Married/unmarried

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Long Synopsis

I. PAUL & AMANDA
After having sex with his wife Amanda (Gina Bellman), Paul (Paolo Seganti) reveals that he saw an ex-girlfriend in a yoghurt commercial on TV earlier in the evening. His throwaway postcoital comment spirals into a full-blown dissection of what such reminiscences conjure within the sensibilities of a married man and the inferno of jealousy that it ignites within his wife. Amanda demands more information about the ex, who was she, what did she do, even the yoghurt she was eating in the commercial. She irrationally makes him remove the television set from the bedroom upon discovering that he watched the said commercial while she was running the bath they made love in, as though it inspired his amorous actions.

Danny (Ben Daniels) is fleetingly introduced as he rides his motorbike brashly through London to a backdrop of classical music. He arrives at a nightclub; walks through the hordes, disregarding all except one woman who is dancing alone. She turns to face him and their eyes lock. They ride off together on his bike and we cut to them having sex.

II. KIM & AMANDA
Kim (Kristen McMenamy) sits in a café with Amanda. Talking in riddles, she reveals to Amanda that though her she is happy enough with Danny she is waiting for the time when she can be with another man. Annoyed, as she is concerned with her own marital problem, Amanda asks if Kim is going to leave her boyfriend. Kim vehemently denies this telling her she loves Danny, that he is her man, but that when the ‘moment’ changes, she will be ready to be with another.

While Amanda retreats to the toilets, Kim is seated alone in the café. From outside, a strange little man (Denis Lavant) appears at the window, staring lovingly at Kim through the glass. She is taken aback upon seeing him and a flashback reveals that they had collided with each other in the street earlier that day, magnetised by each other they stare into each other’s eyes while dusting themselves down. Fearful of seeing him again Kim hurriedly changes seats.

When Amanda re-emerges and sits back down with Kim at the new seating location, she explains how Paul saw his ex-girlfriend in yoghurt commercial and that it fuelled a violent jealousy within her. Inspired by Amanda’s honesty, Kim reveals how she misses the early days of her relationship with Danny, before Paul and Amanda were married, when the men would play Backgammon all night while they slept waiting for them to finish. She recalls that Danny would wake her when the game was over, either gently if he’d won or aggressively if he’d lost. She then reveals that on one occasion she was wakened by Paul and on seeing him standing before her she was filled with the desire to take him into her mouth and force him down her throat.

III. DANNY & KIM
Within the cold, modern interior of Danny’s apartment a dinner for two has been prepared. Seated at a steel table and drinking from silver goblets, Danny and Kim eat methodically. From the early exchanges of pleasant small talk, Danny becomes more threatening towards Kim when she asks if he will accompany her to a family get-together. She argues that ‘it’s what couples do’, Danny answers that he is not a couple and states that he is a ‘me’. She is unable to eat anymore and lights a cigarette, pushing her plate away. He tells her to show him some respect while he is still eating and put the cigarette out. She holds his eyes as if trying to stand up to him and brazenly stubs the cigarette out into the risotto he prepared. He continues eating and when she tries to leave the table he demands she sit back down. There is a controlling aggression in his voice that fearfully makes her obey. He pushes her plate back to her, asks her to eat some more. She protests that there is a cigarette in the food and he smiles and telling her that she likes cigarettes. Broken, she scoops a mouthful of risotto and he smiles with the pleasure of a manipulator. He finishes his food victoriously and takes his plate into the kitchen. She immediately lights another cigarette, but he aggressively stomps back out and snatches it from her mouth, demanding she thank him for doing so. Weak and scared, she thanks him, and feeding on this vulnerability, he seizes the moment to talk about his sexual needs and alludes to a previously performed sexual act. She instantly refuses but he destroys her with misogynistic reasoning by telling her that he dislikes her taste and smell but tolerates it for her pleasure and she should therefore reciprocate his desires. Despite Kim’s anguish Danny rages that she should either do what he asks or leave. Broken, she disappears into the bathroom re emerging in the guise of an over made up beauty pageant contestant to satiate his fetish. Shining a torch into her face and demanding she grotesquely re-apply heavier lipstick to her mouth, Kim delivers crass ‘Miss World’ lines, prompted and corrected by him. As Kim’s tears fall and fear overwhelms her, Danny approaches and roughly takes her.

IV. PAUL & DANNY
Paul and Danny sit on a sofa watching a porn film together. For Paul, it seems like time has stood still, that there has to be more to their life and friendship than sitting watching something as tawdry as this. For Danny, it remains fascinating, women objectified for the sole purpose of male pleasure.

They go to a bar. Danny identifies that perhaps after only seven months marital life is already becoming a strain on Paul. He refutes this, attempts to flip the attack by questioning why he is still dating Kim when he clearly has no love or regard for her and that his infidelity is not fair on her.

Many drinks later, Paul confesses that he was aroused upon seeing his ex-girlfriend on TV but that he cannot understand why. She meant nothing to him then, but seeing her again made him crave for the way he was before he was married, the freedom to have a woman like her with no guilt and no commitment. Danny tells him to find the woman and that he can still be the way he once was, but Paul is dismissive. It is the thought that he can’t have anyone else that makes him feel this way.

On the way home Paul questions Danny about his misogyny. In a startling monologue, Danny confesses that he feels a slight revile towards women. He talks about his contempt for Kim and reveals that he has no love for her. He talks about his desires, the increasing sexual extremities he seeks and he chillingly reveals that after sex he wants the woman dead.

Two small scenes are intercut. The first features Amanda sitting on a train staring at a middle-aged passenger that sits opposite her. He is oblivious to her stare at first, then notices her. Holding his eyes, she slowly opens her legs inviting him to look. She hurriedly gets off at the next stop leaving him looking on. She walks through a long hotel corridor and enters a room with a card key. She draws the curtains and sits inertly on the bed, a gold crucifix on the wall behind her. She cries.

The second scene features Paul in an art gallery. He studies a painting and is joined by an attractive woman (Lidija Zovkic) who views the same piece. Her voiceover reveals that she is the woman he saw on TV. She asks him why he called her and tracked her down. They sit in her white apartment and sip a drink. She undresses in front of him and retreats to the bedroom, Paul follows her, staring at her as she reclines on the bed. After a matter of moments he leaves the apartment abruptly.

V. AMANDA & DANNY
Tethered to the hotel bed by her feet and hands Amanda lies naked face down. Danny emerges from the bathroom while towelling himself down. He views her contemptuously, pulls out a pocket-knife and approaches Amanda to cut her free. She painfully sits up and tells him she’s bleeding (from her anus). He is cutting and cold, mocking her affections and marriage to Paul, despising her for doing this to her husband and his best friend. Amanda tries to get out of bed but cannot find her clothes. Danny tells her he threw out the window so that she would have to indignantly scuttle out to retrieve them. When she asks him what he used to enter her and why she is still bleeding, he gestures to where the crucifix once hung above the bed. Amanda attempts to get back at Danny by saying that Kim wants to leave him but he dismisses all of this and tells her he doesn’t care for Kim or for her, and that he only cares for Paul. Danny grabs Amanda kissing her violently and she spits into his face. He punches her hard. He calls Kim from the room phone, questioning where she is and what she’s doing. Kim sits alone at a café but reacts when an unseen guest joins her and makes her laugh. Retrieving Amanda’s clothes, Danny now behaves tenderly towards her telling her to get dressed and that he’ll give her a ride home. She painfully tells him that she loves him and he tells her that Paul loves her.

Amanda stands in the shower, thoughts of Paul and Danny shrouding her mind. She lifts a pair of scissors to her breast and cuts off her nipple.

VI. ALL TOGETHER
This is the only scene where all four characters appear together, and in turn there is no dialogue except for single sporadic sound bites. Arriving at an opulent restaurant to celebrate Paul & Amanda’s first anniversary the couples drink champagne, eat, open gifts and indulge in a chocolate cake food fight. There is also a brief insight into Kim thinking back to the day when Danny had called her from the hotel. We see that she is sitting alone at a café, but is joined by Denis Lavant’s character who makes her laugh.

The scene continues in Paul and Amanda’s apartment, the men getting stoned while watching Amanda and Kim slow-dance together. Danny intervenes, manipulating them into kissing each other before taking over kissing Kim while Amanda returns to Paul on the couch. They watch as Danny undresses Kim, pushes her to the floor and fucks her in front of them. When he has climaxed Danny gestures for Paul to take over and in an almost hypnotic state Paul makes his way towards Kim. Horrified, Amanda looks on screams as Paul climaxes.

On a deserted street, a numb and bedraggled Kim staggers aimlessly barefoot.

VII. KIM AND PAUL
Paul is jogging in a park, he has a beard and his hair longer, it is apparent that time has passed. Panting, Paul stops and notices Kim standing by a tree watching him. They walk through the park. She tells him she saw him accidentally one day while driving and that she followed him into this park. She’s been coming back each week to watch him jog but has been unable to approach him. It’s evident that his marriage ended and he tells her he’s seeing someone else. She asks him whether he would’ve allowed Danny to take over fucking Amanda if she on the floor that night instead of her. He says no. She wants to know why Danny did such a thing to her, and why he joined in. He tries to explain that they were drunk and stoned, but she dismisses this and tells him that neither of them had been more sober than at that precise moment. She tells him she’s pregnant but refutes any offer from Paul to help. He asks her what she wants from him, why she came here, and she tells him she wants to leave Danny but doesn’t have the strength to do it on her own. Despite everything, Paul is unable to encourage her to leave him, as if still being loyal to his friend. She explains that she has met someone else – and we see a small insert revealing her kissing Denis Lavant. He holds her, tells her to go. When she asks where, he tells her to go to love. As if she has been given the keys to her freedom, Kim walks away. Paul continues jogging in the opposite direction. Wedding bells chime out from a church in the distance.

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