I was going through this screenplay that some stage actors were preparing for a theater, the plot goes something like this…
A humble young farmer is returning from picking bamboo stalks from up the hilltops, he had planned to use them to finish up his small cottage he had recently erected on his family’s farm. As he neared the village, at once he noticed that something was amiss, people were not jubilant to see him come as they have always did, there was no singing and dancing in the community halls, children were not playing outside in the gardens, all was gloomy, when he reached further into the homestead, he received the heart-breaking news that his newly wedded wife had been accidentally killed by the provincial directors guards in a raid. She had refused to leave the house when the soldiers were storming houses with swords and lances, they torched many huts, and his aged father too became a victim of the raid, with this he becomes furious, fed up with the atrocities of the governor, he throws his sharp farming tools onto his back and set out to make terms with the aggressor, his fellow villagers tried to stop him but his anger was far too great to be quenched by mere beckoning. “The governor storms our countryside every year, killing and burning as he goes, I will teach him a lesson before the sun goes up tomorrow,” he said unto himself.
He ran several miles across the valley nonstop till he reached to the gates of the governor’s office. The place was highly fortified and heavily guarded. The two guards at the entrance crossed lances on his face, asking him to stop. He demanded to see the governor because he had a serious matter to discuss with him, this he was obviously denied, “the governor does not allow people he does not know to enter his palace,” the guards told him, soon a fight breaks out, the guards are easily overpowered by the furious energetic youngster, his karate moves were very impressive too. Some fellows inside notice their friends from the outside were suffering in the hands of an unknown assailant and rushed in to help, as they opened the gigantic gates to fester outside, the busy athlete gets his chance to rush into the compound, where he’s rounded up by more guards, they engulfed him in a circle, attack him from every side using every terrible weapon in their hands, they find themselves thrown to the ground one after another with crippling blows to the head, neck, torso and the limbs.
The young tai chi master once again outmanoeuvres them, he beats them quickly as if they have never had any training. He picks up the weapons from the now groaning guards on the floor, some with broken backs some unable to move a finger, walks up the stairs closer to the governor’s seat where he meets another grade of defenders, stronger and more experienced than the fellows watching outside. Another savage combat ensues, and the Su shin kid comes out again triumphant with only minor bruises on his face and arm and clothing partly torn off from his body.
Finally he reaches the governor, and a legendary battle begins, they fight hours on, now with no one able to interfere, they nearly tear the fortress into pieces, the governor upon realising that this fellow is determined to kill him for no apparent reason at all asks him to stop, he asks him what the reason for his anger was, why he was destroying his office, “we can talk man, there is no reason wreaking this havoc for simple matters we can discuss at my table,” he tells him, the unknown assailant, now breathing fast from exhaustion blurbs out a few words, “there is no talk with you, today is the end of your bloody reign, I swear that, did you ask for a talk when you killed my wife and my aging father, did you ask for talk before you killed my master? You butcher, your days are over,” he says and proceeds with his offence, they fight on for several more hours till late into the night, when he finally won through incredible luck.
Just as he had sworn the governor was punished before the sun came up the following morning, the question is why did he avenged so many for the sake of a few, the governor was responsible for the death of two of his family members plus his master, that’s three people, but he had killed more than three hundred guards plus the governor, that’s the size of a small town. And also what if the emperor hears about this massacre of his soldiers and sends a larger size of his troops to hunt him down and destroy those who try to hide him, what if the families of those guards he had killed, (brothers, uncles, nephews) also joined hands to take a revenge on him, couldn’t this be another disaster to his home town?
The director then said to me, “you can imagine anything you want, but that’s not part of our story, the script ends where the governor is defeated, that’s it nothing more to add to it. Savage stories will always have savage combats”
Argument-3- Savage Films
When I come to realise that the film I am watching will cause me too much worries, I often have to leave it halfway, why would I let a fake fiction fill my euphoric being with worries? I would prefer a film/play which I would just lay back in front of it and enjoy the show, viewers should be curious about what’s going to happen next, not worry on what’s going to happen to their beloved characters.
Imagine oneself watching the ancient gladiatorial combats live, the real thing happening right in front of you, those who watched close by, heard the screams of the fighters, and torrents of blood probably squirted onto their faces while the losers were being slaughtered, yet the audience still managed to enjoy the show, they laugh to see a man being torn into pieces by a wild beast, and enjoyed the groans of the people suffering in the amphitheatres, the audience got to derive pleasure from the sufferings of those in the arena, they were told that these were unwanted people in the society, thieves, murderers, slaves and all prisoners that are not worth living, the society is much safer when they are off dead than when they are alive and intermingling with the people, those that are condemned to die by the law of the land, instead of sending them to a quick execution, its better they offer some little entertainment to the public in their last few days, and the fights in the stadiums therefore become part of their self-execution.
Even though such games have become a common cinema genre, what we are watching now is a clear representation of what life was back then, each gladiatorial combat game in a silver screen represent an actual fight that took place long ago and had lives attached to it, so watching such cruel sport from a screen doesn’t make it less savage, the ones who watch them and get to enjoy are no different from those who cheered lions as they tore convicts to pieces.
There is a significant difference between films of today and those made half a century and more ago, early films featured lengthy conversations, hired more cast in the film prepare more elaborate processions, but the modern day films feature less crew/cast and most activity replaced by lots of visual effects.
What I have witnessed & experienced at the theatre halls is that we call other uncivilised communities of the world savages while we ourselves love savage entertainment.
When you watch a film about some adventure or romance book you discover that what is portrayed in the big screen is not what is written in the book, they add scenes that do not exist in the title and also get to remove important chapters from the book, an author then gets shocked when they get to watch the film that bears their name for the first time, “this is not what I wrote,” as some would exclaim, my story did not head towards this direction.
I don’t know where the disconnection takes place, is it between the authors and producers or between the directors and screen writers. When they signed up that so called wonderful story, were they buying in the complete story or just the idea, so that they can put their own things in the film and then put up the authors name as the true source of the epic film. They plan to upgrade it to a quality that meets film standards, and in doing so end up shredding your story into pieces.
Films devilise & pervert wonderful books, if I had a story I had written and has caught a filmmakers eyes, I would not let them shoot it till I have read the entire screenplay and get a glimpse of where every scene will be shot, if there are scenes that provoke my story then I am obliged to have them chopped off, if the producers do not accept that deal, then that’s well and good, a waste of precious time, good riddance too. “You can take back your money, I do not need it, and anyways I did not write this book so that I can make a lot of money from it but to share my thoughts and feelings with others.”