Monday, January 02, 2006
SCREENPLAY-NOVEL "THE RUNNERS" - EXCERPT
EXT. IN FRONT OF A BAR CALLED “UNDERSTAND YOU” THAT IS LOCATED IN A KOREAN CITY. DEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.
All of the friends emerge onto a quiet, wet street.
CRAIG: It rained.
HYUN-MI: It’s jangma. Rainy season.
DEBORAH: [Holding her hand out] Oh great. It’s starting to rain again.
CRAIG: Come on, quick. Let’s run to the taxi stand.
They all start running.
EXT. TAXI STAND.
CRAIG: [waving to a cab that is driving by] Yo-gi-oh! Ajushi! Over here!
[The cab rushes by.]
NEVILLE: We’re the poor saps who don’t know how to get a ride.
CRAIG: There’s got to be a free cab somewhere. [waving at another] Yo-gi!!
[it rushes by]
[the rain keeps falling]
CRAIG: What’s the trick? Is there a trick to this?
DEBORAH: Try waving some money.
CRAIG: What? Like man won?
DEBORAH: It might work.
Craig pulls out some money]
CRAIG: Ajushi! 돈 있어요! [“Doane issayo!!” “I have money!”}
[A cab drives by.]
DEBORAH: Look! It’s stopping!
The cab has stopped several meters up the road from them. It waits, engine idling. They all run for it.
CRAIG: What’re we going to do? We can’t all fit in.
DALE: [putting his arm around his date] We got to the cab first.
DEBORAH: We can fit in.
CRAIG: [disbelieving] What?
DEBORAH: Sure. Why not? Haven’t you ever tried that before? Six in a car?
CRAIG: Seven, with the driver.
DALE: Look, seriously, folks. Kyoung-ja and I don’t have far to go. If we can just squeeze two in the front and four in the back, it’ll be cool. Hyun-mi is small.
CRAIG: Think the driver’ll let us do that?
DALE: [brusquely] This is Korea. Nobody tips here. We’ll just give him, like, cheon won extra. He’ll think we’re big shots.
KYOUNG JA looks at Dale for a moment, and gives a snorting laugh.
DALE: What? What? I said something wrong?
KYOUNG JA: [sarcastically] You’re such a nice guy, Dale.
DALE: [grinning wolfishly] Yeah. And you love it, right?
She smiles but doesn’t concur.
DALE: Okay, okay. We’ll give him a real tip. Something substantial. Come on, let’s go. We gotta get out of this rain.
They approach the cab.
DALE: [to Kyoung-ja] Honey, you tell him what the deal is.
KYOUNG JA leans in the taxi window and says something. Then she turns to everyone else.
KYOUNG JA: It’s okay. Get in.
As they all squeeze in, Craig turns to Kyoung-ja.
CRAIG: You know, your English is really good. Better than Hyun-mi’s, I think.
HYUN MI slaps Craig’s shoulder. Craig smiles.
INT. TAXI. EVERYONE SQUEEZED IN TIGHT.
DALE: [looking around the streets impatiently] Babe, where is it? Where's your apart?
KYOUNG JA: It’s next block.
DALE: By those lights?
KYOUNG JA: Yeah.
DALE: [to driver] Hey, ajushi! Ajushi!
KYOUNG JA: What do you want?
DALE: Tell him to stop at the intersection.
KYOUNG JA says something to the driver, but it’s too late. The car whips through the intersection and continues for half a block.
DALE: [dumbfounded] what’d he do that for?
KYOUNG JA: It’s okay. He just misunderstood.
DALE: misunderstand?! He’s Korean. You’re Korean. What’s there to misunderstand?
KYOUNG JA: He just misunderstood, that’s all. Okay?
DALE: [under his breath] Friggin –
KYOUNG JA: What?
The cab stops.
DALE: C’mon, babe. Hop out.
KYOUNG JA opens the front right door and disembarks.
DRIVER: [To Dale] Tip.
DRIVER: You say, ‘tip’.
DALE: I said a tip if you friggin’ drive us to the right friggin’ place.
CRAIG: You promised him, dude.
DALE: you keep out of this. And you guys are goin’ farther. Why don’t you tip him?
CRAIG: You caught the ride. 50/50. That was the deal.
DALE: [coldly] Thanks loads, there. Buddy boy.
He starts to disembark.
DRIVER: Tip, Mister!
DALE: [turning on him rapidly] How’s this for a tip? [He gives the driver the finger.]
Like a bolt the driver is out of his cab and standing next to Dale. Suddenly it’s as if the two of them will come to blows.
KYOUNG JA: [off] Dale? What’s going on?
DALE: [looking at the driver, who’s shorter than him] You want a piece of me? Hunh? You want a piece?
KYOUNG JA: [running up to him] Dale! What is going on?! What did you do?!
[she looks at Craig]
CRAIG: [laughing and saying to her] Just Dale being Dale.
The driver speaks rapidly to KYOUNG JA in Korean.
KYOUNG JA: [to Dale] Why won’t you give him tip money? You promised!
DALE: I promised if goofball here would drop us off where I say.
KYOUNG JA: I told you. It was misunderstanding. We’re close to my place. The rain is stopped. Why you make a problem?
DALE: Babe, haven’t you ever heard of principle?
KYOUNG JA: [sighing with sheer exasperation] What?!!!
DALE: A tip is an exchange for above-par service. We didn’t get that. No tip.
KYOUNG JA: You won’t give him tip??
KYOUNG JA suddenly turns on her heel and starts walking away.
DALE: [chasing her a few steps] Hey. Hey. Babe. Where you goin’?
KYOUNG JA: Home. Alone.
But KYOUNG JA keeps walking. She disappears into the night.
Dale returns to the cab.
The driver watches, somewhat taken aback, as Dale takes his seat as if nothing has happened.
DALE: [to Hyun-mi in a tired voice] Do me a favour, would you? Just tell him to take us home.
Paul, having watched all this carefully, looks at Deborah, who is staring ahead stony-faced, and Craig and Hyun-mi, who seem to think it was rather amusing. He catches Neville’s eye. Neville simply raises his eyebrows.
NEVILLE: Good thing this is a roomy car.