FREEZE FRAME. And the TITLE SEQUENCE BEGINS...
CHARLIE (V.O.)Once upon a time...
THREE FOURTH GRADE SCHOOL PHOTOS FILL THE FRAME, side by side by side. These are three very different girls.
NATALIE, with a page-boy cut and wearing a Catholic schoolgirl's uniform, sports glasses and braces; a bit awkward and gangly, even shy.
ALEX, formally dressed with perfect pig-tails, is sophisticated and self-possessed; a class act, even at ten.
DYLAN, wild blond hair and faded T-shirt, has a jaded, street-wise smirk; even at this young age, her isolation and disillusionment are masked by seeming confidence.
CHARLIE (CONT'D)... there were three very different little girls.
The triptych remains on screen. Now it shifts into:
VIDEO TAPE - THE THREE GIRLS (STILL IN TRIPTYCH)
Now TEENAGERS, on HOME VIDEO.
NATALIE, working the A-V equipment at school, hides her face in embarrassment, uncomfortable with the camera. FREEZE.
ALEX, in riding gear, accepting her steeple-chase trophy. She knows where to look for the camera. FREEZE.
DYLAN, smoking with her tough-girl friends in the girls' room of her reform school, is caught on camera. She flips it off. FREEZE.
CHARLIE (CONT'D)Who grew up into three very different women.
They're all WOMEN now, in their early twenties.
NATALIE, a research fellow at MIT (and beautiful, but not flaunting it) demonstrates a chess-playing computer program to a room of impressed advisors.
ALEX, valedictorian at Oxford, passionately delivers her address to a crowd of rapt students, faculty and parents.
DYLAN, in leather and a helmet, steps off a Harley. She sees a punk with a mohawk slapping around his girlfriend. She decks him, then enters the back door of a seedy punk bar.
CHARLIE (CONT'D)With three things in common...
With photographs again. The women, as they are now: Natalie, Alex, Dylan. All gorgeous, all self-assured.
CHARLIE (CONT'D)They're brilliant. They're beautiful. And they work for me.
Now, FIREBALL EXPLOSIONS completely fill the screen.
CHARLIE (CONT'D)My name is Charlie.
ANGEL SILHOUETTES appear, in flames.
Well that was how it went in an early draft of the script, anyway. By the time the movie actually reached the screens things were somewhat different. For a start, Nathalie had stopped being the designer of a chess machine and become the winner of a TV quiz show instead.
And that's kicking your ass.
Chess goes to the movies Index