FADE IN on MARIA (late 20s), asleep in bed. She’s
breathtakingly beautiful. Morning light fills the room. The
sound of wind, and rippling cloth.
Maria stirs, and opens her eyes. She stretches contentedly.
Then she frowns. Rolls over. She’s alone in the bed?
No, she’s not:
PETER (20s) sits on the edge, his back to her.
Two fresh, steaming mugs of coffee sit on a tray near him.
Hey. Are you okay?
Peter doesn’t turn. He slowly stands and walks forward
towards an OPEN WINDOW.
There’s something strange about the way he moves -- stiffly,
almost jerkily, straining his joints and muscles.
Maria gets out of bed, concerned.
Peter? What’s the matter?
He pauses at the window. Turns his head to look back at her.
His eyes are vacant. His face is a blank.
Then Peter slowly leans forward. And falls from the window.
Maria stands in shock as the sound of SCREECHING TIRES from
outside reaches her ears. Then SCREAMS OF TERROR from below.
Aghast, she finally manages to numbly walk forward, towards
the window. We MOVE PAST her and TILT DOWN TO REVEAL ---
PETER’S BODY lies in the middle of the street. His head
has burst open, his body broken and twisted.
ON THE PAVEMENT:
a line of blood appears, moving down the
center of the screen. As if hitting grooves we cannot see ---
the blood slowly forms the shape of two KANJI CHARACTERS.
A translation appears over them: “The Grudge.”
2 EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY 2
A blur of movement as hundreds of people stream up from a
subway tunnel. Most are Japanese. We’re not in Kansas.
Revisions (Blue) -- 1/26/04 2.
Standing in the middle of the rush-hour pedestrian traffic is
KAREN (20s, American). She faces upstream, looking for
someone. The flow threatens to carry her away in a
heartbeat. She looks fragile, intimidated by the madness.
She turns to see her boyfriend DOUG (20s, American)
approaching. With a reassuring smile he takes her hand -
-- and together, they force their way through the throng,
trying to escape the flow. They’re jostled and crushed by
the crowd, and Doug protectively pulls Karen closer.
I’ll never get used to this.
Maybe we should find a different
He abruptly stops, right in the middle of traffic, still
holding Karen’s hand. She turns, wondering what’s going on.
She sees the smile on his lips a moment before -
-- he sweeps Karen into his arms and kisses her. As if the
crowd of businessmen surging around them isn’t there at all.
It’s tender and loving, and she responds... at first. But
then she pulls away, shy.
A public display of affection is
considered rude in Japan.
There’s an opening ahead into a SIDE STREET. Doug and Karen
deftly slip out of the traffic -
2a OMITTED 2a
2b EXT. TOKYO STREET - DAY 2b
-- and walk hand-in-hand down the much quieter street, away
from the crowded thoroughfare.
Doug smiles as they pass by two JAPANESE HIGH SCHOOL COUPLES,
making out on the street corner. He turns to give Karen a
sarcastic look -
Revisions (Blue) -- 1/26/04 2A.
-- but she didn’t notice the school kids. She’s looking in
the other direction, at a trickle of SMOKE wafting up over a
Doug follows as she walks toward an OLD TEMPLE, nestled
beneath a skyscraper. A collision of the ancient and modern.
The fence surrounds a GRAVEYARD adjacent to the temple.
We walk past this temple every day,
Yeah, but I’ve never seen this
A JAPANESE MAN stands before an ornate headstone, lighting a
bundle of incense and bowing before the grave.