FORBIDDEN - the movie

Synopsis of Screenplay

Forbidden, the movie, is about an exciting true-life experience. It tells a unique love story, based on the novel 'Till I'm with You Again', written by the heroine, Edna Jeffrey. The movie screenplay from Ms. Jeffrey's novel was written by the five-time Emmy-nominated author Thom Racina.

The character of "Jane Martin" – Edna Jeffrey in real life – is a charming and beautiful young woman who moves from San Francisco to New York in 1940, to pursue a career in acting and modeling. In New York, Jane meets Ali, a wealthy and handsome young Middle Eastern diplomat. The two fall instantly and deeply in love.

On their first date, Jane and Ali romance around Manhattan. The chemistry between the two is crackling like electricity, drawing a small crowd of infatuated friends and onlookers to follow the two. At an outdoor dance club in Greenwich Village, Jane and Ali sing and dance romantically to the music of a Benny-Goodman-style big band. They both have beautiful trained voices, and they both are great dancers. The night is full of joy.

However, after their first date, the events suddenly take a dramatic and very unexpected turn. When meeting Jane for the second time, Ali delivers catastrophic news: he has been forbidden from ever seeing Jane again. The heartbroken Ali explains to Jane that this has to do with his extremely conservative royal family and its social standing, traditions and religious beliefs, as well as a political power struggle in which Ali has become involved. This scene is very sad and poignant, as both Jane and Ali are devastated and broken in tears.

Right before that scene, the film footage shows a clip of Ali's father and other high-ranking Muslim leaders meeting in a Middle Eastern castle, the night before: Information about Ali's love interest had rapidly leaked overseas. The leaders are determined to put a stop to Ali's love affair by any cost. They decide to give Ali a chance to save Jane from the most cruel way of eliminating the problem – which is her assassination. In an ultimatum given to Ali, he is forced to agree never to see Jane again.

Thus, Ali has taken a great risk by arranging to meet Jane this one last time. The meeting takes place in tight secrecy, as Ali wants to make sure he won't be followed and caught, and that Jane shall not be hurt. After heartbreaking goodbyes, Ali and Jane separate in grief. Upon their separation, Ali makes a pledge of eternal love to Jane.

The two now go on living their lives as singles. Ali soon returns to his homeland, and Jane ends up moving back to San Francisco, where she resumes her career as a cabaret singer. During this segment, seven years are shown going by rather quickly, and – in between – flashbacks are shown of Jane and Ali romancing, singing and dancing together in Manhattan.

Then in 1947, Ali is shown returning to USA and flying for a business meeting in San Francisco. In San Francisco, Ali and his friends, all men, are shown enjoying a "boys' night" out, when at a hotel nightclub – unexpectedly – Ali notices Jane performing on stage. Jane, however, does not recognize Ali and his friends in the audience.

With a permission from the club's manager, Ali now proceeds to surprise Jane during her performance, by entering the stage from behind Jane's back, through the curtains. As Jane is shown singing the same love song the two had sang together on their very first date in New York, seven years before, Ali joins the totally stunned Jane in the singing on the stage.

Ali and Jane end up enjoying another breathtakingly lovely evening together, again singing, dancing and romancing – only instead of New York, this time in San Francisco. However, Jane is wary of committing her heart to Ali again, as she does not want to be hurt a second time. At the night's end, Ali and Jane part on very happy terms.

Meanwhile, however, Ali's treacherous close assistant, who has been seen accompanying Ali throughout the movie, has planned a conspiracy against Ali. For blackmailing purposes, having to do with money and politics, he orchestrates a well planned kidnapping of Jane. Jane becomes kidnapped. In captivity, she is treated poorly by her captors, Ali's crooked assistant and his cronies. Yet, at one point, Jane nearly manages to escape.

Ali now organizes a widespread search to find Jane. Finally, with help from a cab driver, he succeeds in locating Jane. At Jane's place of captivity, a struggle occurs, during which Jane is shot by Ali's deceiving assistant, but not lethally. In the end, Ali triumphs – however, not before he has had to kill his ex-assistant. Rescued, Jane recovers from the ordeal, which had come to involve the FBI, and even the President of the United States of America.

Due to his important political engagements, Ali is now forced to return to his homeland. Saddened and with teary eyes, the two part once again. Ali is shown reclaiming his pledge of eternal love to Jane. Next, the chain of events in the movie is fast-forwarded by 54 years. Jane is now in her mid-eighties, living in Marin County, California. She has a son, but she is divorced from her husband, a high-ranking U.S. Air Force officer and a decorated World War Two fighter-pilot.

Then one morning, in the year 2001, Ali unexpectedly appears to Jane, in a strange but very real and vivid way. Consequently, Jane is strongly halted, as she walks across the room. Subsequently, she is now stroke with a powerful flashback of Ali, with Ali appearing exactly the way he was in the 1940's. As this happens, Ali is shown assisting Jane to her reclining chair. Jane can be seen clearly stunned, as she holds hands with Ali, and stares at him.

The movie at this point takes its audience back to the year 1940 in New York, and to a number of scenes with Ali and Jane embracing in Manhattan. With the help of cinematographic special effects, somewhat similar – although more advanced – to the ones used in the movie 'Ghost', the film visualizes how Jane and Ali communicate with each other, and how they sing and dance together, again as a young loving couple, like they were in the 1940s.

The film-audience is made fully aware that what Jane – Edna in real life – is now shown seeing, is visible only to her. Edna is shown resting in her reclining chair, contently, with her eyes closed and with a warm smile on her face. Ali has proven to Jane in a very concrete and beautiful way that his pledge of eternal love is real, by appearing to Jane 54 years after having rescued her from kidnap captivity in 1947, and by continuing to communicate with her now. The movie ends here, to scenes of Ali and Jane embracing.

Newly-composed original songs by a Grammy-winning recording artist, as well as authentic music from the 1940's, will be featured in the movie. Several of the songs will be sung by the movie's lead-role characters, Jane and Ali. However, whether or not this movie can be defined as a musical – the way musicals are traditionally usually defined –, is in the eyes and ears of the beholder.

Either way, enriched by complimenting music and cinematographic special effects, this movie will present a well-balanced mixture of a fascinating love-story and an intriguing high-suspense action thrill, with a captivating spiritual aspect embedded in the story-line as well.

In a clever way, this movie is bound to ease some tensions caused by the current largely faith-based international crises, by juxtaposing the Islamic and Christian faiths in a sweet, positive and timely fashion, and by focusing on the two most important elements that unite all world's major religions:

1. Love;
2. The trust in the continuity of life hereafter.

• In addition to true-life experiments, some fictional elements have been included in the screenplay.