An aging executive with personal problems galore gets assigned a new post in an unstable African nation, and quickly finds himself on the wrong side of a hostage negotiation.
Script Type: Feature
Genre: Drama / Action/Adventure
Length: 120 pages
Est. Budget: $1M - $5M
CHARLES 'CHARLIE' STUART, a fifty-year old businessman who has been kidnapped and held hostage for many months, is dragged from an interrogation room after a bungled rescue attempt and forced to plead for his life to camera.
We rewind to Charlie and his company rival, RODGERS, being congratulated by their firm for negotiating a tricky but lucrative deal in Africa. Both are being sent to kidnap and hostage training before it's decided who will travel to Africa to head up the deal.
Back home in Edinburgh, Charlie's wife, KATE, is admiring a bouquet of flowers from her lover, JEREMY, when Charlie returns home. He informs her that their son, PAUL, and his black girlfriend, SUMA, have summoned them to London to tell them some 'news'.
Charlie and Kate host Paul and Suma at their London flat. Before they arrive, Charlie almost discovers Kate on the phone to her lover. After an awkward welcoming, Charlie asks Suma if they are okay, hinting at a secret history between them.
The tensions that course through Charlie and Kate's marriage are evident throughout what's supposed to be a pleasant lunch, not helped by Kate's evident disdain for Suma. Kate's worst fears are confirmed when it is announced Suma is pregnant.
Through forced jollity, Paul discovers Charlie's news about his possible Africa posting. Charlie shows off his new car and expensive wines and Paul deduces his father has taken kickbacks. The tension between father and son is mirrored between Kate and Suma when Suma calls Kate out for racism.
To overcome their tension, Paul tells Charlie of his surprise at Suma's pregnancy as they were mostly 'careful'. He also reveals that their relationship is rocky and the pregnancy has come at a time when they could just as easily split.
The next day Charlie attends his kidnap and hostage training, where he experiences more tension with his rival, Rodgers, but bonds with a fellow executive on the course. They end up going to a strip club, where, whilst watching a black stripper, it is revealed that Charlie slept with Suma, his son's girlfriend, on New Year's Eve.
Back home, Charlie, aware he needs to improve his fitness, asks Kate to ask her golf instructor - Jeremy - to play him at tennis. Kate discusses this request with Jeremy whilst they're in bed, and Jeremy is delighted.
Back at work in their London office, Charlie uses the gym and is teased by Rodgers. Rodgers follows Charlie to the Underground Station and continues to bait him, threatening to reveal that Charlie has been receiving kickbacks to their bosses. Charlie pushes Rodgers under an approaching train, killing him.
Charlie is quizzed by police but is released, leaving him free to take the Africa job. But before he departs for Africa Paul and Suma marry. Charlie plays tennis with Jeremy, telling him to drop Kate by the time he returns from Africa. Charlie uses some techniques from his kidnap and hostage training to persuade Jeremy that he's serious about his threat. On the eve of Charlie's departure Kate announces that she wants a divorce.
On the plane to the 'Democratic Republic', Charlie falls into conversation with a man introducing himself as THE KING. Charlie lets slip his reasons for being in Africa and The King issues a veiled threat.
Charlie's car is carjacked by The King and his men and Charlie is taken hostage, interrogated and held for ransom. After some months, Charlie attempts escape but is re-captured and beaten. Charlie escapes again, this time killing The King. But his escape is compromised by the botched rescue raid and Charlie is recaptured by The King's more cruel successor.
Charlie is forced to face the camera, apologise for his 'crimes' and to plead for his life. Back in the UK, this film is screened on all the news channels and is seen by Paul and Suma and Kate and Jeremy.
Charlie is threatened with losing an ear or a finger: his choice.
Charlie arrives back in the UK where, at the airport, a posse of reporters ask him questions. He's led to a limousine where Kate awaits. A tearful Kate tells Charlie that there has been an accident and Paul has died whilst driving Charlie's new car. Suma is alive but lost the baby. Charlie reveals to Kate his lost ear and several fingers.
Charlie also reveals to Kate that the child Suma was carrying was his, not Paul's. Charlie leaves the car and, at a bus stop, is approached by three youths who try to rob him. Not having any money on him Charlie is stabbed out of frustration.
Charlie survives the stabbing and visits Suma in her hospital ward, where he discovers she has lost a leg in the car crash. He shows her his disfigurements and tells her they are survivors and that he wants them to be together, to take care of each other, and that his relationship with Kate is over.
Charlie is introduced as guest speaker at a conference on kidnap and hostage training, with a pregnant Suma sitting in the front row.
About This Screenplay* May 2021: Bridge Fest Annual Awards - Winner: Best Feature Script
* November 2020: Beyond the Curve International Film Festival - Finalist
* November 2020: 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival - Finalist
* November 2020: Filmstrip International Film Festival - Official Selection
* September 2020: The Flight Deck Film Festival - Finalist
* August 2020: Madras Independent Film Festival - Winner: Best Feature Script
* June 2020: Fade In Drama Awards - Semi-finalist
* June 2020: Miami Screenplay Awards - Semi-finalist
* June 2020: Vegas Movie Awards - Winner: Best Feature Script - Award of Excellence
* May 2020: Vesuvius Film Festival - Official Selection
* May 2020: Austin Screenplay Awards - Semi-finalist
* May 2020: Los Angeles Film Awards - Winner: Best Feature Screenplay
* March 2020: ScreenplayCoveage.com - RECOMMEND
* February 2020: Extreme Screenwriting coverage - RECOMMEND
* February 2020: Chicago Screenplay Awards - Semi-finalist