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Birthday Girl Movie Script

Writer(s) : Tom Butterworth, Jez Butterworth

Genres : Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance

Search IMDb : Birthday Girl


                                     "BIRTHDAY GIRL"

                                      Screenplay by

                           Tom Butterworth and Jez Butterworth

                

               FADE IN:

               In a Russian summer meadow, a young girl spins around and 
               around. A simple guitar theme plays as the low sun catches 
               her hair. Around her neck is a pair of field binoculars, and 
               she runs through the meadow with them pressed to her face, 
               spying butterflies, birds, rabbits. She reaches the top of a 
               hillock, and jumps into the air, and flies up into the sky. 
               We float up and up with her as she aims the binoculars up, 
               up, into the sun.

                                                       FADE THROUGH SUN TO:

               An aerial shot of the rolling English countryside. Nothing 
               but fields and trees for miles. The shot describes a panorama 
               before looking directly down, at the earth, and we begin to 
               move.

               We fly low over a field, a ditch and straight out over six 
               lanes of motorway. Cars and lorries tear below at a hundred 
               miles an hour. We fly over the hard shoulder to another field 
               beyond.

               We descend on two young boys in the field. A pornographic 
               magazine is spread out of the flattened grass. One of the 
               boys puts a match to the centre page and as the flames lick 
               up, we begin to move again, across the field, over a path 
               and into a suburban garden.

               We fly over five or six gardens, over a barbecue, over 
               children splashing in a pool, over a woman sunbathing, a man 
               mowing his lawn, a young boy bouncing up and down on a garden 
               trampoline, to arrive on the patio of John Buckingham. He 
               walks out onto the patio, where he sits in a chair, facing 
               his house, setting down a mug of tea.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               A blurred face sharpening into focus, John Buckingham, about 
               thirty-two, sitting on his patio, his garden behind, fields 
               beyond.

                                     JOHN
                         Hello.

               His hand adjusts a microphone on his lapel.

                                     JOHN
                         Hello, hello. Hello...

               He shifts in his chair. Coughs. He looks straight at us.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't believe in perfect love. You 
                         know, love that comes out of the sky 
                         like a thunderbolt and uh... This is 
                         ridiculous.

               He removes the microphone. He sits there, thinking very hard.

                                     JOHN
                         No. No no no. Nope.

               He stands, turns and stretches.

                                                                  BLACKOUT:

               FADE UP:

               He is sitting as before, looking at us.

                                     JOHN
                         Running. Reading. Going out. Staying 
                         in. The countryside. Films, if they're 
                         good.

                                                                  BLACKOUT:

               FADE UP:

                                     JOHN
                         Thoughtful. Outgoing. Ambitious. 
                         Well-read. Reasonably popular. 
                         Balanced. Trusting. Quite attractive. 
                         Outgoing.

                                                                  BLACKOUT:

               FADE UP:

                                     JOHN
                         Someone intelligent, of course. Kind. 
                         Pretty I suppose. But its not 
                         critical.

               EXT. JOHN'S STREET - DAY

               John watches while two removal men lift a new double bed 
               from the back of a van.

                                     JOHN (V.O.)
                         Someone with a sense of humour. 
                         Someone you can communicate with on 
                         the same level. Someone you can really 
                         talk to. I think communication is 
                         key.

               INT. BEDROOM - DAY

               John's hands smooth a crisp white sheet over the double 
               mattress. An ant runs across the sheet. John squashes it and 
               picks it carefully off.

                                     JOHN (V.O.)
                         I think that by the time most people 
                         turn thirty they know where they're 
                         going.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. GARDEN - DAY

               John encircles his house, leaving a thick trail of yellow 
               powder behind him.

                                     JOHN (V.O.)
                         And where they've been. I suppose 
                         they have some baggage stroke history.

               EXT. THE GARDEN RECORDING - DAY

               We see that John is talking to his PC. It has a small digital 
               camera on the side.

                                     JOHN
                         We all have someone in our past who 
                         uh... one skeleton, if you like. 
                         We've all got at least one person, 
                         as it were, under the patio. Not 
                         literally of course. I suppose I 
                         only say this because I always thought 
                         people who did this sort of thing 
                         were... I had an image that they 
                         were losers. Not losers. A bit sad. 
                         But I think this is the modern world. 
                         And I think really it's quite a brave 
                         move. Quite a brave, reasonable thing 
                         to do.

               He smiles.

                                     JOHN
                         Sorry can we start again?

               SINGLE CARD ON BLACK:

                                      BIRTHDAY GIRL

               John's fingers in close-up, type JOHN BUCKINGHAM, and his 
               AMEX number into his PC. Finished, he stops, and rests his 
               face on his hands.

               He hits SEND. That instant, a worry of black crows bursts up 
               in the field behind him and takes to the swirling air.

               Blackout. Music. Titles.

               The titles pop and slide over footage of Russian women, on 
               computer video, advertising themselves. They mostly speak in 
               Russian, some of which is subtitled, some speak in English. 
               The women slide on and off the screen, overlap and collide, 
               as the titles appear. Close-ups on mouths and eyes, tight 
               and pixellated. It becomes a wall of image and sound.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. SKY - DAY

               The GIGANTIC UNDERSIDE of a Boeing 747 TEARS down the screen.

               INT. AIRPORT TRAVELATOR - DAY

               John slides across the screen, motionless, towards Arrivals.

               INT. AIRPORT - DAY.

               Last calls for flights leaving for the other side of the 
               world.

               Travellers criss-cross and swirl.

               INT. AIRPORT MAIN ARRIVALS BOARD - DAY

               BA 1880 MOSCOW On time.

               INT. AIRPORT RESTROOM - DAY

               He dries his face with a paper towel, then checks himself in 
               the mirror. He looks okay, a little white.

               INT. ARRIVALS GATE - DAY

               The Arrivals gate slides open and passengers flood through. 
               John stands among the chauffeurs and cab drivers, as the 
               passengers trundle by.

               We follow one young woman long enough to think this must be 
               her, but it's a false alarm, she's lifted up and spun around 
               by someone else.

               They've all passed. That's that. She wasn't on the flight.

               John wanders away from the gate. He stands about in the swirl 
               in the middle of the airport. People bustle by. Everyone 
               going somewhere.

               Gradually, we get the sense we are being watched. A woman 
               stands nearby. She is about twenty, very beautiful, tired 
               and laden with luggage.

                                     JOHN
                         Nadia?

               She nods.

                                     JOHN
                         I'm John.

               They shake hands.

                                     JOHN
                         Welcome.
                              (pause)
                         Well. Look I didn't have a speech 
                         but...

               A distorted passenger announcement breaks above us. It's too 
               loud to talk. It ends and they stand there in silence. He 
               points to her luggage.

                                     JOHN
                         Is that everything?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         Right. Okay. Good.

               They stand there.

               INT. AIRPORT LIFT - DAY

               Nadia and John stand side by side in a huge lift.

                                     JOHN
                         We can talk in the car.

               A deafening roll of thunder.

               EXT. AIRPORT CAR PARK - DAY

               It's pouring with rain as they cross the car park towards a 
               patched up yellow Rover. John stows the suitcase in the boot 
               and opens the passenger door for her.

               INT. / EXT. JOHN'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

               John turns the key in the ignition. The MG wheezes and coughs. 
               He tries again. Nothing. The third time it just catches and 
               he coaxes it to life. The colour's drained from his cheeks.

               They head for the motorway. The silence in the car lasts 
               just long enough for John to feel he is breaking it.

                                     JOHN
                         It's about forty miles from here. I 
                         don't know if you've looked at a 
                         map, it's close to London but it's a 
                         city in itself. A Roman city. It's a 
                         nice house. I'm having a problem 
                         with ants. I uh... It's the warmer 
                         weather. I can't seem to find the 
                         nest. Sorry, do you understand "ants"?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         I just can't find a nest. The root 
                         of the problem. I've looked 
                         everywhere. What's the Russian for 
                         ant? Sorry that's a stupid... Sorry. 
                         This is strange isn't it.

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         I'm pretty nervous. Are you?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         I mean... "Ants." "I've got a problem 
                         with ants."

               He shakes his head.

                                     JOHN
                         I had this...

               He pulls a sign from his jacket which says "Nadia!"

                                     JOHN
                         As a joke but uh...

               He tosses it onto the back seat.

               They drive. He sees Nadia looking at England.

                                     JOHN
                         So. Is it different to how you 
                         imagined it?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         I bet.
                              (pause)
                         What about me? Am I how you imagined?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

               He double-takes, changes lanes.

                                     JOHN
                         And how was the flight. Sorry, am I 
                         speaking too fast for you?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

               John looks across.

                                     JOHN
                         Do uh... Sorry. Can you follow me? 
                         Do you understand what I'm saying?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         Good. Or should I speak slower?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     JOHN
                         Do you follow or should I speak 
                         slower?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

               He looks across. Back at the road. He changes gear.

                                     JOHN
                         Uh... Are you a giraffe?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

               John turns to face the road ahead.

                                     JOHN
                              (to himself)
                         Oh Jesus.

               He drives in silence.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh Jesus.

               Suddenly she winds the window down and vomits out of the 
               speeding car. John panics and swerves onto the hard shoulder 
               amidst loud horn blasts.

               EXT. HARD SHOULDER - DAY

               John navigates his way round the Rover in the rain to find 
               her kneeling on the verge, throwing up. He puts a hand on 
               her shoulder, but she stands up quickly, maintaining an icy 
               dignity considering what has just happened.

               EXT. JOHN'S CLOSE - DAY

               It has stopped raining and a group of young boys are playing 
               cricket in the road. They clear as a Yellow Rover pulls into 
               the Close, and into the drive of the little house at the 
               end.

               As John climbs out of his car he eyes the boys. The boys eye 
               him, and his new friend.

               INT. JOHN'S HOUSE - DAY

               The front door closes behind them. John and Nadia stand in 
               the silence of his hallway. There is a small banner hanging 
               there: "Welcome Nadia". They study the banner together, 
               gravely.

               Eventually he opens a door.

                                     JOHN
                              (quietly)
                         Lounge.

               She peers round him and looks inside. He leads her down 
               towards the kitchen.

                                     JOHN
                         Kitchen.

               She glances around it. Then back at John. He nods to himself, 
               looking tense and pale.

               INT. JOHN'S UPSTAIRS LANDING - DAY

               He puts her suitcase down on the landing, and opens a door. 
               Without looking inside:

                                     JOHN
                         Bathroom.

               He closes it.

               INT. MAIN BEDROOM - DAY

               Standing in the doorway of John's bedroom.

                                     JOHN
                         Bedroom.

               There it is. The Double Bed. John frowns gravely.

               Without warning, he marches out. She comes out onto the 
               landing to catch John plus suitcase kicking open another 
               door and vanishing inside.

               INT. SPARE BEDROOM - DAY

               Nadia peers around the door to find John standing next to a 
               narrow monk-like single bed.

                                     JOHN
                         The uh... the other bedroom...

               She looks at it, then up at John. She turns and walks out.

               Now she's back, with her camouflaged hold-all, dumps it onto 
               the floor, heaves the suitcase onto the bed and smoking no-
               hands, starts unpacking. John plugs in the lamp by the bed. 
               To show Nadia how it works he switches it on, off, on, off, 
               and then feels stupid.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll get an ashtray.

               With John gone, Nadia stops unpacking. She walks to the window 
               and stares out over the rooftops of the estate.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LOUNGE - DAY

               John on the phone.

                                     ANSWER MACHINE
                         You have reached From Russia with 
                         Love. Our office reopens on Monday. 
                         If you are interested in our 
                         services...
                              (etc. etc.)
                         Thank You.

                                     JOHN
                         This is John Buckingham from St 
                         Albans. I need to speak to you 
                         urgently. There's a critical problem. 
                         It's... Call me back as soon as 
                         possible. It's critical.

               INT. STAIRS / LANDING - DAY

               John climbs the stairs holding a saucer for an ashtray. He 
               knocks lightly on the spare room door.

               INT. SPARE ROOM / LANDING - DAY

               Nadia is lying asleep on the bed in only her black underwear. 
               We duck straight back out.

               John composes himself. He puts his head back round the door 
               as if there's a real chance it will be shot off. She's facing 
               away, arms folded, still holding the cigarette. It has burnt 
               out, leaving a long curl of ash on her bare hip.

               He approaches the bed with immense trepidation, eases the 
               cigarette from between her fingers and drops it in the bin. 
               He stares at her bare hip, with the ash on it. Holding the 
               saucer under the ash, he blows on it gently. It takes three 
               careful breaths before it drops in the saucer. Unseen by 
               John, her eyes are wide open as he steals out onto the 
               landing. We stay with her a moment.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               A pot of stew, bubbling on the hob.

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               John is stirring a pot on the hob. By his expression he might 
               be defusing a bomb.

               His head cocks, he stiffens. Nadia walks right into the 
               kitchen. She's changed, jeans and a tee shirt. Nadia takes 
               the spoon from him, says something in Russian, gestures for 
               him to sit.

               She tastes the stew. Now she stirs the pot. He watches her.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               John and Nadia sit opposite each other. She takes a mouthful. 
               They catch one another's eye. And again.

               On the wall across, six ants careen in crazy circles. John 
               can see them, but doesn't move.

               He puts his fork down.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't know what to say. Your letters 
                         were in English. Good English. You 
                         said you'd studied English.

               Nadia reaches down into her bag and pulls out a small box 
               wrapped in brown paper. She places it in front of him.

               He warily unwraps a little wooden box. He opens the lid and 
               fishes out a simple gold ring. He holds it in his palm.

                                     JOHN
                         I can't take this.

               He puts it back in the box, hoping it will disappear.

               She fishes it out again and holds it on her palm for him to 
               take.

                                     JOHN
                         I can't take it. I'm not really a 
                         ring guy.

               She takes his hand. He automatically yanks it away like he's 
               been burned. She takes his hand again and to stop it becoming 
               unbearable, he allows Nadia to push the ring onto his ring 
               finger. It goes on easily.

                                     JOHN
                         Okay. No big deal. Thank you. Yes 
                         thanks. Thank you.

               INT. LOUNGE - NIGHT

               John and Nadia sit next to each other on the couch watching 
               T.V. John's gaze seems to go through the T.V. and a thousand 
               yards beyond. Nadia is knitting a half-finished jumper, blood 
               red.

               John stands and disappears out of shot.

                                     JOHN (O.S.)
                         If anyone gets this message please 
                         call as soon as possible. It's an 
                         emergency.

               John sits back down. He steals side-glances at her. Her mouth. 
               Her red-painted fingers knitting fast.

               John flips through the channels --

               The Money Programme. 
               Antique's Roadshow. 
               Cup Rugby.

               Eventually he offers Nadia the remote control. She takes, 
               aims it at the T.V. but doesn't press it. Just as it seems 
               she won't, she does: University Challenge.

               They watch University Challenge with Nadia still aiming the 
               control and smoking. After another long pause she flips the 
               button --

               The Money Programme. 
               Antiques Roadshow. 
               Rugby.

               She flips again then hands the controls back to John and 
               they watch University Challenge.

               Nadia puts down her knitting, stretches and yawns.

               INT. LOUNGE / STAIRS - NIGHT

               Nadia climbs the stairs. John watches her, hovering in the 
               doorway of the darkened lounge.

               He hears the bathroom door close before venturing up.

               INT. BEDROOM - DAY

               John sits on the edge of his bed. He cocks his head:

               Door opening and shutting; feet padding along landing; door 
               closing. Silence. He squeezes his door open and peers down 
               the dark landing. The coast is clear.

               INT. BATHROOM - DAY

               Brushing his teeth, staring accusingly at his reflection. 
               Spits. Finished, he takes a deep breath and opens the door, 
               and gives a small shout.

               Nadia is standing right outside the door; Nightshirt, damp 
               hair, toothbrush in her mouth.

                                     JOHN
                         Good night.

               He squeezes past and quick-steps down the landing.

               INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

               He climbs into the big bed, fully clothed, turns off the 
               light and lies there in the moonlight.

               After twenty seconds, the bedroom door clicks open. John 
               climbs out of bed as casually as possible and stands around.

                                     JOHN
                         You should go now. We'll talk in the 
                         morning.

               His eyes widen but he can't speak. He wants to but she's 
               placed her hand across his mouth. She reaches down and takes 
               his hand, and draws it towards her, slowly tracing his fingers 
               across her breasts. She unbuttons her shirt and pulls his 
               hand inside.

               He's breathing hard, her right hand still clasped over his 
               mouth. Her free hand lowers to press against him, and unzip 
               his fly. He lets out a moan.

               We concentrate on their faces. Above the silence all we can 
               hear is John's breathing -- Before long Nadia looks down -- 
               He's come.

               Nadia turns and walks out, leaving John marooned, gasping in 
               and blowing out, angry almost, buttoning his trousers.

               EXT. JOHN'S CLOSE - NIGHT

               Exterior view of John's darkened house. A fox trots across 
               the Cul-De-Sac and sits under John's car, where it curls up.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               John lying in bed staring out at a streetlight.

               INT. NADIA'S ROOM - DAY

               The morning. Nadia opens her eyes in the sun-filled room.

               INT. LANDING - DAY

               She pads down the hall in her nightshirt and opens the door 
               to the bathroom. There on the toilet, naked, is John. He 
               gives another short shout. Nadia holds his eye for a couple 
               of seconds too long, before shutting us inside with him.

               EXT. JOHN'S GARDEN - DAY

               John sprints down his lawn, scattering the big black crows 
               eating his garden. He jumps the fence, and across the fields.

               EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

               John jogs along by a river in the countryside behind his 
               house, wearing shorts and a tee shirt. His breath billows 
               around him in the sharp morning air.

               He stops running by a gate overlooking a small hill. He 
               doubles up to recover, panting hard.

               INT. JOHN'S GARDEN - DAY

               Two wild rabbits are nibbling the remains of a big breakfast 
               left on the lawn. John climbs heavily back over his fence.

               There's a deck chair out there, surrounded by the remains of 
               breakfast. Some glossy Russian magazines, a full ashtray, 
               Nadia's knitting.

               The patio door is ajar, the net curtain billowing. He scans 
               the garden jumpily. The boy next door is on his trampoline, 
               bouncing up and down, watching John at the top of each bounce.

               INT. JOHN'S HOUSE - DAY

               Sweating from the run, John peers up the stairs. The house 
               is silent. In the lounge he picks up the phone and dials a 
               number.

                                     ANSWER MACHINE
                         You have reached From Russia With 
                         Love. If you are interested...

               He hangs up.

               INT. LANDING - DAY

               John stands with his ear to the bathroom door. The shower's 
               on.

               INT. NADIA'S BEDROOM - DAY

               It's empty. He slips inside.

               Stuff everywhere. Cigarette cartons, several lighters, spare 
               wool, suitcase, rucksack. Huge poster of Bruce Springsteen 
               on wall.

               Warily, he opens the bedside drawer: Different coloured bras 
               and knickers.

               In her open suitcase lies a small wooden chest. He lifts it 
               out and puts it on the bed, hesitates, then opens it.

               A pair of Russian Army field binoculars. He puts them on the 
               bed beside him. A small silver pistol, the size of a 
               Derringer. He studies it, and pulls the trigger. It's a 
               cigarette lighter.

               A brochure of prospective husbands provided by the marriage 
               agency. After a dozen or so photos he comes across his page 
               but the photo has been cut out. He sees his name in the 
               strange lettering, under the hole.

               INT. BATHROOM - DAY

               Nadia in the shower, eyes shut, water pouring over her face.

               INT. NADIA'S ROOM - DAY

               John flicks through a stack of photographs. One of Nadia as 
               a young girl in a meadow, with binoculars around her neck -- 
               John looks at the same binoculars on the bed next to him. He 
               turns them over in his hands.

               He looks through them. He slowly lowers them. He's seen 
               something. He stands and crosses the room.

               On the mantelpiece, in a silver frame, is his picture, cut 
               from the brochure. He holds it in his hands.

               The shower has stopped. In a panic he replaces the picture, 
               the photographs, the gun lighter, the brochure, and the 
               binoculars.

               INT. LANDING - DAY

               Nadia leaves the bathroom, hair wrapped in a towel, and heads 
               straight towards us.

               INT. NADIA'S BEDROOM - DAY

               John shuts the chest, drops it back into the suitcase.

               The photo of the binoculars girl is on the pillow. He whips 
               it under the bed just as Nadia enters.

               She doesn't seem surprised to see him standing there, in her 
               room, in his tee shirt and running shorts.

                                     JOHN
                         Nadia. This isn't going to work. I'm 
                         sorry. It's been a terrible mistake. 
                         You must go.

               He takes the ring off and holds it out to her. She doesn't 
               take it. He puts it on the bed.

                                     JOHN
                         I'm booking a flight for tomorrow. 
                         I'm sorry.

               John and Nadia on her bed, Nadia tearing off his tee shirt. 
               She gets on top.

               EXT. JOHN'S CLOSE - DAY

               The milkman hops a low fence between two houses. He waves to 
               a man watering his rose trees.

               INT. NADIA'S ROOM - DAY

               John and Nadia having sex. They don't take their eyes off 
               each other.

               EXT. JOHN'S CLOSE - DAY

               A mother corrals her school children into a Volvo. They don't 
               want to go.

               INT. NADIA'S ROOM - DAY

               John sits on the edge of the bed, holding his head in his 
               hands. The door has just shut behind him. He looks at his 
               left hand. He has the ring on.

                                     VOICE OVER
                         Problem solving. John identifies 
                         most problems within appropriate 
                         time frames...

               INT. NATWEST BANK, ST ALBANS - DAY

               The large oak doors of the bank swing open.

                                     VOICE OVER
                         Most of the time he develops several 
                         alternative solutions to problems...

               We move fast through the banking hall to the furthest counter. 
               The blind snaps up to reveal John, wearing a smart suit.

                                     VOICE OVER
                         He usually resolves or minimises 
                         most problems before they grow into 
                         larger problems...

               INT. BEHIND THE GLASS - DAY

               John's skilled hands loading a stack of banknotes into a 
               drawer. The cashier next along, Clare, smiles at him.

                                     CLARE
                         Good weekend?

                                     JOHN
                         Uh. Yeah. Pretty good.

                                     CLARE
                         Do anything special?

                                     JOHN
                         Uh. No.

                                     VOICE OVER
                         Communications. John listens and 
                         comprehends well.

               INT. BRANCH MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY

               John sits in front of a large desk, hands on knees.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (O.S.)
                         When communicating he is good at 
                         selecting the most efficient methods 
                         and displays effective verbal 
                         communication skills...

               Across the desk the Branch Manager reads a report out loud 
               in an impersonal, flat manner.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         On one occasion John showed first 
                         class communication skills in a 
                         delicate customer situation.

               INT. JOHN'S KITCHEN - DAY

               Nadia opens a kitchen cupboard and stares inside at John's 
               groceries.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         Initiative. John is reasonably quick 
                         to volunteer whenever others need 
                         help. Although he is sometimes 
                         reluctant and or unwilling to ask 
                         for it himself...

               She opens some pickled onions and pops one in her mouth.

               INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Cradling the jar of onions, she scans his bookshelf.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         He is adequate at resolving difficult 
                         or emotional customer situations...

               Bluffers guide to the Internet. She opens an old copy of The 
               Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Inside is written 'John 
               Buckingham Class 3F'.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         He usually fulfills commitments made 
                         to customers within expected time 
                         frames.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - DAY

               She opens the wardrobe. In a shoebox she finds some photos.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         Customer Service. John shows a high 
                         degree of respect for customers...

               One of John as a little boy, holding a football, flanked by 
               his parents. On the back someone has written "Summer 1973".

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         John still has some reluctance to / 
                         or has problems in, carving out new 
                         relationships face to face.

               There is a photo of John, about three years ago, arm in arm 
               with a plain, thin-looking girl, with small eyes. Another of 
               him kissing her on the cheek.

               INT. BRANCH MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY

               John listening.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         Judgment -- John makes able decisions 
                         in most areas of his job.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - DAY

               Nadia sees something at the bottom of the cupboard. She bends 
               down to retrieve a black dustbin liner. She reaches in and 
               pulls out a small stack of hardcore pornographic magazines.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         John follows instructions 
                         conscientiously and responds well to 
                         personal directions.

               She upends the bag and a half dozen videos fall out. She 
               picks up a magazine and begins flicking through it 
               impassively.

               INT. LOUNGE - DAY

               Nadia downstairs kneels in front of the T.V. and slips a 
               video into the machine. Nadia's face is lit up by the screen. 
               The sound of sex.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER (V.O.)
                         John is normally very punctual and 
                         in most situations assumes 
                         responsibility for his own actions 
                         and outcomes.

               She pops a pickled onion in her mouth, and watches. We see 
               the images close and pixellated, as we did the marriage videos 
               in the titles. It's a bondage scene, the woman wears a gag.

               INT. BRANCH MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY

               John back in the room. The report has finished and the manager 
               is scrutinising him in silence.

                                     JOHN
                         Thank you -- I think that's very 
                         fair.

               INT. / EXT. JOHN'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

               John drives his Rover through the centre of town, the low 
               orange sun on his face.

               EXT. JOHN'S CLOSE - DAY

               The Rover pulls into the driveway. John opens the glove 
               compartment and removes the ring Nadia gave him, and puts it 
               back on. He collects a brown paper package from the passenger 
               seat.

               INT. JOHN'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

               John and Nadia at the supper table. She is knitting the 
               jumper. Despite the silence, John seems more relaxed, in 
               shirtsleeves and loosened tie. He puts his fork down, and 
               places the brown bag on the table, pushing it across to Nadia. 
               She opens it and removes a big hardback Russian - English 
               dictionary. John smiles and nods "open it". She flicks through 
               it.

               She turns it over in her hands, nods, puts the book down, 
               reaches under the table and surfaces with the stack of porn 
               magazines. She puts them on the table next to the dictionary.

               John beholds the pile. "Wet N' Wild" is on top.

               He rises slowly from the table and sleepwalks from the 
               kitchen.

               INT. JOHN'S HALL / STAIRS / LANDING / BATHROOM - DAY

               John, frozen-headed, floats down the hall, up the stairs 
               into the bathroom, locks the door, sits on the toilet.

               INT. JOHN'S KITCHEN - DAY

               Downstairs Nadia clears, the dishes. The porn stack still 
               sits on the table, beside the dictionary.

               INT. BATHROOM - DAY

               Still on the toilet. He hasn't moved. He closes his eyes.

               INT. LANDING - NIGHT

               It's dark. The bathroom door opens a crack. The coast clear, 
               he dashes for the cover of his bedroom.

               INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

               John rests his head against the doorframe and heaves a sigh 
               of relief. He turns and freezes. Nadia is there next to him.

               She slowly loosens his tie. Holding it in her hands she 
               examines the strange little bank logo on it, before 
               deliberately tying the tie over her mouth like a gag.

               A second tie is pulled from a hanger in the cupboard. Quickly 
               and skillfully she ties her hands together, pulling it tight 
               with her teeth. Finished, she flicks her hair back, and gives 
               him a long, level look.

                                     VOICE OVER
                         It will feel very strange at first 
                         but then you get used to it.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. ROOM IN THE BANK - DAY

               A close up of John's face. He closes his eyes, falls 
               backwards, and is caught in the arms of a colleague.

                                     TRAINER
                         Good. Again.

               John stands again and closes his eyes. After a short wait he 
               falls back and again his colleague catches him just before 
               he hits the ground.

                                     TRAINER
                         Very good. How does that feel John?

                                     JOHN
                         It feels good. Weird.

                                     TRAINER
                         It's called Trust and Letting Go.

               John nods.

                                     TRAINER
                         Trust and Letting Go.

               A simple guitar theme begins, and plays over the following 
               sequence:

               Kids playing cricket in John's Close. A boy hits the ball 
               and others chase it as it bounces off cars.

               John at dusk tied to the bed with his two bank ties. Nadia 
               is on top. They are having sex.

               Hands stacking bank notes into the back of a cash machine. 
               Fast, mechanical.

               At the bank, John walks to his desk. His phone rings. He 
               answers it.

               Silence. Then soft breathing. John listens intently and looks 
               around.

               "Nadia...?" -- John sits there, surrounded by his colleagues, 
               listening to Nadia breathe.

               Close up on a man's hands tying a tie tight a-round a woman's 
               wrist. Pull back to a close up of Nadia's face, her eyes 
               fixed on John.

               John running by the river.

               John watches Nadia rise from his bed after sex and leave the 
               room. He stares out the window.

               Nadia's fingers, knitting skillfully.

               Nadia sits on her bed alone, pulling on black stockings and 
               attaching them to suspenders.

               The street cricketers run for cover as a thunder storm breaks 
               over the close.

               Rain coming down in John's garden. The pair sit under the 
               shelter of the back porch. John has his hands out as Nadia 
               is winding red wool it into a ball. The jumper is half 
               finished.

               The rabbits shelter from the rain under broad leaves.

               John in a pub with a four colleagues from the bank. He sips 
               his half, half listening to the conversation. It all seems 
               so dull. He finishes his drink and looks at his watch. They 
               ask him if he's staying for another.

               A knitting needle is drawn from a row of red stitches on the 
               nearly-finished jumper.

               Nadia kneels over John holding the knitting needles. She 
               presses one to his skin and we watch it drawn across his 
               chest in close up, up to his neck.

               His eyes are fixed on hers.

               Close up on Nadia's face. Her mouth is gagged and she's lying 
               on her front, head half-buried in a pillow. We can just make 
               out John behind, on top of her. Both are lying still and 
               breathing hard, covered in sweat. Catching her breath Nadia 
               yanks the gag off and wriggles out from underneath him. She 
               snatches up a towel and covering herself hurries to the 
               bathroom.

               The guitar theme ends.

               INT. LANDING - NIGHT

               John presses his ear to the bathroom door. The sound of 
               retching.

               The toilet flushes. John pads back to his bedroom. Through 
               the gap in the door he sees Nadia coming out, go to her room, 
               and shut the door. He rests his head against the door frame.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LOUNGE - DAY

               A beautiful morning. Through the patio window, John watches 
               Nadia in the garden, sitting on the lawn reading her 
               dictionary in the sunlight. In dungarees with her hair up, 
               she looks very young.

               EXT. GARDEN - DAY

               He walks warily out into the sunlight. She looks up, then 
               back to the big book in her lap. He places the tea next to 
               her on the grass.

                                     JOHN
                         Are you O.K.?

               She looks at him, then down at her tome. She speaks slowly, 
               in a heavy accent:

                                     NADIA
                         Today is bath day.

                                     JOHN
                         Sorry?

               She studies her book. Looks up.

                                     NADIA
                         Today is bath day.

               He shakes his head.

                                     JOHN
                         Bath day?

               She nods.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't understand.

                                     NADIA
                         Happy bath day.

               The penny drops.

                                     JOHN
                         Today?

               She frowns. John leafs through the dictionary.

                                     JOHN
                         Syevodnya?

                                     NADIA
                         Syevodnya

                                     JOHN
                         Happy Birthday. Happy Birthday.

               He puts his hand on her shoulder.

                                     NADIA
                         Party.
                              (pause)
                         Party. Syevodnya.

               John nods, smiling.

                                     JOHN
                         Yes. Party. Party syevodnya.

               She lights a cigarette from the butt of her last. Blows smoke. 
               She holds the jumper up to John, as if to try it for size, 
               and the theme returns.

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               John is on the telephone.

                                     JOHN
                         ...It might just be a twenty-four 
                         hour bug...

               INT. BANK - DAY

               Clare listens, concerned.

                                     CLARE
                         Well you just get better. I'll tell 
                         Beaky. You just get some rest, ok?

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               John puts the phone down. He looks down the hall, where Nadia 
               is killing ants on the table, with her dictionary. He smiles.

               EXT. JOHN'S CAR - DAY

               A shot from above, of the Rover's windscreen, reflecting the 
               passing trees.

               The roof is down. We glide up the windscreen, up Nadia's 
               body, in the passenger seat. Her face is upturned slightly, 
               she's wearing sunglasses, which reflect the passing trees.

               INT. JOHN'S LOUNGE - NIGHT

               Nadia sits alone at the dining room table. Suddenly the lights 
               go out. John enters, carrying a small birthday cake glowing 
               with candles.

               The light throws huge shadows on the walls and flickers across 
               their faces.

               He sets the cake down on the table and sits down opposite 
               Nadia

                                     JOHN
                         Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday 
                         to you. Happy Birthday dear Nadia...

               The front doorbell rings. A loud long burst. Nadia's face 
               transforms into a big grin. She hurries out into the hall, 
               leaving John alone with the cake. Nadia whooping and shouting 
               excitedly. Other voices. Shouting. Shouting in Russian.

               A man bursts in carrying Nadia in his arms. He spins her 
               round in the candlelight, kisses her, puts her down and goes 
               to the table where he blows out the candles. They are plunged 
               into darkness.

               Lots of whooping and laughing. A Zippo flares up and 
               illuminates some faces, all laughing.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               John's hand groping along the wall. It finds the light switch.

               There are two men here. One small and wiry, one big and dark, 
               like Rasputin. They each carry rucksacks and a guitar case.

                                     YURI
                         You must be John. You seem very nice. 
                         Excuse me.

               In Russian, the first man introduces Nadia to the other man, 
               who is relighting the candles with a Zippo. It seems they 
               haven't met before.

               The first man, Yuri, pulls out a bottle of vodka and hands 
               it to John.

                                     YURI
                         How's that? We can't drink our piss 
                         can we?

                                     JOHN
                         Hang on hang on, sorry, but like, 
                         who are you?

                                     YURI
                         You must find some glasses, small, 
                         for the toast, and some plates.

                                     JOHN
                         What are you doing here?

               Yuri stops.

                                     YURI
                         Sorry. You've lost me...

                                     JOHN
                         I'm asking what you're here for.

                                     YURI
                         What?

               Yuri speaks to Nadia in fast Russian.

                                     YURI
                              (to John)
                         You don't speak Russian? Pratsteetye! 
                         This explains your cold eyes.

               Nadia begins gabbling to Yuri in Russian. Yuri says the 
               English word -- "Friends".

                                     NADIA
                              (to John)
                         "Frenzy".

                                     JOHN
                         Yes I know.

                                     YURI
                              (himself)
                         Yuri.
                              (Rasputin)
                         Alexei. Alexei and Yuri.

               Alexei speaks.

                                     JOHN
                         What did he say?

                                     YURI
                         He says he feels safe here.

               Nadia talks fast to Yuri.

                                     YURI
                         She says she wanted to tell you but 
                         her English is shit. And no one speaks 
                         Russian, it's very hard for her. The 
                         light please.

               Alexei turns off the light again. Nadia blows out her candles. 
               They are plunged back into darkness. John turns the light on 
               again. Yuri is already sitting down.

                                     JOHN
                         I need to know who you are first 
                         please.

                                     YURI
                         Oh.
                              (Yuri stands)
                         We are Russian.

                                     JOHN
                         Yes. I know.

                                     YURI
                         Good.
                              (he sits down)

                                     JOHN
                         And...

                                     YURI
                         And what? You mean from the beginning? 
                         Jesus. Can I uh okay, as we say in 
                         Russia can I cut a long story short. 
                         Okay. Nadia is my little cousin. 
                         Except she's not. But we say cousin. 
                         This is for you.

               He hands John another bottle of vodka.

                                     JOHN
                         Hold on.

                                     YURI
                         Toast first then we talk seriously, 
                         I can see you are serious about us.

               Vodka is splashed into their glasses. Yuri raises his glass 
               and shouts a toast in Russian: "Vashe Zdarovye!". They down 
               their vodka, John sips at his, then realises he must finish 
               it. Yuri makes as if to throw his in the fireplace.

                                     YURI
                         Just kidding.

               Sausages, cheese, bread and pickle bottles rain onto the 
               table from Yuri's rucksack.

                                     JOHN
                              (to Yuri)
                         So hang on. You're both Nadia's 
                         cousins?

                                     YURI
                              (shaking his head)
                         Of course not. Alexei, he's is my 
                         problem.

                                     JOHN
                         Right.

                                     YURI
                         We better watch him. He's crazy.

                                     JOHN
                         Right.

                                     YURI
                         I am actor, he is actor, although he 
                         is an actor stroke musician. I just 
                         noodle along, I'm not so good. He 
                         makes me look like a retard -- He 
                         smokes me. I don't mean he smokes 
                         me.

               Yuri mimes giving a blow-job.

                                     YURI
                         I mean he smokes me. Do you say 
                         "smoke" in U.K.?

               He mimes the blowjob again.

                                     JOHN
                         No.

                                     YURI
                         Right. So I can say he smokes me. 
                         So.

               Pause.

                                     JOHN
                         So?

                                     YURI
                         So I come to England with other actors 
                         to make shows, I meet this freak 
                         from Novgorod I tell him of you and 
                         Chicken and the birthday here we 
                         are.

               Yuri speaks to Nadia in Russian, she replies looking at John.

                                     JOHN
                         What was that?

                                     YURI
                         I asked her if you were happy to see 
                         us. I find it hard to tell with you.

                                     JOHN
                         Yes it's okay. Thank you for the 
                         food.

               Nadia lights a cigarette. John notices that on both wrists 
               she has bold red marks from the ties. He freezes.

                                     YURI
                         She says you are a little shy. I 
                         think I know this.

               John is thrown, panicking that one of them will notice the 
               marks.

                                     JOHN
                         So how long will you be in England?

                                     YURI
                         Plans are for the architects, 
                         politicians and so forth.

                                     JOHN
                         You must have a visa or something...

                                     YURI
                         You're asking for my documents?

                                     JOHN
                         No, no...

               Yuri laughs, translates for Alexei and they both get a big 
               laugh out of this. Yuri gets his passport out and makes a 
               big show of presenting it to John. But John keeps glancing 
               at the marks on Nadia's wrists. We see a close up of her 
               neck. There is the tiniest blood mark. John sees it and starts 
               to sweat.

                                     YURI
                         We are all Europeans here. Europe, 
                         Tony Blair and Maggie Thatcher!

               Yuri raises his glass and they all drink to Tony Blair and 
               Margaret Thatcher. John drinks his vodka in two hot gulps.

                                     YURI
                         So. You have nothing to say to your 
                         Fiancee? Maybe to wife of forty years 
                         it's understandable. Come on. You 
                         speak and I will translate.

               John looks glazed. The room falls silent.

                                     JOHN
                         Hello.

               Yuri translates -- She replies.

                                     YURI
                         She says 'Hello' to you. Go for it 
                         John!

                                     JOHN
                         Uh. Do you like England?

                                     YURI
                         Classic!
                              (he translates)
                         Thank God. She says 'Yes!'

               John nods. He watches Nadia tap ash. The wrist again.

                                     JOHN
                         Uh...

               They all wait. Yuri nods encouragingly.

                                     JOHN
                         I can't think of anything. Hang on.

               Nadia speaks in Russian to Yuri.

                                     YURI
                         She says she has a secret to tell.

                                     JOHN
                         What?

               Nadia speaks. John waits uncomfortably. Silence.

                                     YURI
                         She says she watched you at the 
                         airport.

               John stops.

                                     JOHN
                         When?

                                     YURI
                              (translating)
                         "I saw you waiting there, by the 
                         gate."

                                     JOHN
                         I...

                                     YURI
                         "I have these uh..." She explains to 
                         you... "When I was a little girl my 
                         father had these beautiful old 
                         glasses." Like... I don't know the 
                         word. Like for watching uh... for 
                         watching the birds.

               We see John's face.

                                     JOHN
                         Binoculars.

                                     YURI
                         Binoculars. He had these Binoculars 
                         he has kept from the war.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               Scene 1 reprise.

               EXT. SUMMER MEADOW - DAY

               A young girl runs through a summer meadow with a pair of 
               Russian Army field binoculars, around her neck.

                                     YURI (V.O.)
                         I would run around with them taking 
                         pictures of things I liked with my 
                         mind. If I saw something beautiful I 
                         would take a picture.

               With the binoculars pressed to her face, she spies 
               butterflies, birds, a rabbit. She stops running and aims the 
               binoculars up, up, into the sun

               INT. JOHN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Yuri translates.

                                     YURI
                         The day before I left Russia my father 
                         gave me the old binoculars. He said 
                         that when I saw you I was to stand 
                         far away and look at you with these, 
                         and to examine your face closely. 
                         And if you were a bad person I could 
                         run away.

               Nadia looks at the table.

                                     YURI
                         She says she took a picture.

               John watches Nadia looking at the table. She glances up once 
               and catches his eye.

               Alexei suddenly slams his hand down on the table. He raises 
               his palm. There is an ant squashed there. He shows Yuri.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Nasyekski.

               EXT. JOHN'S GARDEN - NIGHT

               The small party has moved outside to the patio, where they 
               sit around a low wooden table in the mellow candlelight. A 
               huge late Summer moon hangs over the fields. Alexei tinkles 
               beautifully on his guitar.

               He stops asks a question in Russian.

                                     JOHN
                         What was that?

                                     YURI
                         Oh nothing.

                                     JOHN
                         Tell me.

                                     YURI
                         No. It is too judgmental.

                                     JOHN
                         Tell me what he said.

                                     YURI
                         He says why did you send to Russia 
                         for a wife.

               Silence. John suddenly looks sick.

                                     YURI
                         You are not ashamed of it? It's no 
                         surprise to want to love.

                                     JOHN
                         No. It's not that.

                                     YURI
                         Do you believe in love?

                                     JOHN
                         I suppose it's... I mean define your 
                         terms.

                                     YURI
                         It's very strange. How many people 
                         are truly themselves with their love? 
                         It is the greatest human disaster 
                         and it is never in the newspapers. 
                         There are no Marches Against 
                         Heartache, no Ministries Against 
                         Loneliness, no Concerts Against 
                         Disappointment. We look away. And 
                         still we know in secret that nothing 
                         is more important to us. The one 
                         thing we all share but don't say. 
                         Look John I will show you something.

               He takes a plate and starts reaching for the food.

                                     YURI
                         Here look, something beautiful from 
                         Russia. Here is Life, there, take 
                         it.

               John accepts the plate.

                                     YURI
                         Here is bread. Khylep. This is work. 
                         We all need this, here eat.

               John eats.

                                     YURI
                         Good. But we cannot survive with 
                         just work, so here is meat and blood. 
                         Myasa. This is family and country, 
                         flesh, strength, eat.

               John bites the sausage.

                                     YURI
                         But again this is not life. Here is 
                         joy and pain. Chyesnok. Without these 
                         life has no flavour, is too serious. 
                         Eat.

               John nibbles some pickled garlic.

                                     YURI
                         But this vodka.
                              (pause)
                         Is love. Only this magic changes you 
                         inside. The moon and the stars and 
                         the sun.

               Yuri offers John the glass. He looks at Nadia, takes it and 
               swigs it down in one. He looks across at Nadia, wiping his 
               mouth, his eyes watering. She looks back at him.

               Alexei begins softly singing a song. As he sings:

                                     YURI
                         This is a love song, a soldier's 
                         song to his beloved -- Alexei, he's 
                         Afghanstya, a veteran of Afghanistan. 
                         He saw terrible things.

               They listen to the beautiful, sad voice. For the second verse 
               Yuri joins in, a slow stirring lament. For the end Nadia 
               joins in too and the three of them begin harmonising 
               beautifully. John watches in the candlelight.

               John, Nadia and Alexei pose with the cake. Nadia puts her 
               arm round John and Alexei. With a FLASH! Yuri takes a 
               Polaroid.

               The guitar theme returns as we see the Polaroid on the table 
               in close up, developing speeded up. John comes into focus, 
               beaming.

               INT. LOUNGE - NIGHT

               We track across the sleeping faces of Yuri and Alexei tucked 
               into their sleeping bags with guitar cases for pillows. John 
               switches the light off and closes the door.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               John and Nadia seen from above lying asleep, with their heads 
               together, in the moonlight. Nadia whispers something in her 
               sleep, in Russian. Fast asleep John mutters something in 
               English. Their sleeping, unintelligible conversation, drifts 
               on in the night.

               INT. BANK - DAY

               John sits at his desk in the open plan office. He looks 
               nervous.

               This is because he is wearing Nadia's ring. People pass his 
               desk, a couple say hello, but they don't notice. He rubs his 
               chin. Nobody notices.

               Eventually his manager approaches.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         Quick word John?

               He leans over the desk.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         This is sensitive. Your car. Lovely 
                         car. Doesn't necessarily give the 
                         right impression.

                                     JOHN
                         Ch...

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         To customers approaching the bank 
                         from the rear

                                     JOHN
                              (thrown)
                         Right.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         You can see why it's sensitive?

                                     JOHN
                         Uh... Yes.

               The manager smiles and taps the desk twice.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         I'll leave it on your desk.

               John is left alone.

               INT. HALL / LIVING ROOM - DAY

               The front door opens and John walks into his hall. The two 
               rucksacks are still side by side where they were the night 
               before...

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               He opens the fridge and pours himself a glass of orange. He 
               stops -- There on the draining board lies the bloody skin of 
               a rabbit. John jumps out of his skin.

               Next to the rabbit skin is a hand-drawn map. A dotted line 
               winds around the map and ends with an X in a small wood.

               He looks at the rabbit skin, with its eyeless sockets.

               EXT. FOREST - DAY

               John follows a path through a big silent wood, the low sun 
               flaring and catching his white work shirt.

               P.O.V. OF JOHN

               through binoculars, a long way off and squinting into the 
               sun.

               Nadia lowers the binoculars and looks past us.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               John spots some figures lying on the grass in the distance. 
               He heads towards them, and watches them for a moment from 
               thirty yards away.

               Alexei, Yuri and Nadia sit in a small clearing. A blanket, 
               cushions, bread and vodka are scattered around. Yuri is 
               strumming a guitar. Alexei and Nadia are laughing and 
               chatting. He removes a small twig from her hair and flattens 
               it under his big hand. John watches the gesture. It's so 
               intimate they could be lovers.

                                     YURI
                              (calls)
                         John. We can see you hiding.

               John steps out of his hiding place and approaches the group. 
               Alexei has Nadia falling about laughing about something. He 
               smiles at her then nods to John.

               Pieces of cooked rabbit lie in tin foil. Alexei feeds a piece 
               to Nadia with a big hunting knife. Nadia smiles at John, and 
               starts knitting.

                                     YURI
                         How is bank?

                                     JOHN
                         Fine. I thought you were leaving 
                         today.

                                     YURI
                         To be indoors on such a day. It's 
                         crime.

               Nadia stops knitting and takes her shirt off and stretches 
               back to sunbathe in her black bra. Alexei takes the knife he 
               has just finished cleaning and holds the cold wide blade 
               flat above Nadia's bare stomach. Just before pressing it 
               down he looks across at John. Nadia yelps and sits up. They 
               laugh, and Yuri joins in. John laughs uneasily.

               Alexei notices marks on Nadia's midriff. He asks her about 
               them in Russian.

               John goes white, unable to understand Nadia's explanation. 
               He has no idea what she told him.

               EXT. LAKE IN FOREST - DAY

               At sunset, the four run towards a lake in their underwear. 
               They jump and dive in, and begin splashing each other.

               John duck-dives under the water and swims through the sunlit 
               streaked green water. We see him under the water, swimming 
               towards us, caught by the sun's rays.

               John surfaces, and wipes the water from his eyes. He spots 
               Alexei and Nadia playing in the water. Alexei grabs her and 
               throws her in the air and she comes down with a splash.

               John treads water nearby. He watches them both hold their 
               noses and disappear under the surface.

               They've both vanished. John ducks under the water.

               John's underwater P.O.V.: It's too murky to see anything.

               The two surface, breathing hard, laughing. John watches them.

               Alexei holds Nadia tight and looks like he might even kiss 
               her. But instead he ducks her and holds her under the water.

               John treads water nearby. She's been under a long time.

                                     JOHN
                         Hey.

               John begins to swim toward Alexei. Just as he gets near, 
               Alexei lets Nadia surface, coughing and spluttering -- she 
               shouts at Alexei in Russian, angry.

               Alexei makes for her again but she pushes him away, twice, 
               almost slapping him. She is very uncomfortable. She swims 
               away.

               Yuri admonishes his friend in Russian. Alexei stares at John, 
               then swims off powerfully back towards the shore.

                                     YURI
                         He's just having fun. He's maybe too 
                         strong you know...

               John watches Nadia walk out of the lake towards her clothes.

               INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

               John walks into his bedroom. Nadia is on the bed with a 
               dictionary. She puts it down. She speaks very slowly.

                                     NADIA
                         They go. John. They go.

                                     JOHN
                         What's wrong?

                                     NADIA
                         They go.

                                     JOHN
                         Of course. They go. Yes. Yes.

                                     NADIA
                         They go.

               INT. JOHN'S SITTING ROOM - NIGHT

               John stands at the end of the two sleeping bags.

                                     YURI
                         I understand. I'm so sorry

                                     JOHN
                         You can stay tonight.

                                     YURI
                         I have brought you trouble. Maybe I 
                         should have come alone.

                                     JOHN
                         Good night.

               Alexei stares at John as he backs out of the room.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               John closes his bedroom door and slips back into bed. Nadia 
               is already asleep. John lies back in the moonlight, and stares 
               at the ceiling.

               EXT. GARDEN - DAY

               A light summer rain. Drips fall from rose petals.

               INT. JOHN'S BEDROOM - DAY

               John opens his eyes. He rolls over towards Nadia, but she's 
               already up and about.

               Alone in his bedroom, John holds the now-finished jumper up 
               to himself. He tries it on. It's a good four sizes too big, 
               the arms are too long and it hangs down to mid-thigh. He 
               looks at himself in the mirror and smiles.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. STAIRS / HALL / KITCHEN - DAY

               He pads downstairs in his pants, picks up his mail from the 
               doormat and peers into the living room. The sleeping bags 
               and guitar cases have gone. About to peruse his mail, his 
               eye is caught by something else.

               There is a small wild deer standing in the living room. 
               Looking at him. John stares back at it transfixed, when he 
               hears a scream. The deer starts and bolts out of the patio 
               doors. John is thrown. It was a woman's scream. He goes back 
               out and looks down the hall.

               Twenty feet away, down the hall, is Yuri, sitting on the 
               kitchen floor, his back to the cooker. He's crying.

                                     YURI
                         John. You must call the Police.

               Suddenly Alexei steps between them in the doorway. As he 
               moves out of view, we see he is holding his hunting knife. 
               John hears Nadia cry out, from inside the kitchen. He drops 
               his mail and rushes forward.

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               Nadia is tied to a chair. Alexei pulls a gag tight around 
               her mouth and holds the knife to her throat.

                                     JOHN
                         What are you doing?

               Alexei shouts at Yuri in Russian.

                                     YURI
                         John, I'm sorry. It's my fault.

               Alexei shouts again. Nadia is frozen with terror.

                                     JOHN
                         What's he doing? What the fuck are 
                         you doing? Leave her alone.

               Alexei addresses John.

                                     YURI
                         He says sit down. Or he'll cut her.

               Alexei and Yuri shout at each other. Nadia begins crying.

                                     YURI
                         Sit down please.

               John sits across the table from Nadia.

                                     JOHN
                         Tell him to stop and let her go, and 
                         we'll talk.

               The kettle boils. Alexei takes the kettle and holds it over 
               Nadia's head.

               John springs up.

                                     JOHN
                         Put the fucking kettle down.

                                     YURI
                         John.

                                     JOHN
                         Put the fucking kettle down. Tell, 
                         Yuri, tell him put it down or I'm 
                         going to make him.

               Yuri translates -- Alexei replies.

                                     YURI
                         He says you scare him so much he 
                         must go to the toilet in his trousers. 
                         John, he is a soldier. A trained 
                         killer. We must do what he says.

                                     JOHN
                         What? What does he want?

               Alexei speaks.

                                     JOHN
                         What did he say? Tell me!

                                     YURI
                         He says you are very sad ridiculous 
                         man. I don't agree of course. And 
                         that you must pay someone to have 
                         sex like a prostitute. Nadia is a 
                         prostitute. I'm sorry.

                                     JOHN
                         What does he want. The Russian 
                         shithead. What do you want ?

                                     YURI
                         He wants money.

                                     JOHN
                         Tell him to put the kettle down and 
                         I'll give him money.

               Yuri translates this for Alexei. Alexei has a reply.

                                     YURI
                         He wants a lot of money.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll give him money. Tell him to put 
                         the...

                                     YURI
                         He wants the money from your bank.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll fuckin' give it to him! We'll 
                         go down there.

                                     YURI
                         You don't understand. He wants all 
                         the money that is in your bank.

                                     JOHN
                         I've got eight hundred pounds. Oh 
                         Jesus.

               The penny drops.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh Jesus.

                                     YURI
                         He is sure you can do this. Of course 
                         you can not.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh Jesus. Of course I can't.

               Alexei doesn't need the translation he tilts the kettle, and 
               a small amount of boiling water trickles onto Nadia's hair. 
               She screams through the gag.

               John tries to reach across to her but Alexei draws the knife 
               and holds it to his face.

                                     JOHN
                         Just leave her alone.

                                     YURI
                         I'm so sorry.

                                     JOHN
                         Leave her alone.

               CLOSE UP On Nadia's terrified eyes, imploring John to help 
               her.

               INT. / EXT. JOHN'S CAR - DAY

               John drives grim-faced through the morning rain. Yuri is 
               next to him staring ahead at the road. Alexei is in the back 
               with Nadia who is still bound and gagged. He's holding his 
               knife to her ribs.

               INT. MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK - DAY

               The car parks on the top floor. John turns off the engine. 
               He looks at Nadia in his rear view mirror but she seems in 
               shock.

               INT. HIGH STREET - DAY

               John strides towards us down St. Albans High Street, carrying 
               the two guitar cases, his raincoat flapping. His eyes look 
               glazed, the busy street sounds around him muffled.

               INT. NATIONAL WESTMINSTER BANK - DAY

               The doors slide apart and John enters his branch. The place 
               is full of customers. He cheeks himself through the security 
               door and into the back.

               INT. OPEN-PLAN OFFICE - DAY

               John walks through the open plan office. His Branch Manager 
               is there with another bank official, and Clare.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         Ah John. This is Robert Moseley, 
                         Head of South East New Business. 
                         Robert, this is John Buckingham.

                                     MOSELEY
                         Hello John.

                                     JOHN
                         Hello.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         I thought you could give us the tour 
                         this morning. Sort of be our Indian 
                         Guide.

                                     JOHN
                         Right.

                                     MOSELEY
                              (i.e. the guitars)
                         Do you play?

                                     JOHN
                         Yes. I do.

                                     CLARE
                         That's John. He's always surprising 
                         you with hidden talents.

                                     MOSELEY
                         I used to be in a band. Keyboards. 
                         Sort of like very loud, uh -- very 
                         loud Marillion.

               They laugh. Pause.

                                     CLARE
                              (to John)
                         Well, Maestro, give us a tune.

               They laugh. Pause.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll give you a tune later.

               The Branch Manager takes John to one side and stage-whispers.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         Take the ball and run with it John.

               INT. BANK CORRIDOR - DAY

               John leads the team down the corridor past the training room 
               where his colleagues are busy with Trust and Letting Go.

                                     JOHN
                         This is uh... This is the uh...

               A colleague passes carrying a file.

                                     PASSING COLLEAGUE
                         Morning John. Give us a tune.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll give you a tune later.

               INT. TRAINING ROOM - DAY

               They enter the training room.

                                     JOHN
                         This is where we're doing Trust and 
                         uh... Trust and Letting Go.

                                     MOSELEY
                         We're not doing this till the fourth 
                         quarter -- Has it, uh -- any results, 
                         has it been been beneficial?

                                     JOHN
                         Yes.

                                     CLARE
                         It's weird at first. Sort of exciting 
                         and frightening at the same time. 
                         Wouldn't you say John?

                                     JOHN
                         Yes.

                                     BRANCH MANAGER
                         We're starting to see results. This 
                         is Karen, who's uh... taking uh... 
                         it.

               They say hello to each other and MOSELEY asks her a couple 
               of questions.

                                     JOHN
                         Excuse me.

               INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

               John nips out and fetches his guitar cases. He rounds the 
               corner, down a couple of steps. He checks himself into the 
               Safe Area. A Colleague passes him.

                                     COLLEAGUE
                         Morning John. Hey, Moseley's here.

                                     JOHN
                         I'll give you a tune later.

               INT. SAFE ROOM DOOR - DAY

               John punches in the security code. He opens the safe door 
               and goes inside, closing it behind him. We see his stricken 
               face peering through the toughened glass.

               INT. TRAINING ROOM - DAY

               Robert Moseley falls backwards into the arms of an employee.

                                     MOSELEY
                         It's weird isn't it.

               A little bored perhaps, Moseley gazes out through the open 
               door. He sees...

               INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

               John bowling out of the safe-room backwards heaving two guitar 
               cases. One bursts open spilling bundles of fifties onto the 
               floor.

               INT. TRAINING ROOM - DAY

               Moseley, the Branch Manager, Clare, and five Trust and Letting 
               Go catchers all watch...

               INT. CORRIDOR - DAY

               John scoops up the money, refasten the case and stand to see 
               them all watching him, as the five Trust and Letting Go 
               fallers crash to the ground in unison.

               EXT. SIDE STREET - DAY

               John hauls ass towards us straight down the middle of the 
               road, a guitar case in either hand, footsteps clapping loudly 
               on the wet cobbles. Alarms sound, dogs bark.

               EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY

               He skis around a corner, and sprints up this other street. 
               We are close by his head, as he sprints one hundred metres.

               EXT. CAR PARK ROOF - DAY

               Running flat out across the car park. Yuri throws open the 
               car door and John hurls the guitar cases inside. He dives 
               in, turns the key in the ignition. The Rover coughs and 
               wheezes. He tries again. It spits and misfires. The third 
               time it catches and lives. John grinds the gears and lurches 
               off.

               INT. MULTI STOREY CAR PARK - DAY

               The Rover hurtles down the ramps.

               EXT. STREET - DAY

               It careens down a side-street.

               INT. / EXT. MOVING ROVER - DAY

               Alexei opens one of the cases and looks inside. He takes a 
               deep breath and swears in Russian.

               He shows what is in the case to Nadia. Her eyes widen.

               Alexei gently lowers the gag and kisses her on the mouth. 
               She returns the kiss hungrily.

               John spots them in the mirror and nearly crashes the car.

               He looks desperately across at Yuri. Yuri is now pointing 
               the big knife at John's ribs. The Russian shrugs almost 
               apologetically.

               In the back seat Nadia has freed herself and is beginning to 
               pull at Alexei's clothes. They begin making out passionately.

               John's eyes slowly lose focus. He turns grey, then white. He 
               drives and we watch the life seep out of him.

               EXT. DUAL CARRIAGEWAY - NIGHT

               Cars tear through the night along the carriage way, past a 
               Happy Eater. We pan round, across the motorway to a single 
               storey run-down Motel.

               INT. MOTEL CHALET 17 - NIGHT

               A crusty motel chalet. Yuri and Alexei are sitting on a double 
               bed counting the money. The T.V. is on in the corner with 
               the sound turned down and there are empty miniatures from 
               the mini-bar scattered around.

               Nadia appears from the kitchenette area. They all seem more 
               relaxed, more themselves, as if what we've seen before was 
               an act. For the first time in the film their conversation 
               appears as English subtitles.

                                     NADIA
                         So?

               Alexei says "SSShhh" He is counting in his head. He stops.

                                     ALEXEI
                              (to Yuri)
                         You first.

                                     YURI
                         Fifty thousand. Almost exactly.

                                     NADIA
                         Sixty four thousand, eight hundred.

                                     ALEXEI
                         There's over eighty thousand here.

               They look at each other, absorbing the moment.

                                     YURI
                         Sweet Jesus...

               He lies back on the bed and chuckles.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Put it in the cases. Split it up. 
                         And don't forget you owe me �150.

                                     YURI
                         What for?

                                     ALEXEI
                         You know what for.

                                     YURI
                         No I don't.

                                     ALEXEI
                         I got you those trousers from Paul 
                         Smith.

                                     YURI
                         I've been buying you stuff all week. 
                         I've been buying him stuff all week.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Such as?

               Nadia is smiling at them as they squabble.

                                     YURI
                         When we went to the Hard Rock Cafe. 
                         Who paid? When we went to see 'Cats'. 
                         Who paid?

                                     ALEXEI
                         Those aren't presents. That's normal 
                         friendship stuff

                                     YURI
                         I paid for those guitar cases.

                                     NADIA
                         What was 'Cats' like?

                                     YURI
                         It was alright.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Yeah it was okay.

                                     YURI
                         Yeah. It was quite good actually. 
                         Some bits I really liked.

                                     ALEXEI
                         The sets were good.

                                     YURI
                         The sets were excellent. Everything 
                         was big, you know, all the rubbish, 
                         coke cans, sweet wrappers, dustbins, 
                         so when you were watching it you 
                         felt cat size. It was really clever.

               Yuri goes into the bathroom, leaving Nadia and Alexei alone 
               on the bed.

               Alexei runs his hand across Nadia's cheek.

                                     ALEXEI
                              (softly)
                         So. How many times did you have to 
                         fuck him?

               INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

               Yuri in the bathroom, he undoes his flies pees. At the other 
               end of the bathroom, tied to the bidet, gagged, is John.

                                     YURI
                         How you doing?

               John refuses to meet his eye. Yuri flushes and wipes his 
               hands.

                                     YURI
                         I'll show you something. It should 
                         make all this easier I think.

               From his back pocket, Yuri takes out an old envelope. He 
               opens it and removes a dozen or so Polaroids.

               John looks down at the first Polaroid. Nadia, Alexei and a 
               man John doesn't recognise at a birthday party. There is a 
               cake with candles and everyone is smiling. The next picture 
               is the same. And the next.

               Sometimes Germany, sometimes France, but otherwise the 
               pictures are the same, each 'fiancee' beaming with his arm 
               round Nadia, Alexei looking on.

               John studies the faces of his fellow dupes and at last comes 
               to his own picture. Despite himself tears come to his eyes.

                                     YURI
                         Not all these bastards were like 
                         you, believe me. You should not too 
                         feel bad.

               Yuri takes John's left hand and pulls off Nadia's ring. He 
               puts it in his pocket.

               INT. MOTEL BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Alexei smokes on the bed. Nadia is lying the other way. She 
               holds her hand out for his cigarette and he passes it. They 
               have the relaxed air of longtime lovers.

               Subtitles again.

                                     NADIA
                         It's enough isn't it?

                                     ALEXEI
                         What do you mean?

                                     NADIA
                         You know what I mean babe, It's 
                         enough. We can stop.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Do you want to stop?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

                                     ALEXEI
                         We'll stop then.

               They kiss. He takes her hand, and notices the tie marks on 
               her wrists.

                                     ALEXEI
                         What's this?

                                     NADIA
                         It's nothing. I burnt myself.

                                     ALEXEI
                         That's not a burn.

                                     NADIA
                         It is. I did it cooking.

               They sit there looking at each other.

                                     ALEXEI
                         On both wrists?

               Nadia looks back at him. The seconds pass.

                                     NADIA
                         What? I did it cooking.

               Alexei studies her face. She pulls a face. He keeps staring.

                                     NADIA
                         What?

               They sit there in silence. Alexei is so big, and she is so 
               small.

                                     NADIA
                         Listen, I made you something.

               Nadia leans over the bed, and searches in her bag. Alexei 
               watches her closely. She comes back up with the jumper she 
               has knitted.

                                     NADIA
                         Put it on.

               He looks at the jumper, then back at her.

                                     NADIA
                         It's taken me weeks. I want to see 
                         you in it.

               She starts pulling at his shirt. Eventually he pulls the 
               jumper on. It fits perfectly.

                                     NADIA
                         Do you like it?

                                     ALEXEI
                         Yeah.

               He is still staring at her.

                                     NADIA
                         Say thank you.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Thank you.

               She takes his hands. He is still looking at her. He strokes 
               his hair. He places his big hand around her throat and holds 
               it there, holding her at arms length. She doesn't react, but 
               just looks levelly back at him. They sit like this for about 
               ten seconds, looking at each other.

                                     NADIA
                         We're going to have a baby.

               Alexei seems not to relax. He keeps his hand there.

                                     ALEXEI
                         What?

                                     NADIA
                         You heard what I said. I'm pregnant. 
                         I've been throwing up for weeks.

               Alexei removes his hand. Now he seems shocked. He lights a 
               cigarette.

                                     NADIA
                         We're having a baby.

               Pause.

                                     ALEXEI
                         A baby? What are we supposed to do 
                         with a baby?

                                     NADIA
                         Name it.

               She comes to him and holds him. He is still absorbing the 
               news.

               We see Alexei's face over her shoulder, behind her back, 
               unreadable. Behind his back she rubs her wrists.

               INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

               Some hours later, it's dark outside. John still tied to the 
               bidet. The door opens a crack and somebody slips inside. We 
               hear the toilet seat go down. As his eyes adjust he can dimly 
               see Nadia sitting on the toilet. She doesn't look at him. As 
               she finishes she finally turns and holds his eye. She stands 
               and slips out the door, leaving him alone.

               EXT. DUAL CARRIAGEWAY - NIGHT

               Cars crawl by on the road outside, their tail-lights 
               stretching over the hill.

               The shot processes and fades into dawn and light.

               The early morning commuters now use the carriageway.

               INT. BATHROOM - DAY

               Bright sunlight pours through a high window. John is still 
               on the toilet. He begins to try to struggle free.

               After a great deal of fierce deadpan shimmying and pulling, 
               he succeeds in loosening his bindings. Freeing an arm, he 
               yanks the duct tape from his mouth and sits there panting.

               The first thing he does is take a pee, then he drinks handfuls 
               of water. He catches his reflection but can't look at himself.

               INT. MAIN ROOM - DAY

               John collapses in an armchair, rubbing his eyes. He looks 
               shattered.

               The Russians have gone.

               INT. MOTEL BATHROOM - DAY

               John in the shower, just standing there, letting the water 
               hit him.

               INT. MOTEL MAIN SUITE - DAY

               John dries himself in silence. He pulls on his trousers, 
               sits down to do his socks. One sock on, he walks to the 
               smaller bedroom. He opens the door and peers inside.

               INT. SMALLER MOTEL BEDROOM - DAY

               Tied to the radiator, gagged with duct tape, is Nadia.

               John looks down at her. She looks away as her eyes fill with 
               tears.

               He sits on the bed facing her. They stay like that for a 
               long moment before he reaches over and starts untying her 
               knots. He peels the tape off her mouth. Suddenly he slaps 
               her across the face.

               Her head hits the radiator. Nadia gasps hard from the shock 
               of the blow. Without warning she slaps his face, equally 
               hard.

               This starts a long silent fight; kicking, hitting, biting, a 
               real struggle.

               Its intensity is almost sexual, but has the edge of real 
               violence. They end up on opposite sides of the room, both 
               panting, hurt and beaten.

                                     NADIA
                              (in English)
                         Great. You've split my fuckin, lip.

               John lies there on the floor, panting, and he hears the 
               English words.

               Exhausted, John stands, wipes his mouth, and rushes her anew. 
               Nadia dodges out the way and cuffs him painfully on the ear. 
               The whole fight starts again and ends only when neither has 
               the strength to go on. Nadia staggers into the bathroom where 
               she shuts the door and begins to sob uncontrollably. John 
               lies on the bed listening to her cry.

               EXT. DUAL CARRIAGEWAY - DAY

               The mid morning traffic flows by on the dual carriageway.

               INT. HAPPY EATER - DAY

               Nadia and John sit in silence in the half empty diner. Nadia 
               has a cut lip and a graze on her chin. John has a Thousand 
               Yard Stare and a lesion over his left cheekbone.

               The Waitress comes over.

                                     WAITRESS
                         Good morning. What can I get you?

                                     NADIA
                         I'll have an espresso, with a small 
                         pastry, a croissant or something.

                                     WAITRESS
                         We only do a croissant with the 
                         Continental breakfast.

                                     NADIA
                         Just get me a coffee.

                                     WAITRESS
                         One coffee. And for you Sir ?

               John doesn't answer.

                                     NADIA
                         He'll have a coffee.

               The waitress leaves them. Nadia lights a cigarette and they 
               sit in tense silence, the pain of betrayal, and recent 
               violence, thick in the air.

                                     JOHN
                         You can't smoke in here.

               Nadia ignores him. John bellows

                                     JOHN
                         YOU CAN'T SMOKE IN HERE!

               The diner falls silent, people stare. She takes a last drag 
               and crushes the butt on the floor. A waitress comes over and 
               puts down two coffees.

                                     NADIA
                         I don't expect you to understand.

               It seems as if John has no intention of replying. He sips 
               his coffee, and puts it down. He begins speaking very calmly.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh, I don't know. In my job as Deputy 
                         Assistant of New Business at the 
                         bank would have to listen to the 
                         problems of a great many individuals. 
                         This took a lot of understanding and 
                         sympathy, to try to work out solutions 
                         to their problems. But, you see, I'm 
                         not in that line of work anymore. 
                         Nowadays I'm a bank robber.

                                     NADIA
                         You don't understand anything.

                                     JOHN
                         I think that about covers it. I think 
                         I have grasped the part about you 
                         being dumped though. That's got to 
                         hurt, I imagine. That's got to smart 
                         a bit. I mean strictly in my 
                         observer's capacity it seemed you 
                         two were getting on Pretty Fucking 
                         Famously.

               He sips his coffee.

                                     JOHN
                         Unless. Unless this is part of the 
                         routine. You get tied up, stick 
                         around, distract me, they both bust 
                         in and Steal My Cup Of Coffee.

                                     NADIA
                         It's makes it easier. Okay.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't want to know.

                                     NADIA
                         It makes it faster. If I don't speak 
                         to the men, they fall faster. It's 
                         pretty obvious why.

                                     JOHN
                         That's a relief. It's nice to know 
                         I'm a regular guy.

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         So what are you going to do?

                                     JOHN
                         I'm going to drink my coffee. Then, 
                         we're going to the police station. 
                         Where there will be lawyers, loss of 
                         job, house, humiliation, gutter press, 
                         and probably prison.

                                     NADIA
                         They don't blame you. When a bank 
                         employee does this they understand. 
                         You get your life back. Anyway I bet 
                         you hated that bank.

                                     JOHN
                         Even so I always felt the decision 
                         to burst in and rob it very much 
                         remained with me.

                                     NADIA
                         Why else would you send off for me? 
                         If you just wanted sex just go to a 
                         prostitute.

                                     JOHN
                         Well as it turns out I did.

               She slaps his face. He slaps hers back. The waitress comes 
               over.

                                     WAITRESS
                         More coffee?

                                     JOHN
                         Yes please.

                                     NADIA
                         No.

               She pours for John.

                                     JOHN
                         Splendid. Thank you.

                                     WAITRESS
                         Pleasure.

               She smiles and leaves them. John watches her walk away.

                                     NADIA
                         John, I need your help.

               This really tickles John. He has to put his coffee down.

                                     JOHN
                         You must think... I'm the biggest 
                         pillock... In the world.

                                     NADIA
                         No I don't.

                                     JOHN
                         In the world.

                                     NADIA
                         I know you just want to punish me --

                                     JOHN
                         I do. I want to very badly.

                                     NADIA
                         So you're just going to be vindictive

                                     JOHN
                         In every sense. If at all possible.

                                     NADIA
                         You can't hurt me more than I'm hurt 
                         already.

                                     JOHN
                         Well, Nadia, It it's all the same to 
                         you, I'd like to give it a bash.

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         My name isn't Nadia.

               John stares back at her.

               EXT. HAPPY EATER CAR PARK - DAY

               John drags her by the arm across the car-park towards the 
               Rover.

               EXT. OUTSIDE POLICE STATION

               John drags her out of the Rover. She wrestles her arm free 
               and walks up the steps on her own, with some dignity. John 
               follows her.

               INT. POLICE STATION DUTY DESK - DAY

               They sit side by side in the waiting room, not talking. Nadia 
               looks resigned to her fate. John is tight-jawed, unyielding.

               They wait as the the Duty Sergeant deals with a woman who's 
               lost her hat.

                                     NADIA
                              (quietly, to John)
                         Where's the restroom?

                                     JOHN
                         What?

                                     NADIA
                         I'm going to be sick. Where's the...

                                     JOHN
                         What? No you're not..

                                     NADIA
                         I'm going... I am... I'm going to be 
                         sick.

                                     JOHN
                              (overlapping)
                         No you're not. How... Nice one. How 
                         dumb do you think I am ?

               Nadia stands and addresses the Duty Sergeant.

                                     NADIA
                         Where's the restroom?

                                     SERGEANT
                         The what, love?

                                     NADIA
                         The toilet. Where's...

                                     SERGEANT
                         Down there on the left.

               She heads off. John springs up. He seizes her arm as casually 
               as possible.

               INT. POLICE STATION CORRIDOR - DAY

               John frog marches Nadia down the corridor to the Ladies. She 
               wrestles her arm free again and disappears inside.

               John lurks outside. He seems certain she's got one leg out 
               the window RIGHT NOW.

               He can't bear it any longer. He looks both ways and nips 
               inside.

               INT. LADIES - DAY

               Standing in the Ladies, John hears Nadia in a cubicle, 
               throwing up. He hears the toilet flush.

               Nadia comes out. He looks at her.

                                     JOHN
                         You're pregnant.

               Nadia looks at the floor.

               INT. POLICE CORRIDOR - DAY

               John walks out of the toilet and stands against the wall of 
               the corridor. He looks both ways. After a few seconds Nadia 
               appears in the corridor. They stand there. John isn't looking 
               at her.

               A policeman appears from round the corner, and walks towards 
               them. He stops, and addresses John.

                                     POLICEMAN
                         Can I help you?

               John looks at the Policeman, then at Nadia. The seconds pass.

                                     POLICEMAN
                         Sir? Can I help you?

               John is still looking at Nadia -- He closes his eyes.

                                     JOHN
                         No.

               EXT. OUTSIDE POLICE STATION - DAY

               John walks back to the Rover, Nadia behind. They reach the 
               car. Nadia looks at John over the roof of the car.

                                     NADIA
                         What are you doing?

               John looks sick. He speaks very quietly.

                                     JOHN
                         Get in the car.

               He gets inside. Nadia is left standing there. She gets in 
               too.

               INT. / EXT. JOHN'S CAR - DAY

               John driving with Nadia in the passenger seat. She is looking 
               across at him.

               He is taking no notice.

                                     NADIA
                         Plenty of women have babies in prison.

               John ignores her.

                                     NADIA
                              (tersely)
                         You don't have to do this. I can 
                         look after myself.

                                     JOHN
                              (flatly)
                         Have you got your passport?

                                     NADIA
                         What?

                                     JOHN
                         Shut up. Have you got your passport?

                                     NADIA
                         Yes.

               They drive along.

                                     JOHN
                         We've got to get off this motor-way.

               EXT. MOTORWAY JUNCTION - DAY

               From above we watch the car turn off the motorway, around a 
               roundabout and into a country B road.

               INT. CAR - DAY

               John is turning the pages in his Road Atlas. He is trying to 
               drive and map read at the same time. Nadia is looking out of 
               the window. Soon a big tear rolls down her cheek. She starts 
               to cry.

               John glances up from his map but ignores it. But she keeps 
               crying. He tosses the map in the back, pulls the car to the 
               side of the road and switches off the engine. As Nadia cries, 
               John gazes impassively out of the window. This goes on for 
               almost a minute, until Nadia pulls herself together, when 
               without looking across John restarts the engine and pulls 
               away.

               EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

               John's car pulling off a B road, into a slip road into a 
               garage.

               EXT. PETROL STATION - DAY

               Stern-faced, John fills the car up with petrol. He eyes the 
               Closed-Circuit.

                                     JOHN
                         Give me some money.

                                     NADIA
                         I don't have any money.

               John stops squeezing petrol.

                                     JOHN
                         What?

                                     NADIA
                         I said I don't have any.

               John stares at Nadia. He eyes the CCTV.

                                     JOHN
                         Give me your sunglasses.

               Nadia passes them and John puts them on,trying to look casual. 
               He gives the pump a couple more squirts, hangs it up, 
               nonchalantly sidles up to his door.

               In one move he opens it, dives in, turns the key in the 
               ignition. The Rover coughs. He tries it again. It howls, 
               barks and sneezes. The attendant comes out onto the forecourt 
               and starts approaching the yellow Rover.

               Miraculously it roars throatily to life, he floors it and 
               the Rover tears away from the station and off down the road

               INT. MOVING CAR - DAY

               We see John at the wheel of his Rover, sunglasses on, wind 
               in his hair, fleeing from the scene of the crime. Nadia 
               watches him in the late sunshine, but John is too busy making 
               a getaway to notice.

               EXT. COUNTRY LANE - DAY

               John's car shimmering as it comes over the brow of a remote 
               country lane, surrounded by fields and rolling hills.

               INT. / EXT. CAR (MOVING) - DAY

               Nadia puts a cigarette in her mouth and pops the dashboard 
               lighter. John takes the cigarette and throws it out the 
               window, followed by the lighter. Nadia just gazes out of the 
               window.

                                     JOHN
                         So, uh, Alexei, which I know isn't 
                         his name...

                                     NADIA
                         I don't want to talk about him.

                                     JOHN
                         Fine.

                                     NADIA
                         It's none of your business.

                                     JOHN
                         Fine. Absolutely. Must be 
                         disappointing though. Must come as a 
                         hell of a shock.

               Nadia ignores him.

                                     JOHN
                         So uh...

                                     NADIA
                         Look, if you want to know is he better 
                         in bed than you then yes he is.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh Jesus.

                                     NADIA
                         If what you want to know is does he 
                         have a bigger cock than you, then 
                         yes he does.

                                     JOHN
                              (overlapping -- bigger)
                         Of course. Of course. Of course he 
                         does. Of course. Thank you. Thanks.

                                     NADIA
                         But, you know, so what?

               They drive.

                                     JOHN
                         It's his baby I take it.

               She doesn't answer.

                                     JOHN
                         Not the kids type then is he? Not 
                         that broody. You must be pretty 
                         miffed.

                                     NADIA
                         He will come back.

                                     JOHN
                         Excuse me?

                                     NADIA
                         He left me my passport and ticket. 
                         It's pretty clear he wants to see me 
                         again.

                                     JOHN
                         Yeah. I tend to tie up and abandon 
                         women I really want to see again 
                         too.

                                     NADIA
                         No. But you tend to tie them up.

               John freezes. He looks across. Nadia gives nothing back.

                                     JOHN
                         Fuck off.

               Nadia is just looking at him.

                                     JOHN
                         Fuck off. You started it.

               She is just looking at him.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't want to talk about it.

                                     NADIA
                         Why not?

                                     JOHN
                         Shut up. I'm not listening.

                                     NADIA
                         You don't want to talk about it.

                                     JOHN
                         No.

                                     NADIA
                         Okay we won't talk about it.

               Nadia looks out the window.

                                     NADIA
                         We'll pretend it never happened.

                                     JOHN
                         So. What's it like having to fuck 
                         men you hate?

                                     NADIA
                         I don't hate you.

                                     JOHN
                         Okay. Let's... Okay. Okay. You have 
                         had sex with people you don't like 
                         haven't you? For money. To make money.

                                     NADIA
                         And? What are you saying?

                                     JOHN
                         And. It's wrong.

                                     NADIA
                         And who says what is wrong.

                                     JOHN
                         And that would be Morals. That would 
                         be one's own moral sense of decency.

                                     NADIA
                         What's a moral orgasm John? Tell me 
                         how it feels exactly.

                                     JOHN
                         So. What then? You just detach sex 
                         from everything..

                                     NADIA
                         Whereas "Wet 'n' Wild" is an emotional 
                         journey. "Tied and Tethered". It's 
                         pretty moving huh? Like Anna Karenina.

                                     JOHN
                         Listen. I didn't go rooting around 
                         in your private stuff.

               John remembers he did. Nadia looks across knowingly.

                                     NADIA
                         Funny. Usually it's the first thing 
                         they do.

               Pause.

                                     JOHN
                         So what? Do you just switch off in 
                         your head or do you imagine you're 
                         with him, or what?

                                     NADIA
                         Sometimes.

                                     JOHN
                         Sometimes which?

                                     NADIA
                         Sometimes neither.

                                     JOHN
                         Some... What does that mean?

                                     NADIA
                         There's nothing wrong in liking sex, 
                         John.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't like sex. I don't think I'll 
                         be having sex ever again.

                                     NADIA
                         Why?

                                     JOHN
                         Well, it's just that the thought 
                         trying to charm up an erection in 
                         front of a woman, or alone for that 
                         matter, makes me want to die.

                                     NADIA
                         So now you hate all women?

                                     JOHN
                         I think it's my safest bet, don't 
                         you?

                                     NADIA
                         Oh. I think you will recover okay. I 
                         think you got what you paid for.

               John looks across.

                                     JOHN
                         What?

                                     NADIA
                         You...

                                     JOHN
                         I got what I paid for.

                                     NADIA
                         You didn't mind too much.

               Pause.

                                     JOHN
                              (quietly)
                         It wasn't what I wanted.

                                     NADIA
                         So what did you want? I think we 
                         understand each other, no?

                                     JOHN
                              (quietly)
                         You don't understand me.

                                     NADIA
                         You don't understand you either.

               John turns to her.

                                     NADIA
                         It's no big thing. You are the same 
                         as most men. You are a man so you 
                         are a savage. Not a monster, but 
                         half animal. You put on a tie and 
                         you go to the bank, but really you 
                         are a beast. But also you are from 
                         woman so you have a soul. Half beast, 
                         half soul. But you hide your beast 
                         in the bottom of the wardrobe. It's 
                         not so healthy. It's fucked you up, 
                         no?

               John stops the car.

                                     JOHN
                         Get out.

               She sits there.

                                     NADIA
                         Excuse me?

                                     JOHN
                         Get out

                                     NADIA
                         You are throwing me out.

                                     JOHN
                         Get out.

               She collects her bag from the back seat, her cigarettes, 
               gathers up her belongings, clicks open the door and gets 
               out, leaving the shot. John sits there staring ahead. We 
               hear her voice offscreen.

                                     NADIA (O.S.)
                         You prefer your women mute.

               John turns the key in the ignition. The engine bellows and 
               screams. Silence.

               He tries again. The engine shrieks and wails like a soul in 
               torment. A terrible, mournful grinding noise. Silence.

                                     NADIA (O.S.)
                         Car trouble?

               John tries to start it. It lets out a whimper, a crying, a 
               few juddering moving sobs, and dies.

               John sits in his dead car. He shakes his head. He rubs his 
               face. He sits there.

               EXT. ROADSIDE VERGE - DUSK

               The two of them on a verge ten feet apart. John stares into 
               the distance.

               Nadia studies the map.

                                     NADIA
                         It's another twenty miles. It's going 
                         dark.

               She gets her holdall from inside the car and stuffs the map 
               inside.

                                     NADIA
                         What now?

               Nadia scans the horizon with her binoculars. John watches 
               her.

                                     JOHN
                         Jesus. You weren't even on the plane.

               Nadia lowers her binoculars and looks at John.

               FLASHBACK - INT. AIRPORT - DAY

               John watches the passengers stream out of the arrivals gate. 
               A woman is greeted and spun around.

               Across the airport, Nadia lowers her binoculars. We pull 
               back to see she is standing next to Alexei.

               They say goodbye in Russian. Even though we don't see 
               subtitles, it's a telling exchange. She kisses him, and he 
               watches her leave him and walk across the floor.

               Alexei watches Nadia approach John, and see him shake her 
               hand.

               They walk away together.

               FLASHBACK - EXT. JOHN'S STREET - NIGHT

               Alexei, dressed in a suit, stands outside John's house, 
               looking up. Nadia is in the window, her lipstick smeared. 
               They gaze at each other.

               EXT. DIFFERENT FOREST - NIGHT

               In a clearing, John watches Nadia carry a pile of sticks to 
               a fire she is building. She lights it with her gun cigarette 
               lighter, and teases the flames to life.

               EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

               John and Nadia sit by the fire. She sits wrapped up to her 
               neck in a blanket.

                                     NADIA
                         You know, in Russia, there's no work 
                         for women. It's a different world.

                                     JOHN
                              (interrupting on 
                              "different")
                         You don't have to say anything

                                     NADIA
                              (overlapping on "say")
                         What? I... I wasn't saying...

                                     JOHN
                              (overlapping on 
                              "saying")
                         Please, there's no... Oh.

                                     NADIA
                         I wasn't saying anything.

                                     JOHN
                         Then okay.
                              (pause)
                         So how old were you when you met 
                         him?

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         Fifteen. You don't know him. He was 
                         very kind and strong.

                                     JOHN
                         Yeah. He's a smashing bloke.

                                     NADIA
                         The rest of the world, John, it's 
                         not all like St. Albans.

                                     JOHN
                         Thank Christ for that.

                                     NADIA
                         You are pretty naive if you think it 
                         is.

                                     JOHN
                         I'm pretty naive? Look at you. You 
                         have to do all this, and what have 
                         you got to show for it? Nothing.

                                     NADIA
                         I don't have nothing.

                                     JOHN
                         Well what have you got?

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         I have my baby.

               They sit there in the lapping firelight.

                                     JOHN
                         Do you know if it's a boy or a girl?

                                     NADIA
                         No.

                                     JOHN
                         Have you had any before?

                                     NADIA
                         No.

                                     JOHN
                         Are you scared?

                                     NADIA
                         Not really. Maybe a little.

               A fox cries out in the night.

                                     NADIA
                         Listen. I think it's a fox.

               She listens. It cries out again. She gets out her binoculars.

                                     NADIA
                         It sounds close.

               She looks through them and searches the brush. John watches 
               Nadia with her binoculars. He looks suddenly very sad.

                                     NADIA
                         I can't see anything. It's too dark.

               She puts them back in her bag. John watches her. He sees her 
               wrist again. She lights a cigarette, and blows the smoke 
               into the air.

                                     NADIA
                         What happened between you and the 
                         blonde?

                                     JOHN
                         What?

                                     NADIA
                         The thin... the girl with small eyes. 
                         The one in your cupboard.

                                     JOHN
                         It's none of your business. She didn't 
                         have small eyes.

                                     NADIA
                         Did she leave you? Come on. It's 
                         nothing to be ashamed of. Who did 
                         she leave you for? Your best friend? 
                         Her boss? A woman? Did she leave you 
                         for a woman, John?

                                     JOHN
                         She's dead.

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt 
                         you. I'm sorry. That's awful. Forgive 
                         me.

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         I'm sorry.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't know why I said that. She's 
                         not dead at all.

               Nadia looks at John.

                                     NADIA
                         What?

                                     JOHN
                         I don't know why I said it. I'm sorry.

                                     NADIA
                         She's alive?

               Nadia starts to laugh. Long and loud. We have never seen her 
               laugh before.

                                     NADIA
                         She's alive!! She is not dead?

                                     JOHN
                         Laugh it up.

               She starts to cough. She gets on her hands and knees and 
               coughs like fury.

                                     JOHN
                         You should stop smoking. You're 
                         pregnant. You smoke like a fucking 
                         lab dog.

                                     NADIA
                         I'm trying to quit.

                                     JOHN
                         I've got news for you. It's not 
                         working.

                                     NADIA
                         I smoke more these days. I smoke 
                         more when I'm unhappy.

                                     JOHN
                         Nobody's that unhappy.

                                     NADIA
                         Maybe I want to die. Don't you want 
                         me to die?

                                     JOHN
                         I don't want anyone to die.

                                     NADIA
                         Except for Small Eyes.

                                     JOHN
                         Except for Small Eyes.

               She laughs again.

                                     NADIA
                         So why did it end?

               John thinks. It looks as if he's going to tell the whole 
               story. In the end he shrugs.

                                     JOHN
                         I don't know.

                                     NADIA
                         What was her name?

                                     JOHN
                         What's your name?

               The fox cries out again.

                                     NADIA
                         Listen. It's definitely a fox. Now 
                         I'm scared.

               They listen to the fox crying in the night.

                                     NADIA
                         You know you can come under the 
                         blanket.

                                     JOHN
                         It's alright.

               The scene from bird's eye view. John lies back and stares at 
               the stars. Nadia curls up on the other side of the fire, and 
               hugs herself.

               We push down closer and closer until we are on John's face. 
               The theme returns.

               The cricket boys from John's Close stand in a line in the 
               middle of the street, bathed in flashing blue light. We pan 
               round and end on John's house.

               It is surrounded with Police.

               Police cars, Police Vans, plastic police tape "POLICE LINE. 
               DO NOT CROSS."

               John's neighbours press against the tape as officers come 
               and go.

               Inside the house is full of police, ransacking his possessions 
               and dusting fingerprints. A policeman is standing reading 
               The English-Russian Dictionary.

               We push on upstairs and along the landing to the spare room.

               An officer dumps a pile of porno magazines and videos on the 
               bed. He then spots the belts tied to the bedstead and points 
               them out to a detective. They exchange a knowing grin. A 
               photographer steps up and snaps the paraphernalia in a 
               blinding flash.

               The birthday cake is there, half eaten. A Policewoman puts 
               it in a baggy.

               We pan across the bed, across the magazines and underwear in 
               plastic bags, down below the bed, where we find the photograph 
               of Nadia with the binoculars.

               The young girl smiles hopefully out at us from the past.

               Early dawn. A woodpigeon coos. John wakes up next to the 
               dead fire. Nadia is gone.

               EXT. FOREST SLOPE / STREAM - DAY

               John slides down a rocky slope. He scans the forest, but 
               there's no-one around. He hurries through high bracken then 
               stops suddenly by a large oak.

               EXT. STREAM - DAY

               In a pool in a stream below, Nadia is washing herself. She 
               has her back to us.

               John watches her for a moment, before his eyes avert, and 
               his head bows.

               EXT. FIELD - DAY

               A shimmering sun. A giant combine harvester cuts a wide swathe 
               through a field of high corn. As it passes we find John and 
               Nadia coming towards us through the heat haze.

               They aren't speaking and both look tired. As they pass we 
               crane up out of the corn to catch an enormous 757 Jumbo Jet 
               just above us, coming into land. We pan round to see, half a 
               mile away, the massive airport beyond.

               They walk towards it, two tiny figures.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               Aeroflot 1311. Boarding Gate 12.

               INT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

               An attendant pushes a train of trolleys past. Businessmen 
               talk into mobile phones.

                                     NADIA
                         I've got an hour. Can I buy you a 
                         coffee?

                                     JOHN
                         No. I think I better just go.

                                     NADIA
                         Okay. Thank you.

                                     JOHN
                         Whatever.

               Nadia hesitates. There's just a touch of regret in this 
               goodbye.

                                     NADIA
                         John. These are for you.

               She hands him the binoculars case.

                                     JOHN
                         Yeah. No thanks.

                                     NADIA
                         Please. Why not?

                                     JOHN
                         Because it was a lie.

               She smiles.

                                     NADIA
                         No it wasn't.

               John shrugs. He takes them.

                                     NADIA
                         Goodbye.

               John nods and turns. Nadia watches him walk away.

               INT. / EXT. AIRPORT EXIT - NIGHT

               On the other side of the airport, John stands in front of 
               the exit to the taxi ranks. He's got nowhere to go. Passengers 
               swirl around him.

               He looks at the binocular in his hands. He removes the 
               binoculars and looks at them. Suddenly he stops. In the case 
               is a folded note marked John. John holds it in his hands -- 
               Slowly, deliberately, he screws it up, and drops it in the 
               case like a bin.

               P.O.V. OF JOHN

               Through the binoculars. Passengers criss-cross, but we find 
               Nadia sitting alone, waiting for her call.

               John lowers the binoculars and gazes across the airport. He 
               raises them for one last look.

               Nadia, glimpsed through the crowd. We spy someone standing 
               about twenty feet behind her. It is Alexei.

               We watch Alexei approach her. She looks up and is completely 
               thrown.

               Yuri stands about ten feet away, in shades.

               John lowers the binoculars, horrified. He looks again.

               Nadia pulls her arm away. Alexei crouches down in front of 
               her and puts a hand on her knee, coaxing her.

               Alexei takes her by the arm and leads her away.

               EXT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

               John hurries out of the exit to catch the trio leaving a 
               different exit fifty yards away, where they get into a taxi.

               EXT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

               John runs across a car park and over a low fence.

               EXT. SLIP ROAD TO AIRPORT - NIGHT

               He chases down a slip road, as the taxi rounds the corner 
               behind us. He takes cover behind a van as they drive past, 
               and away.

               EXT. GRASS VERGE - NIGHT

               John runs across a grass verge and another car park. He sees 
               the taxi rounding the corner and head down the road in front 
               of him.

               John runs as fast as he can up this road, but the taxi is 
               getting away. Eventually he gives up, and he drives away.

               EXT. ROUNDABOUT - NIGHT

               At the roundabout it turns round and starts coming back up 
               the road. John hides behind a car, and watches the taxi pull 
               up outside a small hotel about fifty yards away. He watches 
               the trio head into the hotel.

               EXT. HOTEL PERIMETER - NIGHT

               John skirts around the edge of the hotel. He peers in through 
               one of the windows. It's the foyer. He heads around the back.

               EXT. BACK OF HOTEL - NIGHT

               At the back of the hotel he looks through another couple of 
               windows. Suddenly he drops like he's been shot, and sits on 
               the grass.

               Warily he looks again.

               EXT. / INT. THE VIEW THROUGH THE WINDOW

               Alexei stands smoking in the middle of the room. Nadia is 
               sitting in a chair crying.

               Alexei kneels again and appeals to her. Nadia is resisting 
               and yells back, but something Alexei says seems to melt her 
               resolve.

               He holds her face, and kisses it. She turns her face. He 
               tries again, and this time she accepts the kiss. Slowly she 
               kisses him back.

               EXT. OUTSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               John stares through the window at the scene.

               INT. INSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               In the room, Yuri pops his head round the door and says 
               something to Alexei.

               Alexei says he's coming. He kisses Nadia again and leaves.

               Nadia is alone. She looks very sad and confused. She moves 
               towards the window and stares out into the blackness.

               EXT. OUTSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               John's face at the window. Almost cheek to cheek with Nadia.

               INT. INSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               Inside the room, looking out. It is pitch black.

               EXT. OUTSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               John watches Nadia walk over to the dresser and search the 
               drawers. She goes over to the bed and looks under the pillow. 
               There she finds what she is looking for. Alexei's hunting 
               knife.

               She hears Alexei coming and stands hard against the window. 
               the huge knife behind her back.

               EXT. OUTSIDE ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               John outside. He is four inches from the knife.

                                     JOHN
                         Oh Jesus.

               John ducks down, panting, swallowing hard. At once he springs 
               up and skirts the building again. He finds a window to the 
               next suite.

               He tries to force it open. Suddenly Yuri's face appears in 
               the window, cupped by his hands peering out into the 
               blackness. John drops down holds his breath.

               John scrambles back to the previous window. With real effort 
               he presses it open. He pulls himself up and drops inside.

               INT. ALEXEI'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Nadia still stands by the window, one hand behind her back. 
               Alexei sits on the bed. The scene is subtitled.

                                     ALEXEI
                         I love you. I don't need to tell you 
                         that.

               Nadia looks at the floor.

                                     ALEXEI
                         I wouldn't leave my child would I? 
                         You know that. I was confused. That's 
                         all.

               INT. ALEXEI'S BATHROOM / HALLWAY - NIGHT

               John opens the bathroom door a crack. He is at the opposite 
               end of a corridor from the bedroom. He can hear Alexei's 
               voice.

               Breathing hard, he tiptoes out and stands in the corridor, 
               his back pressed hard against the wall. He takes one step 
               down the hall. The floor creaks loudly.

               INT. ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

                                     ALEXEI
                         It wasn't easy for me. You know what 
                         I'm like. I needed to know what I 
                         wanted. Now I know. It's simple. I'm 
                         happy.

               INT. ALEXEI'S SUITE HALLWAY - NIGHT

               John takes another step down the hallway. There, by the door 
               are the two guitar cases full of money. Next to them is 
               Nadia's bag. Crouching, John opens the bag and searches 
               inside. He finds what he is looking for; the Silver Cigarette 
               Lighter-Pistol.

               We hear the Russian lovers' voices next door. John is 
               absolutely terrified, breathing hard and shaking, holding 
               the little gun.

               INT. ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

                                     ALEXEI
                         You still love me? Eh? Of course you 
                         do. Come here. Yuri won't be here 
                         for a while. Come on babe.

               He takes his shirt off -- Nadia glances up -- With horror, 
               she sees John in the doorway.

               Alexei turns to see John stand by the door, holding a little 
               silver gun.

                                     NADIA
                         What are you doing here?

               John and Nadia look at each other.

                                     ALEXEI
                         What the fuck is he doing here?

               He looks at the little gun.

                                     ALEXEI
                         That's that cigarette lighter I gave 
                         you isn't it?

               Alexei stands. John takes a step back. Alexei walks calmly 
               towards John and throws a punch. It catches John right on 
               the chin and he hits the wall and goes down very fast.

                                     NADIA
                         Stop.

               Alexei turns round to see Nadia holding the knife. He is 
               dumbstruck.

                                     ALEXEI
                         What? What are you doing?

                                     NADIA
                              (to John)
                         What are you doing here?

               Alexei kicks John in the ribs.

                                     NADIA
                              (in Russian)
                         Stop it!

               He looks at Nadia, the girl he came back for, angrily pointing 
               the knife at him. He suddenly looks completely punctured. 
               John has struggled up again and stands behind him. They are 
               both looking at Nadia.

                                     ALEXEI
                         What. You're what? You're with this 
                         creep now.

                                     NADIA
                         Leave him!

                                     ALEXEI
                         You have. You've actually fallen for 
                         this prick.

                                     NADIA
                         No I haven't.

               Alexei looks dumbstruck. He laughs emptily

                                     ALEXEI
                         Babe it's me. I won't let you get 
                         away.

               Nadia stares back at him. The seconds pass. She speaks in a 
               whisper.

                                     NADIA
                         I'll kill you if you try.

               In the impasse, John picks up a lamp and hurls it at Alexei's 
               head. It is going to hit him, but reaches the length of its 
               cord and stops six inches short. In the confusion. Alexei 
               grabs Nadia's wrist and forces her to the ground. He grabs 
               the knife, just as John brains him with one of the guitars. 
               It emits a fruity final chord.

               INT. HOTEL CORRIDOR / ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               Whistling, Yuri comes out of his suite, knocks briskly on 
               the door of Alexei's and enters. We walk with him down the 
               hallway into the bedroom to find Alexei, heartbroken, tied 
               and bound to a desk chair.

               Yuri murmurs something in Russian.

                                     SUBTITLE
                         Fuck a duck.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. ALEXEI'S SUITE - NIGHT

               Nadia stands at the window and stares at her reflection, or 
               past it into the blackness.

                                     NADIA
                         Get their passports.

               John finishes tying up Yuri, and removes his passport from 
               his jacket. Behind Nadia another plane arcs up into the night 
               sky.

               He takes Alexei's passport from his pocket, but Alexei is 
               only watching Nadia.

                                     ALEXEI
                         Don't do this.

               She carefully places tape across his mouth.

               Almost as if having second thoughts she bends down to kiss 
               his cheek. The 'kiss' suddenly makes Alexei's eyes widen in 
               pain. As she stands her lips are bloody. She's bitten him on 
               the cheek. A single streak of blood runs from the gash.

                                     NADIA
                              (to John)
                         Get your money.

               John collects the cases and they head for the door. Nadia 
               stops to look back at Alexei. A final look.

               EXT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

               The front of the terminal. Taxis pull up and idle at a rank, 
               bringing travelers to their flights. The automatic doors 
               slide back and forth.

               INT. AIRPORT CHECKING IN DESK - NIGHT

                                     ANNOUNCEMENT (V.O.)
                         Last Call for Aeroflot flight 1311 
                         to Moscow. Proceed immediately to 
                         Gate 12.

               John carries the guitar cases full of money. Nadia just has 
               her small camouflaged hold all. They walk quickly together 
               in silence and come to a stop at the departure lounge gate 
               12.

                                     JOHN
                         Are you okay?

               She nods.

                                     JOHN
                         Okay. Goodbye.

                                     NADIA
                         Goodbye.

               They shake.

                                     JOHN
                         What will you do now?

               Nadia shrugs.

                                     NADIA
                         Something else.

                                     JOHN
                         Okay. Promise?

               She looks at him.

                                     NADIA
                         Promise.

               They stand around. She takes the last cigarette from a pack.

                                     JOHN
                         You can probably buy them on the 
                         flight.

                                     NADIA
                         I'm quitting. This will be my last 
                         one. So. Goodbye.

                                     JOHN
                         Goodbye.

                                     NADIA
                         You didn't deserve me John Buckingham.

                                     JOHN
                         Whatever.

                                     NADIA
                         I'm sorry.

                                     JOHN
                         Please.

               Pause.

                                     NADIA
                         You prefer your women...

               She seems about to say something more when the tannoy 
               interrupts.

                                     ANNOUNCEMENT (V.O.)
                         Gate closing for Flight 1311 to 
                         Moscow. Please have your tickets 
                         ready.

               She leans forward and kisses him. As they kiss, John puts a 
               guitar case in her hand. Nadia looks down at the case.

                                     NADIA
                         It's not mine.

                                     JOHN
                         It's not mine either.

                                     NADIA
                         It's what you came back for.

               John frowns and looks a little embarrassed.

               She speaks to him in Russian and we see the subtitles.

                                     NADIA
                              (in Russian)
                         You're a big surprise, you know.

               Pause.

                                     JOHN
                         Yeah, you see when I said I didn't 
                         speak Russian I wasn't actually just 
                         making it up.

               She leans forwards and whispers in his ear. John looks at 
               her. He looks to the four corners of the airport. And back 
               at her.

                                     JOHN
                         Why?

                                     NADIA
                         I'm not asking you to marry me.

                                     JOHN
                         No. What? No. I know.

                                     NADIA
                         It's more like a date.

                                     JOHN
                         It's a long way to go for a date.

                                     NADIA
                         Tell me about it.

               Pause. She speaks softly in Russian. We see the subtitle:

                                     NADIA
                         All that matters is to try...

               John frowns.

                                     NADIA
                              (in Russian)
                         We can only try. Say it.

               John repeats the phrase in Russian.

                                     JOHN
                         What does it mean?

                                     NADIA
                         Maybe you will find out.

               Pause. Nadia kneels and opens the guitar case. She stealthily 
               removes about five hundred.

                                     NADIA
                         Hurry. I'll wait for you here.

                                     JOHN
                         Right.

               INT. TICKET SALES - NIGHT

               John runs across the airport to the ticket desk. He joins a 
               queue of about three people. He works his way to the front.

                                     JOHN
                         Is the flight full?

                                     OFFICIAL
                         I'm sorry Sir. I believe the flight 
                         is closed.

                                     JOHN
                         Please check. Is it full? Please 
                         could you check.

                                                                   BACK TO:

               INT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

               Nadia stands alone holding her unlit cigarette, thinking. 
               She looks at the two guitar cases at her feet. She looks 
               across at John, anxiously drumming on the ticket sales 
               counter. What is she thinking?

               INT. TICKET SALES - NIGHT

               CLOSE SHOT on the photo of Yuri in his passport.

               The Aeroflot desk official holds the passport and studies at 
               John. With his four day beard there is a resemblance, but 
               it's far from perfect.

                                     OFFICIAL
                         You have excellent English.

                                     JOHN
                         Thanks.

                                     OFFICIAL
                         How do you want to pay?

                                     JOHN
                         Cash.

               John collects his ticket, turns and heads back to where he 
               left Nadia with the guitar cases. He suddenly stops.

               She's gone.

               He looks all around. People swirl about. She's nowhere to be 
               seen.

               John hangs his head. He turns, and walks away.

               INT. AIRPORT CAFE - NIGHT

               John sits at a cafe table, and watches the people come and 
               go. He looks strangely calm, resigned.

               CLOSE UP: John's fingers uncrumple the note from the 
               binoculars case. He smooths it on the table, then opens it.

               Inside is written a short phrase in Russian:

               Kam Kapsi Schta.

               John looks at the note. He folds it closed and surveys the 
               airport for an exit.

               Through the crowd, fifty feet away, getting a light off two 
               policeman; it's her.

               Nadia blows out smoke, and speaks to the policeman. John 
               watches her. He smiles.

               Suddenly she turns and points straight at John. The Policeman 
               look straight at him. As they head towards him, Nadia picks 
               up the cases and walks away.

               John sits frozen as the Police approach.

                                     POLICE 1
                         Excuse me Sir...

               He takes John by the arm. John stands.

                                     POLICE 2
                         Okay. Come with us now.

                                     POLICE 1
                         He doesn't speak English. He's 
                         epileptic or something.

                                     POLICE 2
                         Can he walk? Can you walk?

               The Policeman help John to the front of the gate, where he 
               is shown to the front of the queue. The Policeman explains 
               to the airline staff.

               We see that Nadia is one behind in the queue. The Police 
               turn and walk away.

               INT. AIRPORT BOARDING GATE - FLIGHT 1311 TO MOSCOW - DAY

               John pushes his passport and ticket under the perspex window. 
               He glances at Nadia, then looks at the young airport official, 
               the blood beating in his ears.

               For a few interminable seconds the official's eyes burn into 
               John. John turns to Nadia and holds her gaze.

                                     JOHN
                         Kam. Kapsi. Schta.

               The subtitle appears: You've saved me.

               Nadia looks down at the floor. She smiles.

               CLOSE SHOT: The passport is snapped shut and pushed back 
               through.

               INT. AIRPORT BOARDING CORRIDOR - DAY

               John walks without looking back. He turns to see Nadia is 
               behind him. As they round the corner, she hands him a case.

               They walk side by side without speaking.

               Both look forward, straight-faced, as it both are thinking 
               about what it is that they are actually doing. John looks 
               back once, but he keeps walking. He looks across at Nadia, 
               but she doesn't look back.

               They stop opposite the automatic boarding doors. Nadia turns 
               to John.

                                     NADIA
                         My name's Sophia.

                                     JOHN
                         Sophia. Hello Sophia. Mine's still 
                         John.

                                     SOPHIA
                         Hello John.

               The doors slide open. John and Sophia walk through, and 
               disappear.

               SFX. The roar of Jet engines.

               EXT. AIRPORT RUNWAY - NIGHT

               With a deafening roar, an Aeroflot Boeing 757 lifts slowly 
               from the runway and climbs up into the night sky, where it 
               becomes a distant star.

               EXT. FIELD - DAY

               A distant aeroplane in a cobalt blue sky, through binoculars.

               The young girl from the very first scene lowers the binoculars 
               and lets them hang around her neck. She squints up at the 
               sun.

               A voice calls her.

                                     WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Nadia!

               The girl looks round.

                                     WOMAN'S VOICE
                         Nadia!

               She runs past us and we follow to see a couple sitting on 
               the grass having a picnic.

               The girl hurries towards them and we realise the couple are 
               John and Sophia, the girl her child. She sits down with them.

                                         THE END