Let’s use our own strange true stories

2011-11-17 00:00

I THINK I am going to give up journalism and become a scriptwriter and agent for Hollywood movies. South Africa is ripe for exploitation and, personally, I’m a little tired of all those B-rated Hollywood plots. We have some of the strangest stories in the world and, yes, they are all true.

I was always told way back in my days as a student that journalists don’t have to make up stories because truth is always stranger than fiction.

I believe elements of a current court case in the Durban High Court would make a riveting drama.

My pitch to David Lynch (famous Hollywood director) would go something like this. It’s a fictitious story about a brother and sister who get caught up in the clutches of a madman who manipulates them to kill their wealthy parents because it is “the will of God”. But he is diabolically clever and makes sure that none of the evidence points to him. Two local police heroes slowly uncover the clues and discover the chilling truth (play suspense music).

Of course, in a movie of this calibre you have to have a cast of heavy­weight names. I would insist on some of the best in Tinseltown to play the part of these characters. I consulted with my colleagues over lunch in the canteen and my suggestion of Shahrukh Khan as the manipulative madman was met with laughter and agreement.

Although he is usually a Bollywood pretty boy, this could be his big break into Hollywood. He has played the part of a psycho in the past. I really think the casting of the brother and sister killers are crucial to the movie’s success. We felt the sister should be fragile and blonde, perhaps a Michelle Williams lookalike. The brother would also have to be good-looking but also mentally frail. We decided that Ryan Gosling or Keiran Culkin would fit the bill.

I thought that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (ex Miss World) would be a good person to cast as a lawyer defending the siblings in the court drama. Her big eyes could flash with horror and sympathy. Of course, no good Hollywood drama would be complete without a good cop element and the obligatory car chase.

In South Africa we would have to have a politically correct combination of black cop/white cop and Denzel Washington could be a good candidate if he could master a semi-plausible Zulu accent. Ditto goes for Willem Dafoe who really has a great look for a detective. I think we really should think big here — I mean big budget. No modest little Tsotsi film.

Someone suggested that we should get an actor from the United States to play a cool part in the courtroom drama, but I am, of course, a patriot and we have had so many foreigners over here to play Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. So I say let’s get John Kani to play the judge. Local is lekker!

Then we need an evangelist to exorcise the demons from the siblings. I was in favour of Anthony Hopkins but I capitulated in favour of Liam Neeson who does have that divine accent, or possibly Jeremy Irons — he has a penchant for religious roles.

I am still working on a twist in the tale — in South Africa nobody actually goes to jail. They all get a suspended sentence or they bribe the cops and escape. It is possible in our movie version that the sister will seduce one of the cops and run away to Botswana and open a biltong bar.

I leave the rest to your imagination. Remember, you first saw it here.

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