The Beach - By John Hodge













                            THE BEACH

                                by

                            John Hodge


                       Based upon the novel

                                by

                           Alex Garland
















EXT. BANGKOK. NIGHT

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.

EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. NIGHT 

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. Restaurants 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 
	but you could only find it here. And what 
	do they want, all these people?

EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. NIGHT./ INT. BARS AND SHOPS. NIGHT. 

Various young travelers, male and female, in snapshot 
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.

	          TRAVELER 1
	We just got back.

		    TRAVELER 2
	Fantastic.

		    TRAVELER 3
	How much did it cost?

		    TRAVELER 5
	A complete rip off.

	          TRAVELER 3
	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.

INT. RESTAURANT. NIGHT. 

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 bath.

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.

INT SHOWER. NIGHT 

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

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT 

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 stairs.

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.

INT RESTAURANT. NIGHT 

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.

INT. RICHARD'S HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT. 

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. -

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. NIGHT. 

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.

INT. EXT. RESTAURANT. DAY. 

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 sit 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.

INT. TRAVEL AGENT'S. DAY 

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.

EXT. KHAO SAN ROAD. DAY. 

Richard lights up and looks around.

He looks through the tapes at a stall.

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY 

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.

INT DAFFY'S ROOM. DAY. 

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.

INT. POLICE STATION. DAY. 

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 because 
	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.

INT. POLICE STATION CORRIDOR. DAY 

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.

INT. RICHARD'S HOTEL ROOM. DAY. 

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.

INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR. DAY 

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 thrilled 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.

EXT. RAILWAY/THAI COUNTRYSIDE. NIGHT. 

A train travels at night alongside fields.

INT. TRAIN. NIGHT 

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.

EXT. SEA. DAY. 

The bow of a passenger ferry crashes through a wave.

EXT. BOAT DAY. 

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.

INT EXT. TRUCK. DAY 

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.

EXT. ROAD. DAY. 

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".

EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY. 

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.

INT. BUNGALOW. DAY 

A spartan room: bed, mosquito nets, chair, cupboard, fan.

Richard dumps his rucksack.

Ext. SEA/BEACH. DAY. 

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.

EXT. BEACH RESTAURANT. DAY. 

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 bath.

		    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. Forget it. We won't tell anyone.

Richard picks up the map

EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY 

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.

EXT. BUNGALOW. NIGHT. 

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!

INT. BUNGALOW. DAY 

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.

EXT. BUNGALOW. DAY. 

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.

EXT BEACH. DAY 

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.

EXT. SEA.. DAY. 

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

EXT. BEACH. DAY. 

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.

EXT. BEACH. NIGHT. 

As the sun sets they sit in silence, each shoveling down 
forkloads of noodles.

EXT. BEACH. NIGHT. 

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…

EXT. NIGHT. SKY. 

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. 

EXT. BEACH. DAY. 

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 drown. 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. 

EXT. BEACH. DAY. 

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.

EXT. SEA. DAY. 

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 such 
	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.

EXT. BEACH. DAY. 

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.

EXT. FOREST. DAY. 

Richard, Francoise, and Etienne walk through the forest 
behind the beach.

EXT. FOREST. DAY 

They scramble up a steep slope through dense foliage. 

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

EXT. TOP OF SLOPE/CLEARING. DAY. 

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.

EXT. FIELD. DAY. 

There is no one there.

EXT. FIELD. DAY. 

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.

EXT. AMONG PLANTS. DAY. 

The three intruders 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.

TO BE CONTINUED...