Burning Shadow (2018) - full transcript

Charlie, a down-on-his-luck loner obsessed with a Russian stripper, crosses paths with a blind homeless man who is his exact double. Perplexed and intrigued by the discovery, Charlie invites the man into his life.

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HOODED MAN: Can you spare
a whiskey for a blind man?

(CHUCKLES) I've got something
better for you than that.


You gonna pay me this
morning, like you promised?

Mrs. Rattisburg,
you woke me up.

I'm not even dressed yet.

Like I care.

Open the door.

I'll be out in a minute.

You pay me know, or when
you leave, I'm comin' in,

and I'm gonna take
everything out

and throw it on the street.

I will pay you.

I'll stop by your
office on my out.

You do that.



That's just the
way that it is.



I got two words for
you: Simon Rodia.

Little Italian guy who built
these big towers in Watts.

All right?

He had no crew, he
had no scaffolding,

he had no power tools.


You got the half
of the population

of El Salvador over there.


Get it done!

And fuck you!


How are you today, Mr. Jones?

I'm great!

How are you, Charlie?


- The usual?
- Yes.

Listen, would you have them put

a little more cheese
on it today for me?

For sure.

Sorry about yesterday.

How 'bout you, sir?

Ronald doesn't eat.

That can't be healthy.


The fuck is she doing here?






You have a light?

It's 9:00 in the
morning, Summer.

SUMMER: Can we talk?

Not here.

Oh, thank you very
much, Charlie.

Will you be
joining them, miss?


Actually, I'm on my way out.

How 'bout a fresh
coffee on the house, then?


Stop by the club.

We'll talk.

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.

You're quite the ladies' man.

I didn't really know
that side of you.

Oh, I do like beautiful girls.

It's just that
they don't like me.

You know, it's all
about confidence.


Charlie, that's the main thing.

Yeah, I know.

Maybe I should
ask her out, then.


I don't think so.

But I do like that
move with the coffee.

That was...

pretty smooth.

Very smooth, Charlie.




BARTENDER: Another round?

No, not tonight.

A New Year's resolution, huh?

I see a rose and a new jack.

Who's the lucky lady?


No one.

We actually just met.


Like you wouldn't believe.

Good for you.

Will you put that on my tab?

I will not!


It's on the house.


we may not be the
classiest joint,

but we stand for lovin' here.

I'm not really a
bartender, you know.

You're not?

No, I'm...

more of a philosopher.

Well, at least I think I am.

I mean, don't get me wrong.

I still make the best
cocktails in town, but...

it's not all I'm about.

I'm a lot like you, Charlie.

There's more to me
than meets the eye.

You're a veteran, too?

one way to put it.



My friend, the
way I see this world

is like a big, beautiful poem.

Some rhymes you keep,

some rhymes, well, you cut.

Some rhymes...


they just need a
little extra help.


Have a good night.


You forgot something.



I think I'm falling
in love with you.

CHARLIE: Excuse me, do
you have an extra cigarette?


Thank you.

I know you, right?

I don't think so.

Yeah, you came into
my restaurant yesterday

with Mr. Jones.

Oh yeah.

Thanks for the coffee.

You're welcome.

The jerk who ordered it just
had to wait a little longer.

I hope he wasn't too upset.


I was that jerk.

Say, would you like to
grab a drink sometime?

You'll have to
ask Jones about it.


I was wondering if I
could get my pay today?

Does it look like
fucking Friday to you?

Because it looks like
fucking Tuesday to me.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Let's look at the calendar.


It think it's Tuesday, too.

So why should I pay you today?


You don't even do what
you're supposed to do.

You're supposed to
serve and clean.


Do you know how many cockroaches

I found last week in the food?


Not one, three!

You are so lucky to have
this job, you know that?


You know what your
problem is, Charlie?

You smell like shit.


it's not a figure of speech.

You actually smell like shit.

I don't want to be mean.

I really don't want to
be mean, but you...

you make me mean!

It's your fault,
it's your fault!


Trust me, I want to pay you.

I know what your friend
does for a living.

He's not my friend.

And he doesn't do
it for a living.

I pay him...

but it's not the
reason that he does it.

Come on, man!

It's me, Mickey.

You known me a long time.


It's not like you
caught me running away.

I came to you!

I always pay my debts.

Ask around.

But you gotta give
me one more week.

That fucking
lawyer's shaving me!

What would it be...

What it would be if I
was really guilty, right?

I'm gonna take your
silence as a yes.

Come by the store when you can.

I'll set aside two big
Angus steaks for you.

That meat is so tender, it feels
like a 15-year-old's pussy.

I'm gonna get you the money.


Thank you, Charlie.

You're welcome.

Hey, why don't you
sit down and join me?

You know, I'd love to,
but I'm on the clock.

My buddy said
you would join me.

Come on.

I guess a quick
sit wouldn't hurt.

Sit down and have a sip.

In fact, let me pour it for you.

Do you need room for cream?

take my coffee black.

Just black.

I understand that
you came by my club.

Your club?

I thought your club
wasn't open yet.

My club.

You came by my club.

I don't think I did, no.

You know, I'm
from the East Coast,

and I really miss the seasons.

California has no
seasons to speak of.

But I really miss winter,
and fall, and spring.

I think most of
all I miss summer.



Because summer...

it's really hot.

But it's a different
kind of heat

than you got going on here.

It's really kind of a
moist, humid kind of wet...


Is this about Summer?



are you doing here?

Sorry, I didn't
mean to scare you.

Are you following me?

Oh, no, nothing like that.

Mr. Jones gave me your address.

I doubt that.

He told me to
wait for you here.

Where is he?

I guess he's
still at his club.

It's just that you
told me talk to him

the other day, so I did.

And he said that it's up to you,

so he told me to wait
here and see what you say.

I've got money, you know,
400 bucks, just like he said.

Don't pull it out here.


Listen, if this
isn't a good time,

and you're beat up or something,

I can always come back
another time, not a problem.

SUMMER: It's okay.

This is a nice place.


I'm house sitting for
the mother of a friend.

Oh, you can put it there.


I don't know, maybe
we could talk first.

How about you
take a shower first?

It's over there.

A shower.

Yeah, sure.

I'll wait for
you in the bedroom.




I'm a vet, you know.

A lot of guys...

they come back from war,

and they have someone
waiting for them.

They used to say that's
how they got through it.

Sometimes I envied them.

I'd steal their letters and
pretend they were for me.

Oh man, I would have loved that.

I don't know how
I got through it.

I guess I just got lucky.

People don't know.

They can never know.

But it's strange...

Now that I met you, I feel like
everything's gonna be okay.

And I know it sounds
stupid, but who knows?

Maybe this was God's
plan all along.

Maybe you're my angel.

I think I'm falling
in love with you.





I've got to go
to an appointment.

I really need you to go.

Sure, sorry, I didn't
mean to scare you.

It's just that
last night was so...

About that.


I don't know what
happened last night,

but it's not gonna happen again.

You should go home.


Charlie, right?


I'm sure we had a great time,

but I need you to go home
and forget about it, okay?

And you can't say
anything to Jones.

He'd kill you, or
have Ronald kill you.

Just go to work and
pretend it never happened.


I don't think I can do that.


Just get out now.

Where the hell were you?

I had to open myself!

Sorry, my mother was sick.

I don't give a shit
about your mother.

Get the fuck behind the counter

and make some fresh coffee!

You know, this is the
last time you're late.


This is the first time
I've ever been late.

You're gonna answer me now?


It won't happen
again, Mrs. Looper.

No, it won't.


doin' all right, buddy?

Gimme a double.

What happened to
the romantic guy?

I'm out of luck, man.

Did you ever have any?

My, my, my.

I've been watching you
for a long time, Charlie.

And I think that you
are one of these people

who are responsible
for their own problems.


you're also your own solution.

What the fuck are
you talking about?

Now, I know I'm supposed
to be a good bartender here,

cheer you up.

But like I told you, I'm
more of a philosopher.

Let me ask you a question.

Do you really think it was
bad luck, or bad decisions?

When you've got nothing but
shit and dirt to choose from,

it doesn't really
matter which way you go.

Fair enough.


if you saw your luck
in front of you,

would you realize it?

You'd be surprised
how many people don't.

I guess it'd be surprising
enough to be noticeable.

Good answer.


And this is a very,
very important question.

If luck finally came your way,

would you do good
with it, or bad?

I'd do good with
it, you can bet on it.


I'll take that bet.

I'm gonna give you something.

It's a gift, but you're gonna
have to give it back to me.

I sure hope it's money
you're talking about.

Oh, it's better than money.

Nothing's better than money.

Some things are.

This one is.

It's my good lunch charm.

And I'm guessing you need
it more than I do right now.

A good luck charm?

There's a little
more to it than that.


That's what's supposed
to save my life?

Take it, will you.


It doesn't even seem to work.

It'll move when it needs to.

Take you under my wing!


This is how you repay me, huh?

You fuckin' steal from me?

I fuckin' knew it!

This is fuckin' mine!

Fuck you, Big Joe!

You're on your own now!

Let's see how that feels,

- huh?
- Hey!

Stop it!

I'm callin' the cops!

Hey, man, are you okay?

HOODED MAN: Where are
my fuckin' sunglasses?


Come on, man.

Let's get up.

Come on, you're okay.



What's up Charlie?

You seem somewhere else today.


It's nothing, just thinking.

Yeah, about what?

It's stupid, really.

Come on, Charlie,
you got my curious now.


Do you think we
all have a double

somewhere in the
world, Mr. Jones?

Someone who looks
exactly like us?

Well, Charlie, there
are some ancient religions

who believe in that.

I'm not religious, but...

Yeah, they have a word for it.

They call it the doppelganger.

Now, they think that
these two souls,

if they confront each other,

they destroy each other,
they can't coexist.

But, you know, I happen to
think that we always see

our double if we drink
too much. (CHUCKLES)

Yeah, that might be.

So, what's going on, Charlie?

Do you think that you've
seen your doppelganger?

Oh, no.

I just saw a TV show last
night, and it had me thinking.

I got your message,
you wanted to see me?

Oh yeah, I just...

wanted to make sure
that you were okay...


Why don't you just sit down

and have a little
coffee with me.

I'll have the...


You two know each
other, don't you?



I offered you a coffee,

and you offered me a
cigarette the other day.


I guess we're even then.


I'll have the cappuccino.

How old are you, Summer?


JONES: Let's hope
you make it to 28.



You wanna steal my shit?

I'll cut your
fuckin' throat off!

I don't wanna steal
anything from you.

I helped you
yesterday, remember?

That guy was
beating you up good.


What do you want?


I just wanna give
you a few bucks.

I didn't have anything
on me yesterday.


Now leave me alone.



You havin' a shitty day?

Havin' a shitty life.

How's my good luck
charm workin' for you?


I seem to be even
more depressed, so...

I guess it's working fantastic.

Sarcasm is the
prerogative of an imbecile.

I asked you a very simple
question the other day.

If luck finally came your
way, would you realize it?

Your answer was yes,

but your behavior with
luck proved you wrong.

What the hell are
you talking about?


did come your way, Charlie,
and you failed to realize it.

I can't do that for you.

I can show you the path,
but I can't walk it.

You have to do that yourself.

Otherwise, you might
as well give me

my watch back right now.

I'm wondering if I'm not
wasting my time on you, Charlie.



You again.

What do you want?

What do say about spending
the night in some clean sheets?

What are you, a sissy?

You gonna fuck me, is that it?

No, no, I don't want
anything, especially not that.

I just thought
maybe you might need

a place to stay for the night.

Who the fuck are you?

Mother Teresa?

It's just an offer,
and it's about to expire.

You know what, nevermind.

This clean bed...

What do I have to do for it?

Take a shower.

I don't want that
stink in my sheets.

And get rid of that cart.

I can't do that.

You sure play
hard-to-get for a bum.

What's your name?

They call me Big Joe.

I'm Charlie.

You got my money?

Listen, Mrs. Rattisburg,

I don't want any bad
feelings between us.

I didn't get paid today.

My boss didn't show up.

I'll get paid in the morning,

but I don't think burning any
more of my stuff will help.

You'll pay me in the morning?

For sure.


But don't take advantage
of my kindness.

I won't.


Did anybody see you?

How the fuck would I know?

If they did, they just
saw a bum near a dumpster.

Man, you're not coming into
my room smelling like that.

There's a shower right here.

There's soap and shampoo.

I suggest you use both.

Fuck you.


Good morning.

Where's my shank?

It's right there on the table,

but I'd rather you
don't use it in here.

Where's my stuff?

in the bathroom.


I'm gonna get going.

You can stay a few more days,

but you're gonna have
to follow some rules.

Like what?

First, don't steal anything.

Don't invite any of
your little friends in.

And don't leave until I
come back from work tonight.

If my landlord sees
you, we're both out.

All right.

There's a TV right
here behind you.

There's some sandwiches
in the fridge.

Don't touch the beer.

If you can't follow
these rules, get out now.

I'll be good.


Joe, why are you here?

You invited me, remember?

No, I mean, how did
you end up right here,

right behind my place?

It's a long story.

A sad one, too.

Let's just say my
folks didn't think

a blind kid was a blessing.

I don't blame them.

Can I ask you a question, too?

Why are you helping me?

I don't have time
to answer that.

I'm running late for work.

I have a day off this weekend.

We'll talk then.



Nice flowers.

Got somethin' to apologize
for there, buddy?

Yeah, something like that.

Good luck with
that one. (CHUCKLES)

Baby, come on.

You know there's no free rides.

This is from last week.

What's paying this week?

Come on.

I'll pay you next week.

I always pay you.

Summer, I'm not into
paying next week business.

I'm in the I get you high
as a motherfucker business.

You know, forget it.

Every one of you junkies...

Please, honey, please.

The body system, huh?

All right, why not?

Not on the lips.

Like I care. (CHUCKLES)



Have a seat, Charlie.

Thanks for seeing
me, Mr. Jones.

I must say, I'm
rather surprised.

I didn't think
you were the type.

You're right, I'm not.

It's just ..


You've got to make
me want to help you.

That's what you're
here for, right?

It's just...

my mom's sick.

She needs a kidney transplant,

and the insurance
company won't pay for it.

They say it's not an
emergency, but...

she's in so much pain.

If she doesn't get
it, she's gonna die.

How much do you need, Charlie?



That's very touching, Charlie.

Your mother has raised
a very good son.

And I certainly appreciate
your motivation.

But I've gotta ask, how
are you gonna pay me back?

Your yearly salary
is hardly enough.

She sold her
apartment in Tempe.

It's nothing fancy,
but it's worth $80,000.

She gets the money from the
escrow on the 3rd of October,

only it might be too
late for the surgery.

You're a vet, right, Charlie?

Yes, sir.




Two deployments.


Didn't have no
better place to go.

I hoped it'd help
me get to college.


Did you go to college?

My father was a vet.


He fought in World War II.

They told him it was
the war to end all wars,

and that his kids would
never have to fight.


We're stilL fighting,
right, Charlie?

This war thing, it
just goes on and on.

My father was shot in the leg
on that beach in Normandy,

and he walked with a limp
for the rest of his life.

And when my father
got cancer...

the great big country...

turned its back on him.

He died.

When I was just 10.

You know something, Charlie?

I'm not going to turn
my back on you today,

because my father
would like that.

But you listen to me.

I want you to know
what the stakes are.


what you're risking is a lot
bigger than what I'm risking.

You look different.

Mrs. Rattisburg...

Here's the $352 that I owe.

And this...

is for your troubles.

Good lord.





I told you to stay away
from the fucking booze!

You're crazy.

It's like tellin' a kid
there's treats in the closet

but don't eat them.

You're either an idiot
or a sadistic prick.

And I'm thinking sadistic prick.

I don't wanna fight you.

I'm in a good.

I got a raise.


Did you buy more booze?

Fuck no!

JOE: Wine?

Pepperoni pizza
and Dr. Pepper.

Put some clothes on
your fucking ass!

You're ruining my appetite.

Put this on.

This thing's too small for me.

No, it's not.

It fits me perfectly, and
we're the same exact size.

Give it back to me.

Maybe you were my
size 10 years ago.

That's probably how long
you've had that thing.


Are you gonna finally tell
me why you're so nice to me?

You wanna actually
here my plan,

or are you gonna
just keep asking me

the same question
over and over again?

I'm all ears.

Well, first we're gonna
shave that disgusting beard.

Then I'm gonna help get
you some new clothes

and find you a job.

That all?

Actually, no, that's not all.

I have a little bit of money.

It's not a lot, but...

it's enough to help get
you back on your feet.

I don't believe anybody
wants to hire a blind bum.

And I'm not shaving my beard.

That beard either belongs
to a homeless man or Santa,

and I don't believe they're
gonna take you for Santa.

I don't know how to...

Let's just avoid
that part, okay?

Whatever you say, boss.

You know what?

Let's take a picture
to celebrate.


All right.

Do you mind smiling
for me, at least?

All right, here we go.



It looks really good.

I wish you could
see it, actually.

Fuck you.



Hey, welcome to Peeps.



I will take you out of here.




finally came your way,

would you do good
with it, or bad?

You behaved.

I've done a lot of thinking.

About what you said.


How could you
possibly get me a job?

I mean...

what kind of job would that be?

There's actually
one job a blind man

can do better than
any normal person.

Sucking your balls.


Dude, Joe, attitude.

You say one thing like
that in the real world

and you'll get your ass fired.

Street reflex.

Sorry, boss.

Those guys who
tune the pianos.

I heard they're blind
as fucking shit.

Couldn't tell the difference

between their moms
and a dead lizard.

I wanna give you
something in return.

What the hell?

No, thank you.

Keep that thing away from me.

I wouldn't be surprised if a
cockroach crawled out of it.

Fuck you.

A bartender gave it
to me the other day.

I don't trust those fuckin'
cashiers to tell me I won.

Those cocksuckers
would lie to my ass

and cash out the
money themselves.

They probably would.

I trust you.

If we win, we split it 50-50.

Funny, it's only odd numbers.

It's an odd world.

It sure is.

We'll take care of
that beard tomorrow.

I'll stab you first.

What's your
story, anyway, Joe?

I ran away.

CHARLIE: How come?

I had to.

My father's a crazy bastard.


One day at school, I got
beat up by these two kids.

My dad came in to pick me up
at the principal's office.

And he was mad.

Embarrassed that his son
couldn't stand up for himself.

He drove me down from
school to the border

to meet with his friends.

Didn't know what the
fuck was gonna happen.

I was scared like shit.

When he got out of the
van, he gave me a rifle.

Said today was the
day I'll become a man.

What happened?

Then I heard noises.


Mexicans crossing the border.

I even heard a child crying.

And my scumbag father forced
his blind kid to shoot.

Said if I didn't
shoot, he'd shoot me.

I hope he rots in hell.


Boss, do you mind if
I listen to some TV?

I don't feel sleepy.

Sure, Joe.


I think I'm falling
in love with you.


Would you do good
with it or evil?

No, no, no!

What the fuck?

I just wanted
to see your face.

Don't fuckin' touch me, okay?

You must be damn ugly if
you don't want me to see you.

No, I just don't
wanna a fucking bum

touching me, all right?

What is it?

You look like the
Elephant Man or something?

No, I have a normal
fucking face, just like you!

How would you feel
if you woke up

and some fucking naked guy was
all over you, touching you?

You'd probably use your
fucking shank on him!

I'm goin' to work.

I'll see you later.


Hey, Charlie, are
you sure you're okay?

Yeah, I'm fine.

All right, I gotta go.

Have a good night.

Hey, Charlie...



How's moms doing?

Yeah, she's doing good.

She gets her surgery
next Tuesday.


Next Tuesday?

Hey, I'd really love
a photograph of her

that I could put up on the wall.

For sure.

She would be happy to do it.


You know, I have my
good days. (CHUCKLING)


Fuck that.

All of my clients
wanna borrow money

because they want
something flashy,

because they want,
you know, to gamble,

they want a new Rolex
for their mistresses.

But there's only one person
who has ever asked for money

for someone else,
someone else in need,

and I want that photograph
to be put on my wall,

because I want that
photograph to remind me

that there is good in
this world, Charlie,

there is good in this world,

and this world is not
all evil, Charlie.

There is absolutely
good in this world.

Do you understand what
I'm saying, Charlie?

You're right.

Get me the photograph.


For sure, Mr. Jones.

Thank you.

It's amazing.

Absolutely amazing what
you have chosen to do.



Hey, Joe, are you in here?



Where the fuck did he go?

Where the fuck did he go?

Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Is that you, boss?

Where have you been?

I've searched
everywhere for you?

I just wanted to
get some fresh air.

You know, kinda got claustrophobic
in there all by myself.

Let's get you back inside
before my landlord sees you.

Come on.


Today's the big day.

We're gonna get you
clean and shaved.

And I've got a present for you.

I bought you some new clothes.

Did we win the lottery?

I don't know, I
forgot to check.

I'll do it tomorrow.

But what counts is that, tonight,
you're gonna be a new man.


You make it sound scary.

Don't move.

I'm gonna feel naked
without my beard.

It was keeping me war...

You moved!

Look, now I cut you.


I won't move.


I'm pretty?

At least, you're clean, and
you look 100 years younger.


JOE: You're really
enjoying this, aren't you?

Stay here, okay?

When I tell you to, come out.

I want to be surprised.

See you like I don't know you

and you're coming
for a job interview.

Okay, come out.


It feels like
someone else's face.

You look great.

There's some clothes
there on the bed.

Sit down and try them on.

Can I have some privacy?

You've been naked in
front of me all week.


But now that I'm a new
man, it feels weird.

I'm not going anywhere.

Do you have anything

that doesn't belong
to your little sister.

That doesn't make any sense.

Those are the right size.

I must be bigger
than you think.

Try this on.

All right.

I'm not Pretty Woman.

You made your point.

No need to humiliate me.

You look great.

You sure you're
not blind too, boss?





Where's Charlie?

It's weird, he called
me the other night

to say he was quitting,
but really I fired him.

What a relief.


Oh, shit.

Who the fuck is this guy?

"Tired of this life.


He thought this guy
was his doppelganger?


Yeah, he's all yours.

But I doubt if we'll
ever see him again.

He could be anywhere by now.

I know where he is.





CHARLIE: Summer,
it's me, Charlie.

I need to talk to you.

It's urgent.

Can I come in, please?

What are you doing here?

I told you not to come.

It's a long story.

I need to come in to tell you.

Listen, I've got enough money
to take you out of here.

Please just let me in.

Let me put something on.

Thanks for letting me in.

Can I have a seat?

I'm exhausted.


Tell me why you're here.

My luck has turned.

And I wanna give you some money.

To escape your life.

Your job.


I guess I'm kinda
doing that myself.

So I thought maybe I would
enjoy the ride better

if I had someone
to share it with.

Someone who deserves better
than the shit he's been served.

Someone like you, Summer.

I've got 40 grand.

You deserve it as much as me.

We've both been fucked by all
the Mr. Joneses of this world.

I don't know.

Maybe it's time you and
I settled the score.

I don't know what
to say, Charlie.

You're asking me to trust you.

But what happen when
you get tired of me?

People get tired, you know?

They say they
won't, but they do.

I didn't come to
America by myself.

I followed someone.

And I ended up alone.

That won't happen with me.

That's exactly what he said.

You seem like a nice
person, Charlie.

I can see something good in you.

And I don't want to ruin it.

Somehow, everything around
me always gets shattered.

I will never stop.




Charlie, Charlie.


I've seen it all.

I've heard it all.

But this is just
about it, Charlie.




You what?

Got money.

What money, Charlie?

Shit is crazy, Charlie.

And you know what the
craziest part of this is?

You went to Summer's house

after you guillotined
that guy and...

It doesn't make any sense.

What did you expect?

Why, Charlie?

Oh my god, I guess
I'll never know.

I'll never know.

CHARLIE: No, no.



Do you really think it was
bad luck, or bad decisions?


If you saw your luck in front
of you, would you realize it?

You'd be surprised
how many people don't?

JOE: I want to
give you something.

The bartender gave it
to me the other day.

And now, and this is a
very, very important question,

if luck finally came your way,

would you do good
with it, or bad?



JONES: Goodbye, Charlie.



What a waste.