Dominic works as an estate agent, who with his girlfriend Maria have recently moved into a new house, in a suburban London area. Dominic is clumsy and often forgetful. Maria is organised, blunt and has a habit of telling Dominic off. Though their personalities differ, there is no doubt in their love and support for each other.
It’s the end of another week and the two decide to have a small house warming gathering. However…
The next morning. Dominic and Maria wake up late, to discover that their alarm has failed to go off. Remembering that Maria’s father Tony, is set to arrive and meet Dominic for the first time. They frantically cook and clean, before his impending visit. But when he arrives and is introduced to Dominic, things take an unexpected turn, as a family dinner and an intense game of chess, all reveal a sinister past, that connects the two men, beyond just being in Maria’s life.
This is a story where a game of chance, connects and determines their fates.
I have always been fascinated with creating a story, that centres around family conflicts, the theme of Man vs himself and the concept of having the stability of a person's life, suddenly turn on it's head when an element from their past, comes back to threaten what they've worked so hard to achieve for themselves. Perhaps it's from repeatedly watching David Cronenburg's a History of Violence and being completely drawn to the main protagonist's journey of trying to protect his family from his past demons. It has given me inspiration to make a London based take, that explores the themes of personal identity, redemption, lost and revenge.
The gangster theme in this film, was added to better establish the serious nature of Dominic and Tony's past connection and to further raise the stakes, behind what was meant to be a quiet family dinner. Unlike a History of Violence however, I wanted the dynamics between the characters and their dialogue to be more light hearted and witty, but as the story progresses it would start to slow down, leading towards the main tension.
The main chess scene with Dominic and Tony, was heavily influenced by the intense chess game in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes a game of shadows" between the protagonist Sherlock and antagonist Moriaty. This particular element was implemented to highlight how they have always tried to out do each other through mind games and also reveal what the big fallout was that lead to their current predicament.