When during an academic conference where she is presenting a paper, Tanya comes face to face with someone from her past, a neighbour whom the whole street has had a history with. Twenty years after their last meeting, the stage is now set for a family reunion of sorts, and an unequivocal discussion about past deeds. The neighbour, Tanya’s father-in-law, despised for abandoning his wife and children, comes to meet his son, Nick, after twenty long years, and answer some questions about his disappearance. This eventful, emotionally loaded conversation between father and son forms the crux of this short screenplay by writer Terrie Anderson.
‘Why’ captures the emotional turmoil of both father and son, during this unexpected meeting after twenty years, each carrying a heavy load of emotional baggage, regarding their relationship. The screenplay brings out the nuances of emotions of that run riot during this meeting; their fears, accusations, justifications, rage and abhorrence for each other. Having mellowed down over the years, the father is now willing to look at his past actions in a new light and is ready to seek forgiveness for his past deeds. But, is the son in a position to forgive the person who stands in his path of being a good dad himself?
‘Why’ is a short screenplay that tells an emotionally touching story in a single scene, more or less, without losing out on the drama, the emotions and the suspense of a detailed plot. ‘Why’ tells us how letting go of one’s ego is paramount to taking charge of emotions. Even when you forgive, you are just stroking your ego of being in a position to forgive. The story takes a look at how scars left behind by one’s action cause resentment in the minds of others, and how that anger can swell to become more self-damaging than for those who have caused it.