.

            SAL

            It gets worse every time.

            A hand rests on Richard's shoulder, gently pushing him aside to create space at the bar. It is Zeph.

            ZEPH

            Excuse me, please.

            He does not see Richard's face but concentrates on the barman.

            Richard recognizes him and conceals his face.

            ZEPH

            (continuing)

            Excuse me! Four beers please. Heinneken.

            The barman serves him.

            Sammy and two German girls stand behind Zeph. He passes the drink back to them and turns to speak.

            Richard and Sal listen in.

            ZEPH

            (Continuing)

            OK, where was I?

            SAMMY

            The beach.

            ZEPH

            Right, the beach: it's on this secret island, in the middle of the national park where no one is allowed to go. It's paradise.

            GIRL 1

            Sounds cool.

            ZEPH

            What's even better is we got the map of how to get there.

            GIRL 1

            Can we see it?

            SAMMY

            Sure. Let's go back to our place. We can smoke some dope, drink some beer, loosen off these tight clothes we're wearing, then check out the map.

            ZEPH

            But hey it's secret - if we show you the map, you have to come with us.

            They laugh. Zeph and Sammy high-five each other.

            ZEPH

            (continuing)

            Back in a minute. Just going to conduct a recon of the local sanitation facility.

            Richard watches him leave the bar.

          25. EXT. TOILET. NIGHT.
          26. The toilet is a narrow concrete passage with a ditch along the bottom on one side. There is no roof but a single light above.

            Zeph is just finishing as he notices Richard.

            ZEPH

            Hey, Richard! I hardly fucking recognize you. Where have you been? The beach? Tell me - it's paradise.

            RICHARD

            There is no beach.

            ZEPH

            What?

            RICHARD

            The map is wrong.

            ZEPH

            You've been?

            RICHARD

            No. it's dangerous.

            ZEPH

            Danger - hey, you're calling my middle name. What kind of danger?

            RICHARD

            Doesn't matter.

            ZEPH

            I think you're trying to put me off.

            RICHARD

            I'm just telling you, for your own good: stay away. Don't go. Don't even try. Just forget it.

            ZEPH

            We'll do whatever we want.

            He goes to leave. Richard places a hand on his chest. They stop for a moment. Zeph pushes the hand away.

            ZEPH

            (continuing)

            Fuck you.

            Zeph walks past then turns back.

            ZEPH

            (continuing)

            Stay away from the mushrooms, Richard, they make you paranoid.

          27. EXT. BECH / STEPS. NIGHT.
          28. Richard and Sal are climbing the steps towards the bungalow reception.

            SAL

            That idiot Daffy? What was he doing - handing out Xerox copies to every asshole in Thailand?

            RICHARD

            Yeah, it's unbelievable.

            SAL

            Why? That's all I want to know. Why?

            RICHARD

            I don't know, Sal.

            SAL

            Pardon me for this, but thank Christ he's dead.

          29. EXT. BUNGALOWS RECEPTION. NIGHT.
          30. Richard and Sal enter from the steps. Behind them the party is still in progress.

            Sal approaches the desk while Richard hangs back.

            She greets Sumet who hands over one key.

            SAL

            Bad news.

            RICHARD

            What?

            SAL

            She gave away your room. She thought we were - you know - together. Sorry.

            RICHARD

            Right. Great. Well I'll go find somewhere else then. I'll meet you back here in the morning.

            SAL

            Richard.

            She shows him the key for the room.

            They look at each other.

            SAL

            (continuing)

            I'm going to play a couple of games of pool with Sumet.

            She throws the key. He catches.

            SAL

            (continuing)

            Why don't you go warm the bed?

          31. INT. BUNGALOW. NIGHT.
          32. The room is in darkness. Moonlight penetrates the threadbare curtain. The bed is surrounded by a mosquito net.

            The music from the beach party is audible.

            Just visible through the net is the outline of two human forms entwined.

          33. EXT. BUNGALOW. NIGHT.
          34. Lizards scuttle across the small porch.

          35. INT. BED. NIGHT.
          36. Surrounded by a wall of mosquito net, Richard and Sal lie on the bed.

            Sal lies on her side falling asleep. Richard is awake.

            RICHARD

            Sal.

            SAL

            Uh-huh.

            RICHARD

            Can I ask you a question?

            SAL

            It was great.

            RICHARD

            No, it's not that. I just wondered about Bugs. And me.

            Sal rouses herself.

            SAL

            OK, it's like this. Bugs is my boyfriend, my partner, and you, you're someone I just screwed. Is that ok?

            She turns on her side again.

            RICHARD

            That's fine. That's absolutely fine.

            SAL

            Good, now get some sleep - I may wish to have sex again before we eat breakfast.

          37. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
          38. Richard and Sal push the boat into the water and away from the beach, jumping on board as they do so.

          39. EXT. SEA/CLIFFS. DAY.
          40. Richard and Sal approach the outer cliffs of the sea-wall in the boat. Richard looks up.

            Bugs is standing at the top of the cliff, directly above the cave.

          41. INT CAVE. DAY.
          42. The sacks of rice are now contained in a net being hauled upwards on a rope towards and into the chimney which rises out of the ceiling.

            Sal swims away into the tunnel.

          43. EXT. CLIFF TOP. DAY.
          44. Bugs and Keaty haul the rice up with the aid of a block and tackle.

          45. INT. CAVE. DAY.
          46. Richard is alone as he looks up the chimney and watches the cargo disappear the last few feet to the top of the cliff.

            As it reaches the top it is swung aside and Bugs looks down.

            Richard and Bugs stare at each other down the length of the chimney.

            Richard casually clutches his groin and thrusts once.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            Screwing Sal was pretty good but screwing Bugs - that was even better.

          47. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.
          48. The longhouse is full of inhabitants.

            Richard walks the length of the hut like Santa Claus despensing toiletries and other gifts as requested.

            He reaches Francoise alone at the end of the hut.

            He gives her the "French" soap.

            RICHARD

            For you.

            FRANCOISE

            I missed you.

            RICHARD

            I'm back.

            FRANCOISE

            What was it like?

            RICHARD

            The rice run? No problem.

            FARNCOISE

            I mean being with Sal?

            RICHARD

            Oh…fine. Listen, do you want to go to the beach?

            FRANCOISE

            I can't. Meet me tomorrow morning. Ten o'clock at the waterfall.

            She touches him as she walks away.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I didn’t' feel as bad as I should have about all this. In fact I didn't really feel bad at all. What happened on Ko Pha Ngan was different, it didn't count.

          49. EXT. FOREST/WATERFALL. DAY.
          50. Richard is on his way to the waterfall.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            And I was glad to be back. Now I really did understand why no one wanted to go for the rice. Life here was so good that going back to the world we came from could only bring you down.

            He reaches the area by the waterfall and stands waiting. He looks around for Francoise: no sign. He checks his watch: a few minutes to ten.

            SAL (O.S.)

            Hi there, Richard.

            Richard turns to see Sal, who has appeared as though from nowhere.

            RICHARD

            Oh, Sal. Hi.

            SAL

            Hi? Is that all you can say? I thought we had a little more rapport than that.

            RICHARD

            I mean, hello, nice to see you. What brings you here.

            SAL

            I was looking for you.

            RICHARD

            Oh. Well, here I am.

            SAL

            I have to go somewhere. I'd like you to accompany me.

            Richard checks his watch.

            RICHARD

            Right now? It's not really all that convenient, Sal.

            SAL

            I'm sorry. Are you meeting someone?

            RICHARD

            Me? No.

            SAL

            You sure?

            RICHARD

            Yes.

            SAL

            Good. So, you can come with me.

             

            (Unfortunately the copy of the script is now missing a page.)

             

            SAL

            If they reach the island, I want you to discourage them from getting any further.

            RICHARD

            "Discourage."

            SAL

            You'll think of something, Richard. I trust you.

            Sal kisses him on the cheak and leaves.

            Richard watches her go.

            RICHARD

            Sal! How long do I - Sal!

            She does not turn around.

            Richard turns back towards the other island.

            He focuses the binoculars.

          1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.
          2. The empty beach on the other island.

          3. EXT. HILLTOP. DAY.
          4. Richard is not pleased.

          5. EXT. BEACH. NIGHT.
          6. Richard and Francoise are sitting in the shadows.

            RICHARD

            She didn't tell me how long I was supposed to wait or anything. You know what she's like, she just gets you to do things.

            FRANCOISE

            What kind of things?

            RICHARD

            Just things, you know.

          FRANCOISE

          No, I don't.

          RICHARD

          Hey, what's wrong - I'm sorry I wasn't there today. Is that it?

          FRANCOISE

          I think Sal is attracted to you.

          RICHARD

          No, I don't think so.

          FRANCOISE

          On Ko Pha Ngan, did anything happen?

          RICHARD

          Happen? No, nothing.

          FRANCOISE

          You promise.

          RICHARD

          I promise.

          FRANCOISE

          Good.

          They kiss.

          RICHARD (V.O.)

          Ok, so I lied. It just wasn't the right time.

          1. EXT. HILLTOP. DAY.

            Richard sits at the lookout.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            And the next day, we couldn't meet up either. It was straight back up. Same scene again: no travelers, no boat, no action, nothing. Now I thought if this is going to be a regulra situation, I'm going to have to start hiding from Sal so I don't have to come up here. But a strange thing happened: I began to enjoy it. I looked forward to it, I started to explore.

          1. EXT. HILL. DAY.

            From a vantage point, Richard looks down on the lagoon, the beach, the forest, and the clearing.

            With the binoculars he can see the details of life in each of these areas.

          2. EXT. ISLAND SCENES. DAY.

            Through the binoculars, various characters are at work or at rest including Francoise, Etienne, Sal, Bugs, Keaty, etc.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            And then I couldn't understand why I'd never come up before. I got a whole new perspective. They were ants, or rats in an experiment, but up here I wasn't part of it, I was free. I could do whatever I wanted. This was my personal adventure playground. There was even a bunch of local bad guys I could fool around with.

          3. EXT. FOREST NEAR DOPE FIELD. DAY.

            Looking through the trees, the four dope farmers (with their guns) are visible about thirty meters away, relaxing and playing cards.

            Richard appears in a tree, hiding from their view, if they cared to look.

            He steals forward to another tree. He watches them.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            Pretty soon, I was starring in my very own war movie. It was Vietnam 1968, or at least about as close to it as I would ever get, considering I was born in 1973. But I knew exactly who I was: renegade special forces officer on a solo mission, search and destroy. I liked the sound of it "he prefers to work alone," they'd say, "he's got the stare."

            The farmers are oblivious.

            Richard advances as far as he dare: a few meters from them.

            He peers at them around the edge of the tree.

            He notices that the one nearest has left a knife on the ground.

            Richard lifts a stone and throws it high in the air beyond the farmers.

            As it falls through the trees to the forest floor the farmers are startled. They stand and turn away towards the noise reaching for their guns, cocking them, etc.

            The knife is taken by Richard.

            The farmers see a bird fly from a tree. Satisfied, they give up and return to their resting place.

            Richard steals away from tree to tree.

            The farmer cannot understand where his knife has gone.

          4. EXT. FOREST. DAY

            Richard sits in a hollow under a rough shelter he as made from palm leaves.

            He is using the knife to gut a bird of some sort which he then eats raw.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I hadn't entirely forgotten my purpose up here, but I wasn't worried about it. I mean I didn't want one of those bastards turning up with my map sticking out of his pocket, but if they did, it was going to be a challenge. It was a mission, my mission, to defend our island.

          5. EXT. HILLTOP. DAY.

            Richard watches the empty beach.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            The only hitch was - the enemy didn't show up. Now it was probably a mistake, but I one day I brought Francoise up. I thought I'd show her around.

          6. EXT. FOREST. DAY

            Richard struggles through dense undergrowth, followed by Francoise.

            RICHARD

            Come on, just through here. Watch out for the thorns. Here: look.

            Beneath a tree, a few rotting logs are topped off with palm leaves.

            RICHARD

            (continuing)

            Well, what do you think?

            FRANCOISE

            What is it?

            RICHARD

            It's a shelter. I built it. I thought we could move up here. Get away from it all.

            FRANCOISE

            We?

            RICHARD

            Yeah. You'll need to tell Etienne, of course but -

            FRANCOISE

            Richard, it's horrible.

            RICHARD

            Primitive, yes, but you have to accept some limitation when you go for seclusion like this.

            FRANCOISE

            And to eat?

            RICHARD

            Whatever I kill, we'll eat.

            Francoise laughs.

            FRANCOISE

            Enjoy yourself, Richard. I'll see you later, back in civilizatin.

            RICHARD

            Do you want a mushroom?

            FRANCOISE

            What?

            RICHARD

            They grow here, all over the place. I picked some. Here.

            Richard collects a handful from under the shelter.

            Francoise does not think this is funny.

            FRANCOISE

            No thanks.

            RICHARD

            Please yourself.

            He swallows one.

            Francoise turns away. She struggles back through the undergrowth.

            Richard watches her. He swallows a handful of mushrooms.

          7. EXT. FOREST. DAY.

            Close up: a caterpillar crawls along a green leaf.

            Richard, his pupils dilated, is watching, transfixed.

            He holds the knife at the end of the leaf.

            The caterpillar crawls on to the blade.

            Richard sticks his tongue out and swivels the blade around.

            The caterpillar crawls on to his tongue.

            Richard gently closes his mouth.

            He swallows.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            When you're a highly trained combat machine, you can't allow yourself to be distracted by minor problems in your personal life. And you can't sit around, you have to stay active, otherwise your energy will dissipate. You have to feed the fear.

          8. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT/DAWN.

            Richard, his face disrupted by mud, sneaks towards the rough shelter of wooden planks and palm leaves under which the four farmers are sleeping.

          9. INT. EXT. SHELTER. NIGHT/DAWN.

            The shelter is several meters long but shallow and is open down the length of one side.

            This is the farmers' home on the island.

            It contains a collection of tools, arms, crates, bedding, food, cigarettes, and bottles of cheap whiskey.

            Spaced out within the shelter, the four farmers are asleep on low pallets or mats on the ground, each with their gun by their side.

            Richard enters the shelter and surveys the scene.

            He approaches the nearest farmer who lies asleep. He is wearing a bandana which has slipped half off in his sleep.

            Very slowly, Richard reaches down and lifts the farmer's gun, a Kalashnikov-type assult rifle.

            Richard holds the weapon, becoming comfortable with it.

            He lifts the butt to his shoulder and squints down the sight.

            He closes in on the farmer, so close that the muzzle is almost tickling the farmer's nose.

            In his sleep, the farmer swats at his nose as he might swat at a fly. Richard withdraws the gun a fraction.

            His finger strokes the trigger.

            He moves very carefully around the shelter, pointing the gun at each sleeping farmer and mouthing "bang" as he goes.

            He returns to the first farmer and kneels beside him.

            The farmer is on his side, facing away from Richard. He stirs in his sleep and wakes slightly.

            He reaches out behind him to feel for his gun. His hand feels the metal. He relaxes and closes his eyes again.

            Behind him, Richard smiles and releases his own grip on the gun.

            Instead he lifts the bandana away from the farmer's head and puts it on his own.

            Now he produces the knife from the back of his shorts.

            He kneels beside the farmer and holds the knife firmly.

            Abruptly he stabs it into the upright wooden plank behind the farmer's head.

            The blade sinks deep into the wood.

          10. EXT. WATERFALL. DAY.

            Richard screams as he executes an exhibition dive from the top of the waterfall to the pool below.

          11. EXT. BEACH. DAY.

            There is no one on the beach apart from Richard.

            He walks to the water and dives in.

            He surfaces and faces the sun.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I was ecstatic. In a fair contest I had infiltrated their command and left my mark. I had fulfilled my potential as a warrior, a soldier, a killer on the loose. I could just imagine them trying to work how the missing knife got home.

            Christo, Sten, and Karl appear walking down the beach with their fishing gear as Richard walks in from the water.

            RICHARD

            Hi, guys.

            CHRISTO

            Hello Richard.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I couldn't wait to tell Francoise about it.

          12. EXT. FOREST. DAY.

            Richard's face is slapped twice by Francoise's hand.

            They are standing in a small clearing not far from the longhouse.

            Francoise raises her hand to slap him again. He retreats a fraction.

            RICHARD

            Do you want to calm down? I'm trying to tell you about something exciting. I'm trying to share it with you and all you can do is freak out because you don't like where I want to live.

            FRANCOISE

            I don't care about that.

            RICHARD

            No? Still pissed about the mushrooms. You know Francoise, sometimes you are so uptight.

            FRANCOISE

            You liked to me. About Sal.

            RICHARD

            Oh, that. She told you?

            FRANCOISE

            She told everyone. She believes in openness and honesty, not like you.

            RICHARD

            Come on, you were two-timing Etienne.

            FRANCOISE

            Because I liked you. I didn't know you were going to screw Sal twenty-four hours later.

            RICHARD

            Well if you're going to make such a big deal out of it -

            FRANCOISE

            Bugs is going to kill you. And you know what - I don't care.

            She raises her hand and slaps him again.

            Richard does not flinch.

          13. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY.

            Richard enters the longhouse.

            Inside are several people, including Bugs, sitting at the far end.

            When they see that it is Richard, all conversation stops.

            One by one at first, then en masse, everyone except Bugs leaves the longhouse, hurrying past Richard at the door.

            Richard and Bugs stare at each other down the length of the longhouse.

            Richard smiles. He repeats the gesture that he made when returning with the rice: he clutches his groin and thrusts towards Bugs.

            Bugs starts running towards Richard.

            Just as Bugs reaches him he takes evasive action, feinting to one side.

            Bugs, cursing, pursues Richard around the longhouse, each of them trampling over possessions and partitions. Bugs is bigger but Richard is too sly and nimble for him, taunting and mocking as he dodges around the narrow upright supports that run down the middle of the building.

            Eventually Bugs has Richard cornered.

            They face each other, crouched slightly, breathing heavily.

            From outside a loud, horrified screaming begins.

            It carries on and on.

            RICHARD

            Don't you think we ought to go see what the problem is?

            Bugs pauses for a moment. He glances towards the door for a fraction of a second.

            Richard slugs him in the jaw.

          14. EXT. CLEARING. DAY.

            Richard emerges from the longhouse, flexing the fingers of his punching hand.

            A crowd has gathered as he joins it.

            At the center are Karl, on his knees, wailing and shouting in Swedish, and Sten, who has been savaged by a shark and looks dead. Despite his appearance, Keaty and Gregorio are attempting to resuscitate him.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            Poor Karl: he didn't speak much English, but he only needed one word.

            KARL

            Shark! Shark!

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            They were trying to save Sten's life although even as a novice in this field I could tell that just wasn't going to happen.

            Richard backs away.

          15. EXT. BEACH. DAY.

            Richard walks along the shore and begins to follow a bloodstained furrow in the sand.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            The way I saw it, sharks live in the sea, so if you go swimming where they live, they might eat you. That's what sharks are good at, that's what they do. I could have explained this to Christo but I just knew he wouldn't see it.

            Richard is standing over Christo who is lying in agony on the sand.

            CHRISTO

            Richard! My foot. My foot! It's so painful. My foot!

            Richard looks at Christo's right leg: it has been bitten off beneath the knee, leaving only a ragged bloody stump.

            RICHARD

            Yeah, your foot - it's - pretty bad.

            Christo clings to him.

            CHRISTO

            But it will be ok? Please Richard, when I get to the hospital?

            RICHARD

            Hospital?

            CHRISTO

            Tell me - it will be ok.

            RICHARD

            Yeah. Sure. Christo, it'll be ok.

          16. EXT. GRAVE STIE. DAY.

            A freshly dug grave in sandy soil about 1.5 meters deep.

            The corpse (Sten) in a sleeping bag is slung into the grave, its feet protruding from the end.

            Immediately, the earth starts to be filled in from either side.

            KEATY (O.S.)

            We are gathered here today to pay our last respects to Sten. I couldn't claim to know the bloke all that well but what I knew, I liked. He was a straightforward, easy to get along with, reliable sort of guy. He worked hard for the whole community - he even lost his life fishing for us.

            Keaty is addressing the entire community beside the grave while earth is heaped on.

            KEATY

            He made an effort to join in whatever was going on. For example, he played cricket with an aptitude and enthusiasm that belied his Nordic origins, and I think we can see that as a symbolic ofhis place amongst us in a wider sense. Anyway, he wasn't one for long speeches, and neither am I. May God take you soul, and you shall rest forever in peace mate. We'll miss you.

            Keaty holds back a tear as he throws a flower in the grave.

            Others throw flowers in.

            Bugs hammers a wooden cross into the ground behind the grave.

          17. INT. LONGHOUSE. DAY.

            Christo is being nursed by Etienne who is mopping his brow, trying to get him to drink etc.

            Several people are sitting around, inactive and silent.

            Christo moans. A couple of people get up and leave.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            After the funeral we all tried to get back to normal, but it just didn't seem right. After a while it became clear that the problem was Christo. You see, in a shark attack, or any other major tragedy I guess, the important thing is to get eaten and die, in which case there's a funeral and someone makes a speech and everyone cries and says what a good guy you were, or: get better in which case everyone can forget about it. It's the hanging around in between that really pisses people off.

          18. EXT. FOREST. DAY.

            Etienne is backing through the forest. Outraged.

            ETIENNE

            This is disgusting! You cannot do this! Take him back!

            A party of stretcher bearers, including Bugs, Sal, and Keaty, carry Christo through the forest. Sal is carrying a small rolled up tent. Richard walks behind.

            SAL

            Ok, that's far enough.

            They lower Christo to the ground.

            ETIENNE

            Take him back, you fucking animals!

            Sal drops the tent at Etienne's feet.

            The part walks away apart from Richard

            ETIENNE

            (continuing)

            Fucking bastards!

          19. INT. SMALL TENT. DAY.

            Christo, delirious, is being nursed by Etienne in the small tent, now situated in the middle of the forest.

            Richard is with him.

            RICHARD

            It's not that they don't care, Etienne, it's just that they don't care in the same way as you do. It's a fine distinction, I know.

            ETIENNE

            I understand: they wish he was dead.

            RICHARD

            No! they've be equally happy if he recovered. They just want an outcome.

            ETIENNE

            He needs a doctor.

            RICHARD

            You worked in a hospital.

            ETIENNE

            For one month, as a cleaner, a domestic.

            RICHARD

            Well that's one month longer than anyone else around here. Look, you're doing your best for the guy. No one could ask for more. Everyone apprecaites that.

            ETIENNE

            Look, Richard!

            Etienne draws back the sheet covering Christo's discolored stump.

            Richard recoils.

            RICHARD

            Jesus!

            ETIENNE

            It's gangrene. It's spreading. He needs an amputation.

            Etienne produces a knife from his possessions.

            RICHARD

            You're going to do it here?

            ETIENNE

            Where else?

            RICHARD

            OK! I'll hold him still.

            Etienne prepares to proceed, but at the last moment he cannot.

            He drops the knife

            Richard relaxes.

          1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.

            People are playing and relaxing on the beach and in the water, shouting and swimming.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            It would be a lot easier to condemn our behavior if it hadn't been so effective, but out of sight really was out of mind. The bad smell was gone - it was like we had amputated Christo from our community and after the operation was over, we felt a whole lot better.

            UNDERWATER. DAY.

            In water one meter deep, moving forward with a smooth side-to-side action, the POV of some underwater creature.

            Small fish scatter ahead of it.

            Suddenly a pair of legs come into view: they are Francoise'.

            Close right in on them at speed.

          2. EXT. SEA. DAY.

            Francoise screams as Richard surfaces beside her, laughing.

            FRANCOISE

            Richard!

            RICHARD

            Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

            FRANCOISE

            That's not funny.

            RICHARD

            Hey, relax, just a joke. What's wrong with you?

            FRANCOISE

            No, what's wrong with you? Why didn't you stop them moving Christo?

            RICHARD

            Francoise I just thought we ought to spend some time together. We haven't had a chance to talk, and let's face it, it's going to be a lot easier for us to do that if Etienne isn't hanging around the longhouse.

            FRANCOISE

            I don't believe it. You really think it was alright to move him.

            RICHARD

            He was getting everyone down.

            FRANCOISE

            I don't know what has happened to you, Richard.

            RICHARD

            I like it here! That's what happened! So what's the problem?

            Francoise turns and walks away.

            Richard calls after her sarcastically.

            RICHARD

            (continuing)

            We do still have something going don't we?

            She does not reply.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            So, it seemed that Francoise and I were finished. Under other circumstances I might have got depressed about a think like that, but I had something else to occupy my mind.

          1. EXT. BEACH. DAY.

            Seen through binoculars, Zeph walks along the beach on the other island. He is carrying a large piece of driftwood.

            He turns away from the water and walks up the beach towards the line of palm trees.

            There he joins Sammy and the two German girls who are constructing something from driftwood and polystryrene floats.

          2. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT.

            Richard is sitting with Sal.

            RICHARD

            They're building a raft. It's nearly finished.

            SAL

            When did they get there?

            RICHARD

            I don't know. Sometime during all that shark shit.

            SAL

            Well you'll have to stop them.

            RICHARD

            They won't get beyond the DMZ.

            SAL

            The what?

            RICHARD

            The demilitarized zone, Sal.

            SAL

            Right. You call it what you want, Richard, just don't let them get this far.

            RICHARD

            They won't. Believe me.

            SAL

            This is a particularly bad time, with Christo lying in that tent, it wouldn't look good if anyone arrived.

            RICHARD

            He's still alive?

          3. EXT. FOREST. DAWN.

            In the small tent, a torch glows, outlining Etienne and Francoise over the prone form of Christo.

            Francoise emerges from the tent.

            Richard watches.

          4. EXT. FOREST. DAWN

            On the upper part of the island Richard ascends rapidly beside the stream.

          5. EXT. HILLTOP. DAWN.

            Richard surveys the beach on the other island.

          6. EXT. BEACH. DAWN.

            Through binoculars.

            Zeph, Sammy, and the German girls launch their raft. It floats.

            They climb on and begin paddling.

          7. EXT. FOREST NEAR DOPE FIELD. DAY.

            Richard flits thorough the trees until he can see the shore.

          8. EXT. BEACH. DAY.

            The travelers on their raft come ashore.

            They consult their map then move into the forest.

          9. EXT. FOREST NEAR DOPE FIELD. DAY.

            Richard watches them as they ascend the slope to the dope field.

            In the other direction, hidden from the travelers perspective, he notices the four farmers sitting at their shelter eating breakfast.

          10. EXT. FIELD. DAY.

            The travelers, watched by Richard, reach the top of the slope and then the edge of the field.

            The farmers are nearby.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            If I was going to warn them, then now was the time to do it. All I had to do was walk out and tell them not to make any noise I could lead them to safety. I could persuade them to go. I could threaten them. If the worst came to the worst, I could lead them to the camp and we could kick the shit out of them, then send them home. But I didn't want to do any of those things. I wanted to see what would happen.

            Zeph, Sammy, and the German girls are jubilant.

            SAMMY

            We are in dope heaven. There is no other explanation.

            ZEPH

            (singing)

            I smoke two joints in the morning. I smoke two joints at night. I smoke two joints in the afternoon and then I feel alright. I smoke two joints in time of peace and two in time of war. I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints and then -

            Zeph stops singing. He has seen the farmers, armed and watching him from a few meters away.

            Sammy and the others also notice, one by one. They too stand still, dumb and frightened.

            ZEPH

            Hi.

            SAMMY

            Shit.

            ZEPH

            We're Americans. Tourists. But we will leave. We made a mistake. We go now. We take nothing.

            Slowly, he begins to walk backwards, smiling reassuringly.

            The farmers say nothing but advance and outflank the travelers, herding them back into a huddle.

            ZEPH

            (continuing)

            We go now. We leave in peace. Look we can pay. Here, American dollars. You can have them.

            The farmers line up opposite them.

            All begin to plead desperately for their lives.

            One of the German girls suddenly breaks away and starts running in the direction of Richard's hiding place.

            One of the guards shoots at her repeatedly, missing.

            The others start shooting at the remaining three, cutting them down in a hail of bullets.

            The German girl keeps on running, zigzagging as she goes.

            The farmers fire but miss.

            She reaches the place where Richard is hiding, couched down in the undergrowth.

            Startled by seeing him, she stops abruptly.

            Richard and the German girl stare into each other's eyes for a moment.

            Suddenly her chest explodes forwards as a single bullet rips through from her back.

            She falls to the ground.

            Richard is spattered in her blood.

            He sits motionless, staring at her corpse.

            UNDERWATER. DAY.

            In the pool at the base of the waterfall. It is empty.

            Richard appears, submerging at the speed from his jump.

            He sinks then floats slowly towards the surface, eyes open.

          11. EXT. POOL. DAY.

            Richard climbs from the pool.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            So that was it. Now I knew exactly what would happen. I wouldn't need to wonder aobut it any longer.

          12. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT.

            Richard walks across the deserted clearing towards the light of the longhouse.

            Around him, a wind begins to blow.

          13. INT. LOONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

            The longhouse is full. Everyone is there, apart from Etienne and Francoise, engaged in quiet conversation.

            Richard is hardly noticed as he sits down.

            A few seconds later, Sal sits opposite him. She is absolutely matter of fact.

            SAL

            Well?

            RICHARD

            They're dead.

            SAL

            All of them?

            RICHARD

            Yes, all of them. They disturbed the farmers.

            SAL

            Right.

            RICHARD

            I guess that means we don't need to worry about them any more.

            SAL

            Yeah. The only problem we have left is Francoise and Etienne.

            Richard realizes what she means.

            RICHARD

            You knew they'd be killed.

            SAL

            It's not the first time.

            RICHARD

            And Daffy?

            SAL

            What?

            RICHARD

            Daffy. He saw it happen. Didn't he? Yea, he saw it happen. And now you wanted me to see it happen.

            SAL

            Richard, if you're going to live here, you've got to get involved.

            Richard's knife (the stolen one) is lying beside him. Sal picks it up by the tip of the blade.

            SAL

            (continuing)

            Francoise. And Etienne.

            She slaps the knife into Richard's hand.

            She stands up and walks away.

            Richard contemplates the knife.

          14. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT.

            A storm is building up, scattering anything loose across the clearing.

          15. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

            Most of the lights are out now. The wind is beginning to rattle the building.

            Richard lies awake.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I wasn't thinking about what she asked me to do.

          16. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY.

            Richard and Daffy shake hands.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I was trying to remember somewhere I used to call home, someone I used to be, but I couldn't put a name to that place or a face to that person anymore - they got left behind in a hotel room in the Khao San Road along with a man who cut his wrists.

          17. INT. DAFFY'S ROOM. DAY.

            Richard steps carefully across the floor, avoiding the pools of blood.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            But at least I understood why he'd done it.

          18. EXT. CLEARING. NIGHT.

            It is pouring rain and the storm grows stronger.

            Richard appears alone in the clearing, the knife in his hadn.

            Thunder and lightening begin.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I still didn't know what I was going to do when I got to them. You see, when you have blood on your hands, you ask yourself, what difference will it make if you spill some more? I had made a sacrifice to keep the secret, and now that sacrifice was the secret.

          19. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Richard approaches the faint glow of the small tent where Francoise is nursing christo.

            He is carrying the knife.

            He crawls close up to the tent. Etienne is sleeping in the open doorway.

          20. INT. LONGHOUSE NIGHT.

            Inside there is darkness while all are sleeping.

            The thunder is directly overhead and the lightening flashes frequently.

            Sonja stirs in her sleep.

            In a flash of lightening she thinks she sees something.

            A whole series of flashes provide a clearer view.

            At the end of her bed four corpses, Zeph, Sammy, and the two German girls, hang upside down and bound together from the central beam in the roof of the building.

            Zeph appears to be staring at her, his hair trailing against her feet.

            She screams.

            More lightening illuminates the four armed Farmers.

          21. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Richard crawls towards the sleeping Etienne.

            Inside the tent, Francoise has her back to the entrance as she mops the brow of Christo, feverish and unconscious.

          22. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

            The farmers have torches now.

            One of them is interrogating Sal angrily in Thai while the other inhabitants cower at gunpoint.

            FARMER

            You draw maps! You bring people here! Why?

            SAL

            No, we don't. We bring no one.

            FARMER

            You are lying! You are bringing people here. Too many people!

            He hits her with the rifle butt.

            SAL

            No, I promise, we keep it secret. We tell no one.

            He hits her again.

            FARMER

            Then who drew this?

            He holds out the map drawn by Richard.

          23. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Richard draws closer to Etienne. He reaches him, the knife poised in his hand.

          24. INT. LONGHOUSE. NIGHT.

            The four bodies hang from the roof.

            The farmers have gone.

            Sal lies injured on the floor.

            The inhabitants silently pass the map from one to the other.

            It reaches Bugs last. He studies it.

          25. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Richard's bald is at Etienne's throat.

            He opens his eyes, frozen with fear.

            Richard is aware of a gaze from another direction. Keeping the knife at Etienne's throat, he turns to see that Francoise is looking at him. They stare at each other.

            Richard takes the knife away.

            RICHARD

            You have to leave. Do you understand? You have to leave right now. If you don't they'll kill you.

            ETIENNE

            What about Christo?

            RICHARD

            There is nothing more you can do. I'll look after him.

            FRANCOISE

            Richard -

            RICHARD

            You don't have time to talk about this. You have to go now.

            Christo moans. Etienne looks at him.

            RICHARD

            (continuing)

            Leave him with me.

            Etienne understands. He and Richard stare at each other.

          26. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Bugs runs through the forest, away from the lights of the clearing.

          27. EXT. FOREST. NIGHT.

            Francoise and Etienne flee through the forest towards the beach.

          28. INT. SMALL TENT. NIGHT.

            Richard studies Christo, illuminated by a torch.

            His breathing is labored and irregular.

            Richard reaches forward. He pinches Christo's nose and covers his mouth.

            Christo's body struggles briefly and goes still.

            Richard relaxes his grip.

            He switches off the torch.

          29. EXT. LAGOON. NIGHT.

            Richard swims out from the beach.

          30. EXT. LAGOON/CLIFFS. NIGHT.

            Richard swims out towards the cliff.

            He reaches the cliff and pauses, taking a deep breath before submerging towards the underwater tunnel.

          31. INT. CAVE. NIGHT.

            Moonlight reflects in through the chimney and the entrance.

            Etienne and Francoise are in the boat.

            Etienne is trying to start the boat.

            He sees the silhouette of a man surface and crawl onto the flat rock.

            Etienne steps off the boat onto the rock as the figure in the shadows approaches him.

            ETIENNE

            Richard, come one, get into the boat.

            The man pulls Etienne forward and stabs him deep into his abdomen.

            ETIENNE

            (continuing)

            Richard!

            It is Bugs.

            BUGS

            Richard can't help you now, French boy.

            Francoise screams.

            Bugs releases Etienne who falls helpless to his knees.

            Bugs turns his attention to Francoise. She pulls the start cord and the engine starts.

            Bugs holds one end of the mooring rope, pulling the boat towards him while Francoise tries to undo the other end.

            RICHARD (O.S.)

            Hey, Bugs!

            Richard stands on the rock.

            Bugs turns towards him. He drops the rope and walks a couple of paces, then rushes him.

            Richard manages to avoid the blade.

            They fight.

            Bugs forces Richard on to the ground

            He is about to stab Richard.

            Etienne appears behind Bugs, struggling on his feet, bleeding from his wound.

            He is holding a piece of rope. He slings it around Bug's neck.

            Etienne's eyes roll and his head lolls.

            He falls back into the water, pulling Bugs with him.

            UNDERWATER. NIGHT.

            Etienne and the struggling Bugs sink.

            Bugs cannot free himslf, becoming only more entangled.

          32. INT. CAVE. NIGHT

            Richard lies on the flat rock.

            Francoise is in the boat.

            She switches off the engine.

            UNDERWATER. NIGHT.

            Etienne and Bugs lie at rest on the sea bed.

          33. EXT. SEA. DAY.

            A calm sunny day.

            Richard and Francoise are on the boat, drifting.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            That was the worst thing: I didn't even get to die. I had to live with myself.

          34. INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY.

            In a typical Khao San Road hotel. The room is a mess.

            Richard disheveled and haggard is sitting at a small table, working with a pencil and a piece of paper.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            I haven't seen her since and I don't suppose I ever will. I've been here six months now.

          35. EXT. CLEARING. DAY.

            The clearing is deserted and overgrown.

            The longhouse is derelict and overrun with creepers.

          36. EXT. ISLAND. DAY.

            From above in one rising shot, the beach, the lagoon, and the island.

            RICHARD (V.O.)

            Listening to all the people talk about where they're going to go and ho great it's going to be, and I try to tell them: you can go too far, you can find out too much, but no one ever listens, no one ever listens. I guess there's some things you just have to discover for yourself.

          37. INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY.

            He finishes his work. It is a copy of The Map.

            He picks up a single tack.

          38. INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY.

            Richard pins the map to the door of an adjacent room.

            He walks back to the open door of his own room.

            He looks back once and closes the door.

            Close on The Map.

           

           

          THE END


Beach, The



Writers :   Alex Garland  John Hodge
Genres :   Drama  Adventure  Thriller


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