Nail’s Dirt - A Feature Film Concept

Nail’s Dirt - A Feature Film Concept

The little sliver of dirt that hides under the nails, is so addictive. It engages your attention like dirt nowhere else. When you see that thin black line comfortably lodged in between the communion of your skin and nails, there is a compulsive desire to grab the nearest pointed object and slowly ease it out, careful not to pierce the sensitive sheltered skin underneath. You may not be able to clean your country’s rivers, your city’s dumps or your bedsheets that are dotted with bread and cookie crumbs that stick to your ass when you sleep - the effort seeming disproportionate to the expected gratification; But it is so simple to dislodge that black wedge and feel an immediate relief. The exercise offers a release so satisfying, it makes you forget those putrid dumps, those squalid rivers, empty cities and your ass.

And isn’t that everywhere? A doodle in a student’s notebook in a philosophy class is nail’s dirt. A level-up in a game is nail’s dirt. Happy endings are nail’s dirt. Martyr’s Syndrome is nail’s dirt. And that is what I want to create. It is not a story of struggle; It is about people who can easily change their circumstances, but do not, simply because they’ve forgotten how to, or think them unsurmountable, and find purpose in overcoming minor inconveniences. It should be frustrating for a viewer to watch, because, from a third person’s perspective, it is meant to be like two dots, very close to each other, not being joined by a line. And then there are people whose hands are clean, so they purposely dirty them, for the pleasure of cleaning them again. The characters in the story manifest this concept in its different forms.

There is a character who travels two hours everyday, and cribs about being tired and not finding time to pursue his music. He just watches tv and goes to sleep. Finally, his friends find him an apartment close to work. He stays there for some days and then moves back. Another character is of a woman who is always immaculate in all aspects of her life, a star performer at work. On receiving the best employee award for the tenth time, she decides to purposely slack, as if biding her time. After some days, when she goes back to work, her boss rebukes her. She comes out of the office, smiling and starts again.

The motif runs throughout the story. The characters both have nail related obsessions. The would-be musician likes to keep his nails closely cropped and at one point his finger bleeds. The woman likes to garden bare handed and has an elaborate post-gardening hand cleaning ritual. There is a reference to a government that creates a catastrophe, for the sake of distraction from the real problems. A minor character who is a gamer who keeps on playing the same game with increased difficulty.

The narrative ends with the characters end up circling back to the same places they started from. It is meant to explore the subtleties of the characters, rather than forcing them through a storyline packed with events.

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