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“A free man, a happy
BY DIR NAME
Some things in life don’t come easy but when they do, the pleasure that they provide is invaluable, immeasurable and absolutely unparalleled.
Sometimes under peer pressure, sometimes under duress and sometimes in the ecstasy of the youth, we take some decisions that we may later
regret because decisions have consequences. One misstep in life can cause a lot of harm. Unfortunately, your decisions don’t just affect you but also
those around you, those who love you and those you love with all your heart. Some of your bad decisions may impact their lives as much as your
own and smoking is one of them. A habit you perhaps picked up as a youth, now haunts you, shackles you and dictates your life against your own
will.You are worried about those around you but the puppeteer that has found shelter inside of your own body won’t let you do what you want
to do despite your greatest effort.
You open your eyes and all that you see is an impenetrable wall – a wall of smoke. No hope in sight.
It feels much like the end.And all you want is a hand; a helping hand.A hand that can pull you out of this
Where is that friendly hand?
Just when life seems to hit a wall, you ﬁnd a great friend in Nicotex.When all doors seem to close on you,
when all the attempts fail and when the light begins to dim, Nicotex comes as a beacon of hope.
This idea forms the crux of our ﬁlm –
NICOTEX IS THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL.
The light that gives meaning and purpose to life, the light that brings back happiness and brightness in
relationships that had become strained because of one habit that just could not be kicked.
With this ﬁlm, we would make Nicotex a brand that becomes associated with hope and happiness. Nicotex would stop being a mere brand name
and become a part of the vocabulary that denotes hope, smile and happiness.
Our ﬁlms while simple in their telling are rich with evocativeness and emotional gravity. Both the ﬁlms beautifully capture the struggle and inner
turmoil of the main characters who really seem to have reached the cul-de-sac, in the ﬁrst ﬁlm through visualization and in the second, through the
husband’s narration.There is a distinct journey and character arc through the ﬁlm as we see our men progress from an apparent point of no return
to hope and ﬁnally victory against all odds.With the help of Nicotex, they have fought every odd for the sake of their health and their family’s well-
being and found a new life again. This arc is the axle that drives this ﬁlm forward and lends meaning, depth and a visceral quality to these
wonderfully simple ﬁlms.
We open the ﬁlm in the economy class of an airplane. A father and a son have settled in their seats.The son who is sitting at the window is helped into the conﬁnes
of the seatbelt by the father. Just then a man comes and sits in the aisle seat.The father is clearly a bit uncomfortable sandwiched between the son and the stranger.
His displeasure and irritability seem to be an intrinsic part of his life. He notices that he gets neither handrest to place his hand on because they are both occupied.
Just as he is about to express his annoyance to the stranger, the stranger pulls out a Nicotex pack and pops a gum into his mouth.The father notices the pack and
becomes cynical. In order to show his cynicism, his tone would be rather sharp and caustic.The father says,“This…Nicotex…does this really work?”
The stranger who realizes he is being spoken to, turns to the father and says,“This? Sirf gum se cigarette kaise choot sakti hai?Yahi sooch rahe ho na?”The father who
was feeling peevish suddenly mellows down recognizing the fact that the man seems to understand exactly what he feels.The father shrugs his shoulders and nods
suggesting that is exactly what he was thinking.
The man seems to know the father’s feelings because he has perhaps been in the same position. Rather than sound like a know-it-all, he remains humble, gives the
father the beneﬁt of the doubt and says simply what he knows by experience,“Well, meri toh do mahino se band hai...”
The father now begins to open up. He throws his head back, exhales air and says with great despondency,“Mujhse chhoot hi nahi rahi…” He looks
at his son who is busy playing a game on the iPad with headphones around his ears. The father whispers, “…dar lagta hai kahin yeh na seekh
He looks straight ahead and momentarily becomes quiet but he is dying to say more, something is bothering him.The stranger is still looking at him
because he knows that the conversation hasn’t yet ended. Then the father gives in, “Kal ki hi baat hai…issne mooh mein pencil aise…daldi.” He
gesticulates with his ﬁngers the action of smoking and shakes his head.
The stranger feels sorry for the father and says, “Samajh sakta hun.” Then he offers the pack of Nicotex to the father and says, “Try it... Meri
Cigarette choot gayi hai, aapki bhi choot jayegi…” Saying that, he pulls out an imaginary cigarette from his mouth, extinguishes it and tosses it away.
They both laugh.
The voice over exudes, “Nicotex Nicotine Gum. Ek scientiﬁc aur proven tareeka…joh cigarette peene ki ichcha ko kare kam…yaani cigarette
chhodne mein mile madad…12 hafton mein…”
We end the ﬁlm with the pack shot – Nicotex. It works!The super reads,“No.1 Doctor Recommended Brand in India.”
We cut to the product window. We
see our father character popping a
Nicotex gum into his mouth. We cut
to a clock made up of cigarettes
instead of numbers. As the Nicotex
pack representing the clock hand
rotates on its axis in the centre of the
clock, the cigarettes begin to
disappear signifying the effect of
Nicotex on the body. Complete with
the sound of a ticking clock, through
t h i s p r o d u c t w i n d o w w e
communicate that Nicotex controls
body cravings and in time, completely
Cast & Character
This ﬁlm is about real problems and ﬁnding real solutions.
It is meant to resonate with people who are facing the
turmoil and tribulations that our characters are facing and
it is only natural that for that to happen, we need our
characters to be like real people. They need to evoke
empathy, sympathy and a sense of identiﬁcation to
increase the overall credibility of the ﬁlm and its message.
When the audiences watch the ﬁlm, they should see a
reﬂection of themselves or their loved ones in these
characters and empathize with them. Only when they
feel the pain our characters feel, will they stay with the
characters till the end and feel convinced about the
solution presented on the screen. The journey of the
characters on the screen would also become the journey
of the audiences. Our audiences may not have
experienced the success yet but they have found hope
that there is after all a solution to their pressing problem
The father is really the protagonist who undergoes the
journey and the arc that is so crucial to the success of
this ﬁlm – from sheer hopelessness and consequential
perennial displeasure and peevishness to a sudden
infusion of hope and light. He may not have tasted the
success of Nicotex yet but coming from a man who
knows his exact feelings, his sense of hope is like a
second coming. Our actor’s expressions, emotions, his
body language and his nuanced understanding of human
behaviour will make this ﬁlm come alive and become a
ray of light for many out there struggling to kick the
terrible habit of smoking.
The two men; the father and the stranger are quite close
in age, economic and educational background and social
standing; perhaps they are both mid-level businessmen
or working at a mid level jobs in private ﬁrms. This
proximity is important so that we can separate the two
solely by the Nicotex factor and nothing else.
The stranger is pretty much the future version of the
father character. He has been through the same traumas
as the father and tried every method until he hit the
perfect formula. He so easily understands the father’s
character because he was exactly like him just a few
weeks back. But now suddenly with hope restored, he is
a peaceful, conﬁdent man whose life has fallen back on
track. He is neither craving for his cigarettes anymore nor
constantly worried about his and his family’s health. He
feels much younger and energetic now as opposed to a
few weeks back. All of this positivity reﬂects in his eyes
We can distinguish between the two men not just by
their attitude and behaviour but also by physicality. While
they are both much the same age, we can show that the
stranger is more youthful, energetic, nimble and cheerful
compared to the father who is haggardly, enervated,
fatigued and grumpy. One is more contained and erect
and the other droopy and sprawling; their health and
inner peace clearly reﬂect in their appearance.
The 8-10 year old boy who is busy playing a game is just
like any other little boy; unaware, oblivious to the
problems around him and happy in his little secure
world. It is this innocence of his that makes the ﬁlm even
more poignant and profound. When you realize that a
little kid who is yet to experience life, its many majesties
and beauties, is already exposed to dangers not from
outside or from strangers but from his very own people
within the house he considers his world, you feel shaken.
He may not have a big role to play in the ﬁlm but his
very presence paints a disturbing reality. A reality we
conveniently ignore on a day to day basis but when a
ﬁlm like this reminds us of the harm we are doing to our
own loved ones it leaves a deep impact.While the father
is a doting father which we establish through their
closeness, comfort and general chemistry, it is evident
that he lives with an overwhelming sense of fear that he
will turn his son into himself, someone he has come to
THE HAPPY STRANGER WHOSE LIFE IS BACK ONTRACKTHANKSTO NICOTEX
THETORMENTED FATHER WHO SEEMSTO HAVE HIT A WALL
THE CUTE, INNOCENT AND
OBLIVIOUS LITTLE BOY WHO IS
H A P P I LY U N AWA R E O F T H E
DANGERS AROUND HIM
Look & Feel
This ﬁlm is about a journey, journey from utter
despondency and helplessness to hope and cheerfulness.
It is interesting that a ﬁlm about a journey actually takes
place in an airplane.The plane hence becomes a symbol
for a forward moving journey from dark to light and low
to high. Since this ﬁlm is a psychological journey of a man,
it is important that we paint the ﬁlm in the light of our
character’s emotions such that the space around these
characters become a canvas, a manifestation of their
psychological state. Considering that the plane is an
analogy for a spiritual movement from turmoil to inner
peace, we would divide the look of the ﬁlm into two
segments; before Nicotex and after.
Before Nicotex, the world is dark, depressing and high
contrast to evoke the dramatic nature of a troubled
mind. After Nicotex the world is beautiful, bright and
overwhelmed with light. To justify this transition, we can
move from night to day.
When the journey begins, it is still early hours and the
space outside the plane is engulfed in sheer darkness.
Inside there are overhead night lights that cast a dim light
on the characters. The light and shadow create drama
and dynamism to suggest that there is more than meets
the eye, that there is something lurking in the darkness.
We can also create a difference in lighting between the
father and the stranger by having a reading light on, atop
the stranger that would constantly illuminate him while
the father would be dimly lit to suggest that the stranger
has already acquired enlightenment while the father is
still unaware.The intervention of Nicotex coincides with
the dawn of the day.The sun may not have risen yet but
the light has broken in the horizon and the sky is glowing
crimson red.The mauve tinge rains down on the world
and bathes everyone, especially our father in its ethereal
quality. As the ﬁrst rays of the sun fall on him, his worries
seem to dissipate. Nicotex has ushered in a new day,
brought forth a new light of hope and this imagery we
quite literally see in our ﬁlm’s space.
THE DIM NIGHT
T H E
POST NICOTEX – THE BEAUTIFUL
BRIGHT DAY THAT ERADICATES EVEN
THE REMNANTS OF SADNESS
We open the ﬁlm with a couple in their 30s having a fun time in the kitchen.The husband, in an apron, is rolling
dough to make roti while the wife in the backdrop is busy making a nice curry. Perhaps they are cooking for some
guests who are to come over, apparent from the nicely done up house. The husband ﬁnishes rolling his dough,
picks up the roti to put it on the pan already on the stove when he realizes that there is a big hole right in the
middle of it. The wife behind sniggers as she sees his failed attempt. With a cute look of naughtiness, he looks
through the hole in the roti and says, “Sochne mein aur karne mein phark hota hai…Hai na?” He turns the roti
into a ball again, setting out on his second attempt. As he starts rolling again, he looks into the camera and says,
“Hum sochte hain jab chahenge… cigarette chhod denge…chhootti hai…” We see that the roti he is rolling is
coming out in a strange shape. “Maine bhi socha… Bahut baar try kiya…Par har baar 7 / 8
din ke liye chhod pata…Phir ofﬁce ka stress…phir chaloo…” (One suggestion here is to infuse sounds of a busy
ofﬁce and a stressful environment when our husband talks about the stress of the ofﬁce.)
We cut to the wife behind busy tasting and cooking. She lifts a spoonful of curry and moves towards the husband to get his opinion on the taste.
As he slurps from the spoon and with a thumbs up suggests it’s good, he continues,“Priya aur mere roz arguments hote the…woh samaj hi nahi
paati thi…And to be fair…woh samjhegi bhi kaise…She’s not a smoker…” (Once again, like earlier, we can infuse an echo from the past of the
ﬁghts between the husband and the wife merely through sounds.)
Finally his roti is done and miraculously, it turned out to be round and free of holes in it. He tosses it on the pan and continues,
“Phir Nicotex try kiya…pata hai... kaaﬁ din hogaye cigarette peeye…achcha lagta hai…”
Suddenly the wife comes close to him, dabs some ﬂour on his nose, laughs and says,“Aur kaaﬁ din hogaye humme lade…” She tears a piece out
of the bloated roti made by her husband and feeds it to him.Yummmm – his immodest expressions seem to be saying!They both laugh.
Cast & Character
Our ﬁlm is a simple story of a loving husband and wife
who have ﬁnally found their bliss in marriage. Perhaps in
this union through love marriage, they have always seen
the good in each other and appreciated each other’s
qualities.The reason behind the tension in their marriage
was the husband’s smoking. The wife was worried both
for his health and the family’s and the husband despite his
best attempts was unable to quit. Sometimes tension in
marriage arises out of complete lack of understanding or
unwillingness to deal with issues, but what do you do
when the tension arises not for lack of effort but due to
one’s inability to do anything to help the tough situation?!
Our couple has always been deeply in love and
respected each other but genuine concerns created a rift
whereby things started getting sour.
Thankfully all of that is now in the past. Nicotex has
brought back the old love, respect and immense
camaraderie in the relationship. They are back to being
friends, lovers and family that respect each other,
understand each other and value each other’s company.
Every moment is invaluable and it is evident in their
cooking together that they cherish each other’s
company. There may have been a time when they
avoided being in each other’s way for the fear of starting
a ﬁght but now that the problem has been left behind,
they do everything in their capacity to be a family again,
to be with each other again. On this Sunday when they
are expecting guests, the husband has decided that he is
not going to leave all the hard work of preparations and
cooking on the wife, he loves and respects her enough
to want to help out and be worthwhile, if not as a great
cook at least as a good husband by lending his good
humour and moral support.
Look & Feel
The main difference between this ﬁlm and the previous
ﬁlm is the structure. While the previous ﬁlm, relevantly
set inside an aeroplane is about a man’s journey from
complete and utter despondency to hope and light, this
ﬁlm is about a man who is already redeemed. He is the
one who already knows the solution unlike the previous
ﬁlm’s protagonist who was still in search of a solution. So,
unlike the previous ﬁlm where we divided the look of the
ﬁlm into dark and bright to distinguish between the two
different moods in the ﬁlm, in this ﬁlm we will have just
one simple look which demonstrates the positive mood
and outlook of our characters, their wonderful present
relationship and chemistry and the beautiful moment
they are sharing together before welcoming some guests
We must also ensure that the space looks absolutely real
for the audience to be able to identify with the
characters and their surroundings, for them to feel that
the problems of the characters are their own just as
their solutions are their own. Keeping the tone of the
ﬁlm and the mood of the moment in mind, we will have
a nice open-kitchen living room kind of a modern space
with traditional elements that give the space a cultural
and evocative touch, a perfect representation of
The day is bright. The light outside is glorious and this
glory ﬁnds its way in through the windows. The sun
streams in and envelopes the characters in its golden
light lending them a cheeriness that they feel in that
moment. As the smoke rises from the pots and the pans
on the stove, it ﬁnds its contours highlighted against the
sun that shines behind. The wife who is almost entirely
backlit, sometimes becomes a silhouette and hence a
cursory part of the ﬁlm from certain angles but when
she interacts with the husband, with the sun behind her,
she glows, looking absolutely divine and ethereal. As they
move around and portray an interesting relationship
dynamic, the ﬂares dance around them and create magic.
A SPRINKLE OF
I N D I A N
C U L T U R A L
INFUSE A SENSE
ANGLES & LIGHTING
THAT DEPICT THE MOOD
Much as everything else, the music would capture the nature of a psychological journey of a human mind. Just as the visuals
paint the picture of a world that transitions from dejection and gloom to brightness and effervescence, the music would too.
We would create a piece of music that enhances the emotional gravity of the ﬁlm and punctuates the pivotal moments that
change the tone and the nature of the journey.
In the ﬁrst ﬁlm, we start on a dark night when our character seems to be shrouded in a smoke of helplessness and dismay. Just
as the light is dim, the score would be minimal, perhaps a single string quietly enhancing the poignancy of the moment. But as
the tone becomes bright and the mood uplifts, the music becomes more complex, more instruments weave in and a merry
rhythm begins to take over until the entire piece gains a buoyancy and foot-tapping quality.
The ‘Roti’ ﬁlm, on the other hand, has a single tone throughout the ﬁlm and while it doesn’t have the emotional rise that the
ﬁrst ﬁlm has, it has a peppiness and evocativeness of a beautiful relationship throughout the ﬁlm.The strings dance to the
groove of the rhythm, the winds interweave with the clanging of the vessels caused perhaps by the husband who beats the
spoons on the counter waiting for the roti to cook.Add to it, some Indian ﬂavour through instrumentation and melody and
what you have is the perfect platform for this wonderful ﬁlm to revel in.
It would be an absolute pleasure to be a part of a ﬁlm that celebrates
hope, light and new life. Successfully kicking a bad habit is nothing short
of redemption. It is like the beginning of a new life which is healthier not
just for your body but also for your mind that has been guilty, troubled
and traumatized. It is a new beginning also for your family that has paid
for the decision you took as a young person. It is truly the breaking of
the shackles that bound you all these years. Every smoker knows that
kicking the habit is much easier said than done. Every smoker has at
some point in life wanted to quit but hasn’t been able to do so or
relapsed during tensed moments in life. Which is why every smoker will
understand that just wanting to do something is not enough, you need a
friend who can guide you and help you along the way and that friend is
Nicotex. It is this relationship – friendship, guardianship, mentorship –
between Nicotex and the protagonist that needs to be established
through this ﬁlm.
Performances, casting, cinematography and music will tie this ﬁlm
together into an impactful carrier of a very important and meaningful
message. What is also important to this ﬁlm is devising a nice product
window that visualizes the success of the programme within a set period
of time, it would create a relationship between time and reduction of
cravings with the use of Nicotex. I would truly be proud to be a part of
these wonderful ﬁlms.