Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Death Comes Only in the Rain

I have been visiting Japan every few years for the last decade or so and every so often I would try to think of film ideas to shoot there. A few years ago I watched an American television news story about an American who did a bunch of reporting on the Yakuza while he lived in Japan. One thing he said stood out. That the Yakuza liked to assassinate people on rainy days since all the blood (evidence) would wash away. With that in mind, I wrote this treatment.

Death Comes Only In the Rain

A strong young man, Matt, is married to Japanese woman. They live in Japan.  He works in a bar.  Used to be a boxer.  That’s how he got hired, by showing his skills, kicking some poor crazy drunk out of the place.  He works long hours and his wife is usually asleep when he comes home.  He frequents a coffee shop where he flirts with a young-girl worker there.  Finally, one day, he talks to her.  Says a practiced come-on.  He struggles with a follow-up and she finds it alluring.  She agrees to meet him later in the store in the first floor of the building the coffee shop is in.  He forgets what entrance they agree to meet at and he runs to other entrance and they run into each other, literally.   They go out have a good time and she takes him “home” (it’s really her friend’s house) and they fuck.  Afterwards, she changes her hours and he can’t find her.  He gets thrown out of the coffee shop several times, bringing a lot of unwanted attention to himself.  He lies about being sick and skips work to find the girl.  He finds out the apartment she took him too was not hers.  An old lady answers the door and tells him so.  He gets fired from the bar when he is late after having an argument with his wife.  She is an artist type who is now working in advertising.  He goes to gamble at the pachinko house.  He comes home drunk and penniless and his wife banishes him out of the bedroom.  She is mad especially since she doesn’t want to explain it to her father.  He goes and gambles some more and gets into it with some gangsters and ends up punching one’s lights out.  Soon after he is picked up and given a job shaking down delinquent gamblers with the yakuza.  They convince him to do it, by pretending they are going to cut off his pinkie if he doesn’t agree. The boss jokes about it afterward.  Matt’s wife loves the money he is making and she warms back up to him.   He never stops trying to find the young coffee shop girl.  One day, he finds the young girl.  She is enamored with gangsters and latches onto him.  Drunk on his new life, he finds a guy he is supposed to shake down that has a bunch of money and he sees his minder is not paying attention and takes the money for himself, then beats up the guy saying he didn’t pay.  They boss finds out, unbeknownst to Matt, that Matt stole from him.  He runs to his girlfriend, but he doesn’t trust her.  He runs to his wife and they make plans to move away.  “Maybe they don't even know you took the money”.  Several days later, he ventures out on rainy day and is shot many times, then stabbed as the rain washes the blood away in the street outside his apartment.  The girlfriend appears (like and aberration), singing an appropriate enka song to the camera in the foreground.  Passersby walk by and stop, stare at the carnage, the man dying in the street, in the rain.  Finally the wife comes upon the man and bends over him, weeping, wailing.  The girlfriend sings on.  When the song ends, the crowd, now larger, applauds in a polite, Japanese kind of way.  The wife looks up and gets some looks, like, “Why aren’t you clapping?”  She reluctantly wipes back her tears and politely claps.  The crowd disperses, the rain stops, and the girlfriend goes home.  The wife, alone with her dead husband continues to mourn outwardly.

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