Cry Me a River
Strachan, a shady ex-sports star in hiding is stalked by a mysterious woman he cannot identify who resembles his dead wife, Veronique. Convinced this is beyond coincidence he investigates her, forcing himself to re-live the events that led to Veronique’s brutal murder and confront the demons that drove him underground in this darkly compelling noir about the impossibility of escaping who you are.
DIRECTOR: Richard Parry
PRODUCERS: William Dingli, Rik Hall, Trond Eliassen
SALES AGENT: Moviehouse Entertainment
WRITER: William Dingli
GENRE: Psycho Thriller
RUN TIME: 90 Minutes
SUGGESTED CASTING: Sam Hazeldine
Strachan (40’s) flees London with $10m in cash after the murder of his trophy wife (Veronique, 35). He ends up in a sleepy coastal outpost, hiding from a violent associate, Karim , who is still at large.
He lives a solitary and vulnerable existence not only fearful of discovery but haunted by memories of Veronique and his role in her death. He punctuates his days with long walks on the desolate cliffs where he smokes dope in an abandoned chapel. At night he watches old DVD’s of his Premier League soccer team , Leyton FC, the cash cow he now runs in name only.
One evening Strachan encounters a local girl (Page) who bears a striking resemblance to Veronique. Strachan phones Fleet in a panic and despite his former partner’s reassurances, Strachan will not divulge his whereabouts, even to his closest ally. Late that night Page visits him , the first of many visits. Refusing to reveal her identity and her connection to his dead wife, she both verbally and physically assaults Strachan, convincing him she is either after his money or else some twisted, demented revenge – or both. His only recourse is to discover who she is and her connection to his past. So now he must join the dots of his fragmented memory and re-live the brutal events surrounding the death of Veronique that saw him flee the city for the cliffs in the first place.
Cry Me a River is a psychological Euro thriller with a double-twist set in two locations – the city and the coast. Exploring fragmented memory amid themes of obsession, guilt and identity, the film noir is in the same vein as Memento or The Machinist and asks if it’s possible to ever escape who we are and what we’ve done.
Page makes no blackmail demands and instead forces Strachan to drink to remember the places he does not want to go. His disjointed memory flashes reveal snatches of a truth he wishes to deny. Veronique’s death is the culmination of a chain of events that began with the discovery of a fraud conspiracy at Leyton FC and ends with Strachan traumatized after a bungled pay-off. But Page holds a mirror up to Strachan’s relationship with his wife, revealing it to be more complex. It is a contract where she has the control and he can’t handle it.
Desperate to end Page’s mental torture, Strachan persuades ex-copper Grant to confront Fleet about Page back in the city. But unknown to Strachan, Grant is killed when he discovers Fleet is in league with Karim . As Strachan’s past unravels, Page becomes his driving obsession until, in a moment of madness while fearing for his life, he leads Fleet to his hideout. As Karim prepares to finish the job, Page’s identity is revealed along with the truth about Veronique’s death. But will this be enough to save Strachan?
Major Character Biogs
Jack Strachan (40’s), flees the city after the murder murder of his young wife (Veronique). He lives a solitary, lonely existence under an assumed name, indulging in soft drugs and visiting the local haunts, not only fearful of discovery but plagued by memories of Veronique and his role in her death. Strachan was once a big-shot sports tycoon but the suit and tie never fitted comfortably. A former footballer and capped by internationally a couple of times, he never reached the heights many believed his talent deserved. However, the glamorous Veronique urges him to buy into his former club, Leyton, when the opportunity arises after he retires and Strachan, seeking to realize his (disappointed) ambitions in the game this way, takes up the offer. But deep-down Strachan longs to cash in and up sticks to a winery in Australia – something Veronique is dead against. Guilty of putting her on a pedestal, he becomes blind to the growing corruption within the club, a fact that proves his undoing when Veronique is first kidnapped and later murdered after a bungled ransom, forcing Strachan to flee to his hideout in Norway…
Suggested casting: Sam Hazeldine
Ruthlessly ambitious, Veronique grows up in the northern suburbs of Paris, a banlieu, where she has to fight for everything. She moves to London in her early twenties and soon gets caught up in the soft porn industry where she meets Saul Karim, a wealthy football owner with contacts in the criminal underworld. Initially employed as a cheerleader for Karim’s team, Leyton, the two become lovers. Yet Karim treats her badly and she finds herself more attracted to rising star and recently retired footballer, Jack Strachan. She leaves Karim for Jack.
Finding herself well-suited to the cut-throat world of modern football, Veronique persuades a reluctant Strachan to borrow £10m from Karim to buy a share of Leyton, promising to pay the money back once the club builds its planned new stadium and promotion to the Premier League is assured. But she fatally overlooks the fact that Karim is still wounded by her decision to leave him for Strachan and he uses the debt to wield power and control over the two of them. Eventually Veronique is faced with a tough choice: cash in and go to Australia with Jack or realize her ambitions by staying and fighting Karim for ultimate control of the club. She chooses the latter…
Suggested casting: tbc