THE WATCHER


A FILM

by

DANIEL REGION


Everybody falls in love with image. I'm tired of that. I want meaning. I want to look in somebody's eyes and see life.

~ Donovan Baker


FADE IN:

EXT. NEW YORK CITY AT SUNRISE

A clear SUMMER morning. The stainless top of the Chrysler Building glows pink. Dissolve to a series of shots of the city waking ending on a high rise apartment building.


INT. HIGH RISE APARTMENT KITCHEN

It is an upper floor, 35th to the 40th floor...A coffee maker with a timer. The clock changes from 7:03 to 7:04 and the coffee begins brewing.


INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM

A man stands in the shower, water pounding on his face. He turns the shower off, and throws open the curtain and grabs a towel. He is DONOVAN BAKER. He is 41, trim and roughly handsome, not pretty.


INT. BATHROOM - BAKER'S FACE IN MIRROR

His face is lathered. The razor scrapes across his throat to his chin. He sloshes the razor in the sink and checks his watch.


INT. KITCHEN - ON CUP

Coffee is poured into the cup.


INT. KITCHEN - ON TOASTER

An English muffin pops up in the toaster. Preserves are spread on the muffin.


INT. KITCHEN

Baker sits at kitchen counter eating the muffin and reading the paper. He pops the last bite in his mouth and puts the plate in the sink. He grabs the paper and his coffee and leaves.


INT. APARTMENT - BAKER'S DESK AREA

Baker sits at his desk. The desk is situated in front of a window covered with blinds. The blinds are closed. He checks his daily calendar, makes notes then checks his watch. He reaches over the desk and opens the blinds half way revealing another high rise building. The building is situated directly across the Avenue and is bathed in morning light. He leans back in his chair, sips his coffee, looks at his watch and waits. His waiting gaze scans the building. He studies the activities of the building's inhabitants. A woman is trying to choose the correct business attire for the day. She is in the throes of indecision. A man lifts weights in one apartment, in another, a man in his middle 60's, a corporate CEO wearing an expensive suit, stands at the window, a cordless phone to his ear. He is engaged in a heated conversation. A woman waters the plants occupying her balcony. A couple ride side by side on matching exercise bicycles. Baker takes all this in. His gaze now moves deliberately to one specific corner apartment two floors below his. It is sparsely furnished. There is a queen sized iron frame bed in the middle of the room. The bedspread, now crumpled, is of a bright floral print. Beautiful silk scarves hang everywhere, on the bed frame, over lamps. Oriental patterned rugs are scattered on the floor. There is a dresser in front of the window. Perhaps a couple of potted palms. Baker again checks his watch. The anticipation fills his gaze as it returns to the apartment. Satisfaction, a WOMAN appears. She wears only panties. She walks to the dresser, stops and stares off down the avenue. She stretches and yawns. After a moment she opens the dresser, removes a loose fitting pull over top and slips it on. She turns and leaves the room. Baker sips the last of his coffee.


FADE TO BLACK:


INT. LANDMARK TAVERN - EVENING

Donovan and Carl Rainey are seated at a corner of the bar in this 11th Avenue establishment. Rainey is a Detective and a very old friend of Donovan's. He is 5'9", stocky and about 58. He is an immovable sort who could most likely pull your arms off, if he so chose. He possesses a pleasant manner with which he disarms people. He loves his work and is good at it. He and Donovan worked together sixteen years ago, before Rainy became a cop. They wear coats and loosened ties. They are drinking beer and eating from a large plate of chicken wings.

RAINEY
Every morning?

DONOVAN
Yeah. Every morning at 7:40.

RAINEY
You're shittin', she just stands there?

DONOVAN
Yeah.

RAINEY
She know you watch?

DONOVAN
No.

RAINEY
She good looking?

DONOVAN
She's okay.

RAINEY
You mean she's a dog.

DONOVAN
No...No, look, she's a nice looking woman,
she's just not a model or anything.

RAINEY
You're shittin' me, right?

DONOVAN
What?

RAINEY
Mr. "I got a drop dead gorgeous blonde
on my arm or I'm not seen in public," has got
the hots for some average looking woman
he watches through his Levalors.
What's happening here, Baker?

DONOVAN
I don't know.

RAINEY
I don't know? You need to get laid. How long's it been?

DONOVAN
A while.

RAINEY
A while? What's that mean?


DONOVAN
It means a while. It's not about getting
laid, Rainey. That's the point.

RAINEY
What point?

DONOVAN
I'm changing. My priorities are changing.

RAINEY
This some kind of mid-life crisis, Baker?

DONOVAN
No, Rainey, it's not a fucking mid-life crisis.

RAINEY
Un huh.

DONOVAN
Look, I've always liked being with beautiful
women. But I think it's because that's what
I thought I was supposed to do.

RAINEY
You've always liked fucking their beautiful bodies.

DONOVAN
True, but, it's really about what we think
we're supposed to do. Doin' what's hip
and hip is bullshit.

RAINEY
"Hip is bullshit". Was that Aristotle, Jung or Dennis Hopper?

DONOVAN
I'm serious, Rainey. Being hip was supposed to
be about being free. But it's like being in a fucking
straight jacket. I realize I've always made decisions
on who to be with by what was on the outside
not the inside, because it was the hip thing to do.

RAINEY
You telling me you don't like that pink wet inside?

DONOVAN
Rainey...

RAINEY
Yeah?

DONOVAN
You're disgusting. And I'm trying to be serious.

RAINEY
Couldn't resist. Go on.

DONOVAN
I never really knew any of those women. All those
women, all those years...it seems like one long stream
of meaningless fucking. I mean that was great, in
one sense, but...in another sense, it all feels
pretty stupid, disgusting.

RAINEY
That's why women think men are assholes.

DONOVAN
We are. Everybody falls in love with image.
I'm tired of that. I want meaning. I want
to look in somebody's eyes and see life.

RAINEY
You looked in this girl's eyes yet?

DONOVAN
No.

RAINEY
So what's different about this girl?

DONOVAN
It's about a lack of vanity, I think. She doesn't
seem to be aware of the fact that somebody
might be watching. I don't think it's important to her.

RAINEY
Her body?

DONOVAN
Vanity.

RAINEY
You mean she just doesn't think she's attractive.

DONOVAN
I think she's beautiful.

RAINEY
You're hooked. What's vanity got to do with it?

DONOVAN
There's no attitude. Everybody's got attitude now,
everybody's always on, like they think they're going
to be on TV, always got one eye on the mirror.
Not her. There's something innocent, something
honest and trusting about her. That's refreshing and I like it.

RAINEY
But you don't even know her.

DONOVAN
I feel like I do.

RAINEY
What is it twenty years I know you, and I
never knew you were a voyeur.

DONOVAN
I'm not.

RAINEY
You like watchin' this girl. That's kinda kinky.

DONOVAN
I feel bad about watching her.

RAINEY
But you still do it.

DONOVAN
True. I just like looking at her. I'm attracted to her.
I can't not look at her. I'm happy when I see
her. Maybe I am in love with her.

RAINEY
It's illusion, Donovan. If you met her she'd never live
up to your fantasy, your expectations.

DONOVAN
I don't think so, Rainey. Sounds crazy,
but I don't think so.

RAINEY
Time will tell.

DONOVAN
Yeah.

RAINEY
Can't hurt to watch.

DONOVAN
Nope.

RAINEY
So, when you gonna invite me over for breakfast?

DONOVAN
When hell freezes over.

INT. BAKER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The apartment is dark. It is later that night, 10:30. The door opens. Donovan enters removes his coat and tie and gets a beer. He goes to his desk and turns on his computer and waits for it to come up to speed. He opens the blinds and surveys the building. Many apartments are dark, many flicker with blue TV light. Lastly his gaze falls on the GIRL'S apartment. She is on the balcony in a red silk robe. She is not alone. A MAN in loose slacks and a shirt also occupies the balcony. The shirt has been pulled from his pants and unbuttoned, it blows in the evening breeze, as does her loosely tied robe. She has one hand around his neck, the other rubs his belly. She kisses his chest. He pulls her face to his and kisses her passionately. She takes him by the hand and leads him inside to the bed. He stops her, they talk and she nods her head, then goes to the dresser. She opens a drawer, removes something and returns handing him the contents, silk scarves. He kisses her then turns her around and blindfolds her. He unties her robe, slides it off her shoulders and lets it fall to the floor.

INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON DONOVAN

He opens a desk drawer and removes a pair of binoculars.


INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON GIRL'S APT. THROUGH BINOCULARS

The MAN helps her into bed. She stretches out on her back. He ties her wrists and ankles to the bed with the silk scarves. He looks at her a moment, then whispers something in her ear and leaves the room.


INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON DONOVAN

He takes the binoculars away from his eyes. He watches, curious as to the MAN'S departure. He waits, nothing. Where did he go?

INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON GIRL'S BUILDING

His attention wanders to other windows. A light comes on in an apartment three floors above the girl's. A man in his middle sixties wearing his silk robe, passes through the living room and goes down the hall toward the door. He is the CEO we saw engaged in a heated phone conversation this morning. A moment later he backs into the room, his hands raised in the air. He is followed by a man with a gun. The gun is pointed at his head. The man in the robe talks to the man with the gun as if he knows him. He pleads with him. The man with the gun motions the man in the robe toward the window. As they near the window Donovan realizes the man with the gun is the MAN from the girl's apartment. He looks back to her apartment. She is still tied to the bed. He looks back to the other apartment. The man in the robe is kneeling on the floor near the window, the gun pointed at the back of his head. The MAN with the gun says something then fires the gun twice. Donovan sees two flashes of light, blood splatters the window. The MAN in the robe slumps out of sight. The MAN with the gun looks out the window. He looks in Donovan's direction. Donovan freezes as he meets the man's stare. The MAN scans the building, turns and leaves. Donovan turns his attention to the girl's apartment. She is still tied to the bed. After a moment the MAN enters, nude, drying his hair with a towel. He climbs into bed and begins kissing her body. He turns to untie one of her ankles, as he does he looks directly at Donovan. Donovan closes the blinds.


FADE TO BLACK:

In black the sound of the coffee maker brewing.


FADE IN:

INT. BAKER'S APARTMENT - DESK AREA

Donovan sits at his desk sipping coffee. It is the next morning and he wears the same clothes as last night. He opens the blinds half way and focuses on the girl's apartment. The MAN is on the balcony buttoning his shirt. The GIRL steps onto the balcony wearing the red silk robe. She carries a cup of coffee. She hands the coffee to the MAN, he refuses it and they continue an argument apparently begun inside. He storms into the apartment, grabs his jacket and leaves. Donovan looks down at the building entrance at street level. The MAN exits the building, hails a cab and is gone. As the cab pulls away two squad cars and two unmarked cars pull up in front of the building. Donovan's gaze moves to the apartment where last night's murder took place. Moments later the police burst into the apartment. They move to the window and stare down at the body. Donovan looks back to the GIRL'S apartment. She leans on the dresser weeping.


FADE TO BLACK:


FADE IN:


EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - DAY

Donovan is seated at a table. From this table he can see the entrance of the GIRL'S apartment building. He drinks an iced cappucino and reads a tabloid newspaper. The headline reads, "CEO EXECUTED". He puts down the paper and goes to a pay phone.


Note: All material contained on this web site is ©Copyright Daniel Region 2003 and may not be used or reprinted in any form without the express permission of Mr. Region.

This site a creation of Blue Mesa Productions


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