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Old 01-12-2017, 09:11 PM   #1
harmonica44
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 6,661
What do you think of this short film script?

I was given a short film script that I was considering directing, but I don't really understand the ending to it, and maybe you can help me, if you're interested. It's 14 pages on paper. Sorry about the script format getting jumbled a bit, it does that when copying and pasting off a pdf file.

But basically I do not understand the ending, and I'll explain my question after the ending below:

EXT. HOUSE - EVENING
A car pulls up front.

INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

MILO(29) is peering through the curtains while a jittery

VALERIE(25) bites her lip and watches over his shoulder.
The door bell RINGS.

DOOR - MOMENTS LATER
Milo answers and greets GUNTHER(53), a gruff man in army
green clothing who is carrying a trunk.

LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Gunther sits across from Milo and Valerie, and places the
trunk down. Valerie grabs Miloís arm nervously.
Gunther opens the trunk while eyeing the room with suspicion.
The trunk contents are obscured from Milo and Valerieís view.
TRUNK -
Neatly organized. A gun, multiple pairs of handcuffs, vials,
lengths of rope, folders, and miscellaneous office supplies.
The top is outfitted with electronics including various
switches, dials and knobs.
RETURN TO SCENE:
Gunther retrieves a note pad and pen from the trunk.

MILO
So, a private detective, eh? You
must meet some pretty interesting
people.
Gunther gives him a dirty look and begins scrawling in the
note pad. Milo tilts his head in vain to read the words.

MILO (CONTíD)
Mr. Robinson says thereís been some
irregularities in the ledger.
A shame to think someone would
embezzle from his company. Heís a
hell of a guy. I mean, for a boss.
.
(MORE)
GUNTHER
I donít suppose either of you would
have an issue being connected to an
lie detector?
Valerie and Milo answer simultaneously.

MILO
No.
VALERIE
Yes.
Milo and Valerie share a look.

MILO
Rememberingís not hard when youíre
telling the truth. I think it was
Mark Twain who said that.
(strokes his chin)
Or maybe it was Dr. Oz.
Gunther reaches into a pocket and comes up empty handed. He
searches all available pockets and finally stands up.

GUNTHER
I forgot something in my car.
Gunther snaps closed the trunk and leaves the house. Milo
takes out his

PHONE -
There is a picture of MR. ROBINSON next to his name. Milo
dials.
RETURN TO SCENE:

MR. ROBINSON
(over phone)
Hello, you have reached the voice
mail of Steve Robinson. Leave a
message after the tone.
The phone BEEPS.
MILO
(into phone - hushed)
That investigator you mentioned.
.
MILO(CONT'D)
You know, the one you told us not
to worry about, well heís here, and
heís brought along his lie
detector, which doesnít sound much
like an informal interview if you
ask me.
(beat)
I wonder how your business partner
would react if he learned you
recruited some of your staff into a
scam to bilk your company...

INT. GUNTHERíS CAR - CONTINUOUS
Gunther is listening to Miloís conversation over a walkie
talkie.
MILO (O.S.)
(into phone)
...out of thousands of dollars.
Your absence the last two days has
me beginning to think you did
something crazy like fuck us over,
and the only thing thatís gonna
slow this guys roll is your
instruction, so you best appease my
fears ASAP, or thereís no telling
what I might say.

INSIDE HOUSE -
Milo ends the call.
MILO (CONTíD)
We gotta get that money out of
here.

VALERIE
How?

INSIDE GUNTHERíS CAR -
VALERIE (CONTíD)
Heís gonna be back any second.
He looks into the rearview mirror.
GUNTHER
Well, that about says it all. You
ready?
INSIDE HOUSE -
.
(MORE)
Gunther enters, leading in a FIGURE by a chain. The Figure
is wearing tattered rags, a sac over his head, and a mitt on
his left hand.
Milo and Valerie are dumbstruck.
Gunther seats the new arrival and handcuffs his right hand to
one of the chairs.
Gunther pats the Figure on the shoulder.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
This my friends, is the best
investment I ever made. Absolutely
astounding what youíll find for
sale in a Bahrain market place.

VALERIE
Thatís a human being youíre talking
about.

GUNTHER
Private detective work puts food on
the table. Espionage, counter
espionage, sabotage, cointelpro;
those are my real passions. When
you run in those circles, there
isnít much you canít get your hands
on, and when someoneís endured
tortures the likes of which this
chap has, itís hard to say if they
cease being a human being entirely.
(beat)
Donít give me that look. He was
like this when I bought him. I
donít know who he was; the selling
point was what heís become...a
human lie detector.
Gunther receives blank stares. He wraps his arm around the
Figureís neck with faux affection.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
I was sceptical too, but believe it
or not, this man has developed an
empathic ability which allows him
to sniff out a lie like a hound
sniffs out blood. In other words,
heís a living, breathing, vat of
rohypnol.
(beat)
.
GUNTHER(CONT'D)
The scars on his head lead me to
believe heís either the victim of a
series of failed brain surgeries,
or successful lobotomies, depending
on how you look at it.
(beat)
Whatever the hell happened, itís
left him with the mental capacity
of an infant.
Gunther removes the cathode ends of a series of wires from
the trunk and administers them to the Figureís body.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
The fault of the lie detector has
never been with the machine itself
but evasion on the part of the
subject. Think of him as a conduit
through which your answers are
filtered.

MILO
Which means it still relies on
interpretation.
GUNTHER
A formality. Trust me, Iíll know
when youíre lying. Perhaps the
lady would like to assist in a
demonstration?

VALERIE
Doesnít sound like I have a choice.
GUNTHER
Very perceptive.
Gunther takes a file folder from the trunk and hands it to
Valerie. She opens the folder and peruses through PURCHASE
ORDERS.
Gunther focuses on the electronic section within the trunk.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
Are those your signatures?

VALERIE
Itís my job to sign purchase
orders.
GUNTHER
Please answer the question.
Valerie browses the pages flippantly.
.
VALERIE
Sure, thatís my writing.

GUNTHER
Heís going to need a yes or no
answer.

VALERIE
Alright, yes.
The Figure remains still.

GUNTHER
And the items Iíve highlighted in
yellow...
PURCHASE ORDERS -
Each page has various cleaning products highlighted in
yellow.
RETURN TO SCENE:

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
Can you confirm if those were valid
purchases?

VALERIE
If they werenít, they wouldnít be
on here.

GUNTHER
Maíam.

VALERIE
To the best of my knowledge, there
is nothing out of the ordinary
about them.
Gunther stares at her.

VALERIE (CONTíD)
Yes, theyíre valid purchases.
The Figure MOANS and swings out his left arm aggressively.
GUNTHER
Whoa, now weíre getting somewhere.
(beat)
What would you say if I told you
those purchases exist on paper
only?
.
VALERIE
Iíd say you were a liar.
The Figure shakes and MOANS more than before and flails his
left arm about.

MILO
Wait a minute, that wasnít a yes or
no answer.

GUNTHER
Sometimes he just has a bad feeling
about people.

MILO
I pick up those orders personally,
so I can assure you they are valid.
Itís all done through a company
credit card. No money changes
hands, so fraud is impossible.

GUNTHER
Unless once the transaction is
complete someone on the supply side
processes a refund for the items in
question and pays you out in cash.

MILO
And whatís in it for them?

GUNTHER
A third of the profit.
Milo CHUCKLES.

MILO
Iím sure our supplier would have a
word or two about that theory.

GUNTHER
Indeed, your contact on their
shipping dock...
Gunther flips through his note pad.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
...Evan, had a lot to say about it.
Valerie looks at Milo, who GULPS.
.
GUNTHER (CONTíD)
Now that the lady was kind enough
to help us with a test run, letís
have the gentleman answer a few
questions, but this time letís make
it official.

Gunther stands up and reaches out his hand to Valerie.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
If the lady would be so kind.

MILO
What does asking me questions have
to do with her?

GUNTHER
The truth thrives on incentive. It
must be courted and seduced like a
beautiful woman. Thereís nothing
for her to fear, unless of course
you plan on lying. Then I wouldnít
dare ask anyone put themselves in
peril.

MILO
Do your worst.
Milo crosses his arms, defiantly.
Valerie takes Guntherís hand with trepidation. He leads her
towards the Figure.

GUNTHER
Brave little lady that you are, Iím
going to need you to grab this
manís left wrist, and extend his
arm horizontally.
There is terror behind Valerieís eyes.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
He isnít gonna bite. He canít.
His mouth is duct taped shut.
Gunther gently places Valerieís palm around the figureís
wrist and guides her until the Figureís arm is horizontal.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
And hold that right there.
Gunther places the seat of an empty chair in a position where
it barely overlaps below the Figureís extended arm.
.
GUNTHER (CONTíD)
That a girl. You can let go now.
She lets go like a hot potato and the Figureís arm falls
limply.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
(to Valerie)
Please, have a seat.
Gunther gestures at the empty chair. Valerie sits down.
Gunther lifts a pair of handcuffs from the trunk.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
Do you mind?

VALERIE
I donít suppose it can make things
any worse.
Valerie puts her hands behind her back and Gunther puts on
the handcuffs.
Gunther removes the mitt from the Figureís
HAND -
It is bloody, wrapped in barbed wire and other sharp
implements.
RETURN TO SCENE:
Valerie appears terror stricken.

MILO
Where did you say you got your
detective license from again,
because Iíve watched a lot of
Columbo and I never seen him use
anything like this.

GUNTHER
I was instructed to use any and all
means to retrieve the money that
was stolen Mr. Robinson and his
partner.

MILO
If youíve got questions, strap me
to the chair.
.
GUNTHER
Time and time again Iíve found
people willing to put themselves in
harms way to protect a lie. When
it comes to their loved oneís on
the other hand...

VALERIE
(to Milo)
If I get so much as scratched, your
balls are as good as stomped.
Milo CLEARS his throat nervously.

MILO
Letís do this.
Gunther returns to his seat and focuses on the machinery
within the trunk.

GUNTHER
Then letís proceed.
(to Milo)
Would you say youíre satisfied with
your job?

MILO
Define satisfied.
GUNTHER
Do you feel fulfilled?

MILO
Sure...I mean yes.
The Figureís arm flinches and Valerie winces.

GUNTHER
Have you ever stolen from your
current employer?
Valerie clenches her teeth.
MILO
No.
The Figureís right arm swings towards Valerie, barely missing
her.

MILO (CONTíD)
Shit, sorry. Iíve taken pens and
shit, but I hardly think that
counts.
.
GUNTHER
Then Iíll be more specific. Are
you in possession of any cash that
is the rightful possession of
Robinson Incorporated? Like for
example the money you referring to
when I left the room?

VALERIE
(to Milo)
This is over.
Milo SIGH.

MILO
Upstairs; first door on the left,
youíll find a shoe box under the
bed.

GUNTHER
Much obliged.
Gunther ascends the nearby stairwell. Milo approaches the
trunk and picks up the gun.

VALERIE
What the hell are you doing?

MILO
Protecting our interests. This
guyís a private detective like Iím
a marine biologist.

VALERIE
Not to mention heís fucking
psychotic.
Milo returns to the couch and tucks the gun under a cushion.
Gunther returns, rifling through the box of cash.

GUNTHER
Looks like you two made out like
gangbusters.
Gunther sits down and deposits the cash into the
TRUNK -
A gun is COCKED.
RETURN TO SCENE:
Gunther looks up and finds Milo pointing the gun at him.
.
MILO
Iíll take our money back now.

GUNTHER
You have no idea who youíre dealing
with.

MILO
Letís keep it that way. The cash.
Gunther throws the cash bundles onto the floor in front of
Milo who gathers them up.

MILO (CONTíD)
You wanna earn a wage, talk to Mr.
Robinson. His share required a lot
more than a shoe box.
(beat)
The whole scam was his idea.

GUNTHER
No, actually, it was mine.
Milo and Valerie appear confused.

GUNTHER (CONTíD)
Your boss hardly resembles the man
who saved my life in Korea. He
used to be one daring motherfucker.
Gambled with his life more times
than I can count, and once he was
finished with that, he started on
his bank account. I swear his
weakness for the ponies has gotten
him into more jams than anything he
did in the marines, but he made one
bet too many. Iíve been paying his
loan sharks for so long, I became
one of them, and coming up with
this scam that youíve reaped the
benefits of, was the only way I was
going to get my money back.

MILO
I knew this was a bunch of
bullshit.

GUNTHER
A little electroshock goes a long
way.
TRUNK -
.
Gunther flips a switch and turns a knob from zero to ten.
RETURN TO SCENE:
The Figure flails uncontrollably while Valerie bobs and
weaves to avoid contact with the dastardly hand. Smoke
begins to rise from the Figure and SIZZLING is heard.
Milo leaps from the couch and pushes Valerie out of the way,
taking a significant slice to his left arm. He drops the
gun.

MILO
Ah!
Milo grabs his arm. Gunther retrieves the gun, gathers the
cash, and deposits it in the trunk.

MILO (CONTíD)
If you had a gun this whole time,
you couldíve just robbed us.
Gunther removes the cathodes from the Figure and places them
in the trunk as well.

GUNTHER
You make me sound like some common
thief.
Gunther picks up the trunk and starts to leave.

MILO
Arenít you forgetting something?
Milo gestures at the Figure.

GUNTHER
You three should get acquainted.
Gunther WHISTLES and leaves the premises.
Milo approaches the Figure cautiously and pulls the sac off
his head, revealing the tortured and deceased countenance of
the SIZZLING Mr. Robinson.

THE END -


What I don't get it is, why would Gunther use Mr. Robinson as false human lie detector, and have him tied up , with a cover over his face, so that Milo and Valerie would not recognize him? Why would Gunther, instead, just not bring Robinson at all, and just bring a real polygraph device to use instead?
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