My name is Yashaswi Katailiha. I’m an aspiring filmmaker who is trying to write this screenplay for a very dark comedy short film/skit for a while but has been stuck in writer’s block. Luckily, I had written the entire story of the beforehand, even though I’m struggling to get into the nitty-gritty details of the shorts, like dialogues and the complete sequence of the film.
So I’m posting the whole premise, the theme or message of the film, and the character names and personality, here for you to read and give me your thoughts.
I should warn you that not only is this very edgy, it also contains themes of violence, rape, sexual assault, casteism, xenophobia, ableism, queerphobia and so on, so please proceed with caution.
Thank you and have a nice day.
A satirical dark comedy short film/skit about police brutality
A labourer named Jitendra Pandey is being held in custody, being tortured by two police officers Mohit (the one torturing him) and Jagdish (the one who at first seems to be watching and monitoring the torture) for an alleged robbery in a relatively posh neighbourhood, that of the police commisioner Srinavan Hodo’s house.
They suspect that he was there on 2 accounts:
He was seen 2 hours later near the crime scene area (the colony)
After the police arrived, he was there, asking questions to the neighbours about the happenings
Jitendra rebuffs the former 2 accusations on the fact that he works in other houses in that area, including the house near the commissioner (he even dares them to ask the other homeowners for confirmation), and that if they go by their logic, everyone who was “asking questions” would also be a criminal too.
Despite the claims that he is innocent (and we know that he is most certainly innocent), but the cops torturing him, beating him and doing all kinds of human rights violation are simply doing it both for the kicks and to get a confession out of him, regardless of him being innocent or not, knowing full well that as long as he is alive and poor, they won’t face any consequence.
Jagdish, who is handling the torture, interrogates him for his name, because he feels based on some arbitrary features about him like his looks, face structure, he is probably a lower caste person masquerading as a general caste to avoid persecution from the public, making him untrustworthy in his books.
After pressing him over his name, he confesses that his real name is Jitendra Kannojia. He says that he changed this surname to avoid harassment, making it clear that it’s because he has a Dalit name, and he feared for facing caste discrimination.
Of course, he was proven right, as he continued to get harassed by the two policemen, making casteist stereotypes about the lower castes, boasting about how they “knew” he was a Dalit masquerading as a general caste person to avoid persecution from the public, making him untrustworthy in their books.
However, after dealing with the ordeal too much, he points out the fact that they arrested him without warrant, by which Jagdish is taken aback by, and screams about how what they’re doing is wrong and unethical.
Jagdish scoffs at his face, seemingly asking him, why does he think that.
“Because you are supposed to be professionals,” he said.
Jagdish is taken aback by his statement…. before laughing on his face hysterically about this with Mohit.
He brings on his other friends (Rajat: the oldest in their group, Mahi: the woman in their group whose masculine traits are a source of mockery and Mahinder: the dimwit) about this, where they all mock him about their alleged “lack of professionalism,” seemingly because either they don’t care for it, or them brutalizing, suppressing and working against the welfare of the working class is a part of their “professional” duties.
Jagdish then mocks him further when he angrily asks them all “where’s your professionalism,” holding his crotch and telling him that it’s “right here”.
As they continue to laugh at his misfortune, Jagdish goes on about how he would force him to do sexual things for him (rape, sexual assault etc.) solely as a way to install power over him (as is the case with most rape cases).
However, as his descriptions of the heinous acts become more detailed and graphic, the willing participants of the act suddenly become more uncomfortable by him and look at him in strange, mortified ways.
But here’s the twist: they’re not horrified because he openly brags about raping him (in a way) or the other creepy and vile stuff he says, but because it all makes him look… gay.
This leads to a hilarious argument between all of them as Jagdish tries very hard to preserve his ‘masculinity’, insisting that his alleged threat to rape to this poor fellow in custody was merely a “power play”, something that he really doesn’t argue well, leading to even more hilarious questions and even more absurd answers, until Jagdish is left emasculated. They also argue that while it’s OK that Jagdish is queer because their captain is queer too, they think he’s in denial and projecting his weird fantasies onto him, and continue to criticize him trying to sleep with the man in order to get a confession, something that Jagdish denies because it’s not even his intent (it should also be noted that Jagdish is 100% straight and cisgender).
Out of the blue, their Captain barges in and demands an explanation as to what kind of ruckus is going on. Mahinder quickly goes on to explain (albeit poorly due to several misunderstandings) that Jagdish wants to have sex with the guy in custody and wants to be dominated by him, the complete opposite of what Jagdish was trying to say (and he denies it so hard).
Captain calls to talk to Jagdish privately, and demands an explanation. He lies to the Captain that this guy is in custody, and they’re trying to make him talk, so he was simply talking about how they should be more harsh with him, make him really confess, and find some creative ways in the process.
So he may have accidentally mentioned how we need to be “careful” as “we don’t want people to questions as to why he’s walking funny.” or “think as to why him style of walking is so different.”
This leads to everyone accusing him of being queer, which he isn’t.
The captain then asks him the following:
“Are you going to do something “funny” with him/“change his style of walking” with your lathee?”
“Are you going to do something “funny” with him/“change his style of walking” with… your own lathee?”
“What other lathee are you talking about, sir?”
“Sigh Don’t make me spell it out for you.”
“The one between your legs, dummy.”
“What?! No, sir.”
Captain then asks him due to his strong insistence and rejection of even the slightest possibility of him being queer right after insinuated some very sexual stuff to the man in custody, that perhaps maybe he is indeed gay or just a regular homophobe. He tells him that nobody here, including the Captain himself, will see no problem with him being gay, so if he wants to come out of the closet, he’s most welcome to.
Jagdish is still insisting on being straight, to which the Captain replies “You sure?”
“Yes, sir, absolutely,” he says, confidently.
Jagdish then weirdly tries to convince the Captain that not only is he not a homophobe, he’s in fact an “ally”, despite the fact that he kept on attacking the Jitendra’s own masculinity, insulting him, joking about “making him his bitch”, how he’s this ‘Alpha’ making the ‘Beta’ look like weaker and “dominating him like he’s a school girl” (which is definitely not ‘creepy’) and other vile stuff simply because he had power over him.
He tells the Captain that how he “respects other people’s choices as long as they don’t affect his,” which he backtracks from immediately when he realizes how bad it sounds, especially when said to a gay man.
As he continues to embarrass himself, Captain stops him, telling him that he doesn’t care whether he is queer or the man in custody, and that it’s none of his business, so as long as he gets that confession, by whatever means necessary.
He then tells him to let others handle it and let Jagdish enact his weird fetish in anywhere but his work to not draw controversy. Jagdish is not happy with this decision, but reluctantly agree and goes to sulk somewhere off-screen.
Back in the custody, the other folks ponder whether Jagdish is queer man or not, and then question as to perhaps the man in custody is queer, and that Jagdish is fulfilling his wishes or not.
They surely convince themselves that they have no problem with Jagdish being a closeted gay, but through their dialogues, we know that they do but can’t just seem to admit to themselves because they’re boss is queer so they have to ‘act nice’ towards others queer people, like not harassing or beating up other queer people in their custody or otherwise (public affection, that kinda stuff), even though it’s also made clear that the Captain largely allows, encourage or maintains the same abuse of power over other queer people, like that one trans woman whom they forcefully strip-searched to see whether “she’s an actual woman or pretending to be one” (she’s possibly one of the many to whom this has happened).
They then go on to harp about how “progressive they are” coz they have women in their fields and a couple of mostly empty pink-booths here and there, regardless of how sexist they all are and act, especially the woman character Mahi.
They also convince themselves that they aren’t casteist because “some of their higher-ups in the Delhi police force belong to SC/ST castes too”, despite the fact that they also routinely harass other SC/STs too, and that they feel that “reservation is bad coz these lazy lower castes steals all the opportunities from the lower castes” and that “if we get rid of reservation, they won’t have to worry about casteism anymore” (coz that’s totally how casteism works, bro). In other words, the same anti-reservation hysteria hiding it’s true casteist form.
Also they say some casteist things themselves.
But then say some blatantly xenophobic stuff about Muslims, even going so far to dehumanize them, one even suggesting that all Islamists are secretly communists (despite the fact that more extremely radical Islamists are far-right, and they hate “the Left”. They even go so far as to kill them) There’s even a joke about one of them saying some truly false stuff about them, and when the other guys ask for evidence of it, he confesses that he got it from Reddit.
As they continue to argue, they get frustrated that Jitendra has not confessed anything, where Mahi then admits to them that Srinavan probably made false accusations of robbery against him, as to save face when he was trying to make a move towards Jitendra, who rebuked it.
However: They quickly realize that Jitendra was listening all along to their rather extremely revealing argument (which, surprise-surprise, he wasn’t supposed to), and they all freeze once the realization dawns upon them.
As they look at him, and each others, they whisper to themselves about what to do now that they know their modus-operandi.
One guy, the dimwit who continues to ask silly questions, ask the woman officer near him “You think he’ll sue us for potential hate-speech?”
She takes out her lathee and says, “Well… you can’t speak about anything when you don’t have a mouth, do you?”
It’s clear as to what they are going to do, and so does the man.
He pleads and bargains ever so briefly, before they all lung at him.
The scene freezes with “Roundabout” by Yes playing (or some other version of it due to copyright, which we’ll need if we’re going to use the original song).
And we’ll see some factoids about the state of authority and abuse by the police force, credits play, and the short ends.
And we get to know through this text that this short takes place merely days after 377 was decriminalized, conveying that systems of oppression will never be reformed by simply having marginalized communities have higher positions in them, where they merely just enact the same violence towards said community.
What is the point of this short?
The short, through dark humour and pointed satire, is meant to show how the police as an institution, is meant to suppress and oppress your average working class, and no amount of putting marginalized people in higher positions is going to fix an already oppressive force who’s doing this by design.
It will also be a commentary about misogyny, rape culture, casteism, the vested interests of the corporations and the state who benefit from it, even going so far as to maintain and enact further oppression of other marginalized communities and some brief mention of the red scare hysteria going on here.
I know it gives off the impression that there is too much going on, but I can assure you, that my goal with this film is to deal with all these issues maturely, poignantly and as concisely as possible, giving them their due diligence.
Jagdish: Young guy, massive prick, misogynist, creepy, epitome of fragile masculinity, self-conscious but somehow very lacking certain amount of self-awareness, obviously queer phobic, a bit immature
Rajat: The older guy in the group, a prick but slightly less, has his own old-fashioned views about certain issues but tends to be rather coy about it, that is until he gets into peer-pressure and loosen up to their bigotry, seems to hate paperwork the most amounts everyone else, acts just about as abusive to lower class people
Mohit: Is the guy who’s the one primarily beating the worker while Jagdish watches, is a tad bit more sadistic when it comes to beating and asserting power over other like Jagdish, but maybe just not as misogynistic as Jagdish, though just as bigoted towards minorities like him and even more borderline creepy
Mahi: The woman in the group, presents herself in a rather masculine manner like the boys, her being a woman in the force does literally nothing for the force as she is just as awful as the rest of the group, has sexist views regarding other women, queer phobic (because she is cis and straight)
Mahinder: The youngest there, dimwitted, kinda awful like them too with the only difference with him not being the sharpest tool in the shed, is also very bigoted and sexist but only lacks the filter to hide it, gets easily confused when Jagdish tries to explain himself (even more than others)
Srinavan Hodo: Openly gay captain of the police precinct in Delhi where they all work, stoic and almost emotionless, very serious type of person, but he also likes to ‘have fun’ with his subordinates and take the piss out of them when he feels like it, thinks rather less of Jagdish because of his immaturity, doesn’t really care much about other marginalized communities (including his own) unless it hurts the functionality of the precinct or their image, going so far as to enact the violence on them that every police establishment does on them.
Jitendra Pandey (real name Jitendra Kannojia): The man in custody, a poor labourer implicated in a robbery of an affluent family, desperate in pleading for mercy and trying his best to convince them of his innocence (which we might be), he’s a Dalit hiding his identity (his surname) in order to not face persecution in terms of casteism, but then becomes one of the reasons why the cops think he is guilty (because he’s a Dalit)