Award winning 2004 short film directed by Paul Angunawela, produced by Vanessa Van-Yeboah and Daniel Fagerson. Music by Infinite Scale and Dan The Automator. Made for BBC Four in the UK.
Tags: bollywood british film musical india angunawela
Added: 4 years ago
Salt Pictures Presents
[scene opens with Darwood sitting behind the front desk inside the library, when a heavy-set black woman slides a copy of the book "Laila Majnu" towards him]
CONSTANCE: Have you read this book?
DARWOOD: [smiles and shakes his head]
CONSTANCE: This is a tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers who could not be united in life due to the bigotry of fools, but were eventually united in death! Know what I mean?
DARWOOD: [shakes his head]
CONSTANCE: [sucks on her lollipop] What a shame they didn't survive, but at least they gave it their all! Died fighting for what they really believed in!
DARWOOD: [holds up a "No Food" sign]
[she turns and leaves, as Darwood takes a photo of his beloved Simran from under the desk and stares at it longingly]
SIMRAN: [quietly] Darwood ... Darwood ...
[confused, Darwood looks up and sees that the real Simran is walking up to the desk with an angry look on her face]
SIMRAN: Darwood! We need to talk ...
[he looks over at the older female librarian sitting next to him, looking over her glasses at him with contempt, and gives a nervous laugh]
DARWOOD: [quietly] What is it? I'm busy!
SIMRAN: [incredulous] Busy?
[he gets up and pushes a bookcart to the front of the library]
SIMRAN: [indignantly sighs and follows him]
[cut to the outside steps of the library, as the camera focuses on the feet of three men walking upstairs]
[cut back to the inside of the library, as Simran catches up to Darwood]
SIMRAN: [loudly] I have an announ--
DARWOOD: [putting his finger over her lips] Shh!
[he points to a "No Talking" sign, then - once he makes sure no one is looking - moves in to give Simran a kiss]
SIMRAN: [slapping his hand away]
[dejected, he continues pushing his bookcart, as the camera switches back to the men walking up the stairs]
SIMRAN: [from off camera] Listen, I have an announcement to make!
[cut back to Darwood pushing his cart through the stacks as Simran follows]
DARWOOD: Look, I can just stop what I'm doing, Simran! Can't it wait?
SIMRAN: We ... have to run away and get married!
DARWOOD: [loudly] What?
[frozen in shock, Simran ends up pushing the cart for him]
SIMRAN: Listen Darwood, it's my dad! He's onto us! He knows everything ... the old "studying in the library" routine. Kissing behind the flowerbeds. Watching the sunsets together. This secret romance we've been having, he's coming here right now with his heavies!
[cut back to the men making their way into the library]
SIMRAN: [from off camera] My dad has ... connections.
[cut back to Darwood and Simran in the library]
SIMRAN: His personal chefs are trained assassins! It's the norm in India ...
DARWOOD: Chefs? Assassins?
[the nearby patrons look up as Darwood raises his voice]
DARWOOD: Look, this is madness, Simran! I mean, we've only been going out for two weeks!
[cut to Simran's father and his heavies in silhouette, then it cuts to the heavy-set woman sitting at a table talking to another patron]
CONSTANCE: I just read this great book about forbidden love! Taken from an ancient Bedouin tale written well before Shakespeare--
[camera pans to Simran and Darwood arguing behind her]
SIMRAN: Don't you see? This is a test of our love for each other! You do love me ... don't you?
[Darwood - saying nothing - climbs up a ladder to reshelve some books, as the footsteps of the heavies can be heard approaching]
SIMRAN: Now this would be a good time to take me in your arms, Darwood! Take me in your arms and kiss me!
[she closes her eyes and puckers up, but Darwood looks behind her and sees the heavies, gasping in fright]
SIMRAN: [opens one eye, and thinks Darwood is just ignoring her] I see ...
[she storms off, as Darwood tries to say something but just ends up dropping his book, as Simran - without even looking where she's going - accidentally walks right into the arms of her father]
DADDY: [motions for Darwood to approach him]
[Darwood slowly climbs down the ladder and stands in front of him]
DADDY: [takes off his sunglasses] Humph, so ... you think you can corrupt my precious daughter, eh? All that jiggery-pokery in the periodicals! Those special moments alone, hm?
DARWOOD: [stuttering] No disrepect sir, but we haven't done any--
[Daddy snaps his fingers and the two heavies draw their swords and charge]
DADDY: [approaches his daughter] Aw, he hurt you, my little rose, hm? Then I will make him bleed!
[the two heavies point their swords at Darwood's neck]
DADDY: [to Darwood] So sorry ... You, you were saying something? [laughs] I thought so. You are not only a coward, you are also culturally bereft!
DARWOOD: [whimpers quietly]
DADDY: You know nothing of our country, our heritage, our traditions! You are not worthy to be a member of this family! You are worthless, like a curry with no chillis!
DADDY: Simmy is from a different world to you ... bookwalla! So let's keep it that way.
[he kisses Simran on the forehead]
DADDY: Besides, I have already closed the deal on Simmi's marriage!
[he takes a Polaroid photo out of his pocket and holds it up in the air, then shows it to Simran (as the man in the photo blows her a kiss) and she turns away in disgust]
DADDY: [takes her arm] Come, let's go. I have a wedding to prepare for!
[as he drags her away, she reaches out to Darwood with tears in her eyes]
SIMRAN: I love you, Darwood!
DADDY: I've got to book the DJ, get a sitar player, the horse and cart ...
[he snaps his fingers, as the heavies lower their swords and follow him]
SIMRAN: I don't wanna get married, Daddy!
DADDY: You will, darling ...
[as the camera focuses on Darwood picking up the book he dropped, we can hear nearby patrons whispering about how embarrassed he must be, then the camera focuses on Constance still talking to the patron about "Laila Majnu"]
CONSTANCE: Such a shame they didn't survive in the story, but at least they gave it their all. At least they died fighting for what they really believed in.
[Darwood stares at the "No Talking" sign on the wall]
[he takes off his glasses, and the sign suddenly says "No Passion"]
[a "No Cell Phone" sign suddenly says "No Kissing," then a patron walks by with a t-shirt that reads "No Simran" on the front and "No Future" on the back]
[Darwood then slams his book on the table, throws away his library ID and glasses, gets up on the table and begins singing in Hindi]
DARWOOD: [translated] Let the world be cruel to me, and I will bear it ...
[Simran and her father stop]
DARWOOD: [translated] If I see tears in your eyes ...
DARWOOD: [translated] My beloved I will die!
SIMRAN: Oh ...
DADDY: [rolls his eyes] Drop dead ...
[he turns to leaves, when all of the patrons suddenly get up and start dancing]
DARWOOD: [translated] I live by saying your name, I die by saying your name, I live by saying your name, I die by saying your name ... Only you! Only you! Only you, only you! I'm in love with you!
[he grabs her and they run off into the stacks, as her father sends his heavies after them ... However, some nearby patrons are able to distract them, so Darwood and Simran are able to make it back to the main reading room and begin dancing]
[they stop, and Darwood cautiously approaches him]
DARWOOD: [gulp] Well, what do you say ... Pappa G?
[he looks around, then smiles]
DADDY: Nice moves, Library Majnu ... You have proved yourself worthy today! From now on, you have my permission to court my precious daughter!
[Darwood and Simran both smile, but then Daddy pulls him in close]
DADDY: [whispering] But don't think I won't be keeping my beady eyes on you ... You mess her about, and I will personally kill you.
[Darwood looks scared, but then Daddy lets him go and smiles]
DADDY: Welcome to the family ... son!
[everyone in the library cheers, as Darwood and Simran embrace, then cut to Constance and the other patron still talking to one another]
BEARDED MAN: So does it have a happy ending after all that?
CONSTANCE: What? Two kids? From different races? With interfering in-laws? In this day and age? Course not, mate!
[camera cuts back to Darwood and Simran, as Daddy addresses the camera directly]
DADDY: For moments like these, I think one needs a little privacy ... Don't you?
[he places a rose in front of the camera, as the credits roll]
Darwood - Jesse Fajemusin
Simran - Shelly Islam
Daddy - Robert Ashby
Constance - Doreen Ingleton
Swordsman 1 - Manoj Gopinathan
Swordsman 2 - Simon Das
Bearded Man - Lochlann O'Mearain
The Heavy - Aftab Ali
"No Future" T Shirt Man - James Payton
Librarian - Philomena Angunawela
Library Writer - Shehzad Chaudhary
Flower Hat Woman - Enez Reid
Writer - Shehzad Chaudhary
Salt Pictures Productions, copyright 2005
When a librarian falls in love with an Indian gangster's daughter, he gets more than he bargained for when the mafia boss turns up to see who has been messing with his beloved child amongst the periodicals.
Jesse Fajemisin, Shelley Islam and Robert Ashby
Library Majnu by director Paul Awguwawela
A modern day Romeo and Juliet with a Bollywood twist. A college library, forbidden love and a meddling father nothing that a little song and dance can't cure.
UK, 2005, 10 min., color, English/Hindi with English subtitles, narrative