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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Smile

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - NIGHT


  4. Nostalgic music. PETER is in bed.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Yesterday night, Uncle Ray played a nostalgic song with a familiar tune. I didn't catch the name of the song but only the name of the singer, Jannette MacDonald.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I then checked that she shot to stardom in the 1930s. Perhaps, I'll ask him to play the song again for me when memory is still fresh.


  8. Grabbing his phone, Peter makes a call and hears the busy tone.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'll dial again later.


  10. We hear a soft-rock intro and then the DJ's introduction.


  11. DJ (O.S.): ...Stephen Bishop's It Might Be You.


  12. Peter enjoys the song. As the song is about to end, we hear the DJ's remark.


  13. DJ (Cont'd) (O.S.): That's a perfect song.


  14. PETER (V.O.): He's quite right. The song has high emotive appeal. I couldn't compose, sing and play one as nice as it yet.


  15. Peter dials again and hears the busy tone again.


  16. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Okay, I've tried but couldn't get through, and the 11 o'clock news is coming up.


  17. Act 2


  18. Peter rolls over to one side of the bed.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Before I start composing songs, I just enjoy the music, lyrics and the arrangements. Now, I'd discern the structure of them and how I'd treat the song if I were the composer, author, performer and producer.


  20. Peter doesn't make any move.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My eyes are tired. I just hope that I won't have a nightmare during the night or soon after my waking up.


  22. Peter is about to fall asleep.


  23. Peter's WIFE enters the dark room with background music playing.


  24. WIFE: Hi! You can't go to Japan to meet our elder daughter! Japan has just imposed a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from China, including Hong Kong and Macau!


  25. PETER: Erh...


  26. WIFE: Have you slept?


  27. No response from Peter as his wife exits.


  28. PETER (V.O.): I'm awake now. I can't go to Japan. Our daughter has just booked a ticket to meet me in Kumamoto. So disappointing!


  29. Pausing.


  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I've to cancel my confirmed flights and hotel accommodation.


  31. Radio 11-o'clock news ends. We hear easy-listening music.


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, Uncle Ray is broadcasting Montovani's Theme from Limelight again! Could it because he remembers and likes Charlie Chaplin's works again because of my call a fortnight ago?


  33. Music ends.


  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I like the musical twists and turns. I can imagine how Charlie Chaplin uses the tune to express his emotive feelings when summing up his career in his film Limelight.


  35. A few other nostalgic songs before the radio broadcasts midnight news. We hear:...Japan imposes a 14-day quarantine for people arriving from Hong Kong...


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ok, I've heard it. I meant to spend only three free days in Japan...


  37. After the news, we hear the DJ introducing another song.


  38. DJ (O.S.): Here's another number composed by Charlie Chaplin.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Great!


  40. We hear another soft rock song.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've never heard this Charlie Chaplin song before. The genre is so different...and it doesn't invoke any aesthetic or emotive appeal...strange...


  42. Act 3


  43. Before the song ends, the DJ intervenes.


  44. DJ (Cont'd) (O.S.): Oh! I've made a mistake! The song isn't composed by Charlie Chaplin.


  45. Peter looks relieved as the song ends.


  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I knew it!


  47. DJ (Cont'd) (O.S.): Here's Charlie Chaplin's Smile sung by Diana Ross...


  48. We hear the sweet string intro.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, Uncle Ray has found the song. Thank you!


  50. We hear Diana Ross singing: Smile, though your heart is aching, smile even though it's breaking...You'll find that life is still worthwhile if you just smile.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And I didn't know Diana Ross had also covered it. Her interpretation of the song was different.


  52. Smiling.


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I really find life is still worthwhile if I just smile.


  54. Peter sleeps like a child.


  55. FADE OUT.


  56. THE END.



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