After a lot of thinking and brainstorming, I have decided upon the plot for my short film. The main idea is to offer a glimpse into what it really feels like to live with dissociative identity disorder. I want to give audiences some insight into the mind and emotions of a person struggling with this condition.
To do this, the film is going to showcase an average day in the life of 16 year-old Anamika, who has been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. Her story will be set entirely in her bedroom, and will start with her waking up in the morning. Slowly, we will see the three alternate identities co-existing in the room with her, each of them having distinct personality traits and performing individual activities. The three identities will be a young girl, a slightly older boy, and teenage girl about the same age as Anamika. We would see, for example, the young girl scribbling haphazardly on a torn up paper, the boy kicking a chair, the teenage girl hitting her head against the wall, etc.
As the minutes pass, the noise in Anamika’s head will manifest itself as utter chaos and confusion in the room. Tensions will slowly rise as she loses control of herself. A hazy sense of confusion and mystery will be created throughout.
This whole time the audience will not fully understand what’s going on. Questions like ‘who are these people?’, ‘why are they in that room together?’ and ‘what’s going on?’ are expected to run through their minds. The fact that these “people” are just Anamika’s alternate identities will not be revealed till the end. However, people will understand that something strange or surreal is going on.
The whole time this is happening in the room, Anamika’s mother will be talking to a therapist in the living room, who has come to help Anamika. Glimpses and fragments of the conversation will be woven in with the central narrative of Anamika in her room with the alter identities. Here again, the audience will have a lot of questions. The small bits of the conversation will drop a few hints that will make sense in the end.
These two parallel storylines will run throughout the short film and be tied together only in the end, when everything will fall into place and the viewers will understand.
The chaos in Anamika’s room will result in a loud crash (the teenage girl jumped off a closet and fell), which the mother and the therapist will hear from downstairs. They run up the stairs to check on Anamika and fling the door open to find an empty room and Anamika lying on the ground, where the girl was previously lying. She sits up. We will cut back to the two women, and the mother will ask Anamika if she’s okay. Then, we cut back to Anamika and this time she is not alone. The other identities are standing behind her, and in unison they all reply – “Yes. I’m fine.”