A Furtive Response by Anthony Cawood | Script Revolution

A Furtive Response

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A grieiving couple seperated by the loss of a child live a distant existence until a unifying secret is accidentally revealed.

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A Furtive Response
A grieving couple separated by the loss of a child live a distant existence until a unifying secret is accidentally revealed.

If there ever was a time for empathy, that time is now. There's no shortage of compassion for those we see who are forced to endure in this climate of sickness and death. Yet each of us responds to a life tragedy in our own unique way.

In talented screenwriter Anthony Cawood's emotional story, A Furtive Response, Faye and Martin have lost a child: their 8 year-old daughter. They're barely functioning and coping day to day.

In the living room of Faye and Martin's suburban house, a bleak scenario plays out.

On the mantelpiece there is a jumble of picture frames, different sizes, same subject in each picture. A small girl, about 8, smile beaming out of each one. The frames look recently dusted and polished.

Faye moves to the mantelpiece picks up one of the pictures and stares at the girl for a few seconds. Reluctantly she puts the picture down and picks up the TV and Sky remotes.

The TV flickers into life as Faye drops onto the sofa like a cut string puppet. An inane soap starts on the TV.

Time passes and the daylight starts to become dusk, Faye remains motionless seemingly oblivious to the approaching dark. A rattle of keys in the lock, door opens and then swings quietly shut.

Footsteps in the hall. A tall imposing figure appears in the doorway.

Martin wears the look of a funeral director, skin ashen, face emotionless.

After exchanging strained pleasantries, Martin immediately descends into the basement. Moments later sounds from cupboards and drawers opening emanate upwards.

From the sofa, Faye increases the TV volume. But clearly she's not paying attention to what's playing on TV.

Martin carefully arranges tools and paint supplies on his basement work table. He removes a tray out of a cupboard, which holds a "large and bulky" item hidden beneath a cloth.

Conscious of Faye moving about overhead, Martin quickly returns the curious item to its hiding place in the cupboard. Faye soon appears at the bottom of the stairs with Martin's cup of tea.

FAYE
Cuppa.

Faye puts the mug down on the table.

FAYE
How's it coming?

MARTIN
Oh you know, it's fiddly.

FAYE
Many more nights?

MARTIN
I don't know...

FAYE
It's the anniversary coming up soon, we need to decide...

MARTIN
No, not now...

FAYE
(exasperated)
So when then?

MARTIN
Soon - honestly.

FAYE
Yeah, yeah, you always say that!

Faye retreats back up the stairs. A distressed Martin retrieves the hidden item from the cupboard and resumes his work.

So, how much does a despondent and impatient Faye know about Martin's activity downstairs?

And, what exactly is Martin hiding from Faye in that basement cupboard?

When everything is not what it appears to be, A Furtive Response provides a clear answer. Strong characters and limited interior locations are especially enticing -- An astute filmmaker need only provide the empathy.

Review by KP Mackie
Submitted: August 1, 2016
Last Updated: March 17, 2017

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Anthony Cawood's picture

The Writer: Anthony Cawood

Award-winning screenwriter with one feature produced and a further four features optioned or in pre-production. In addition to features, over forty short scripts produced/sold/optioned - including ten filmed. Also occasionally pens screenwriting articles, interviews with writers and filmmakers, and even a short story or two. You can find out more at www.anthonycawood.co.uk Go to bio

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