Georgy Gavrilov & Permanent Residence Presents — Георгий Гаврилов
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Georgy Gavrilov & Permanent Residence Presents

14.11.2016 - Творческий портфель

Bensonhurst Blues

«Bensonhurst Blues» – a tough, intense and subtle psychological thriller
TV- series of 12 episodes.

This story begins with a violent murder of a Russian immigrant, a gorgeous young woman from Brooklyn.  The plot resembles a puzzle, last piece of which the viewers do not get until the last episodes.  An enigmatic «missing link» of complex investigation jumps on us as unexpectedly as a masked killer with a knife out of darkness. The initial impression of the murder appears even more shocking then the wildest S&M show, in which the victim participates. Only at the very end it becomes clear how a curved mirror of lies gradually mutated the characters, distorted their affections and values, managing to redraw our perceptions.

Closest American equivalent is «Twin Peaks» by David Lynch.

Moscow

The hero of this movie, 43 year old Grigory Morozov — private eye.  Veteran of Russian Military Police and Interpol had retired to injury, but doesn’t enjoy being put out of work. He lives up to his international experience, specializing in cases involving foreigners.

Integrity prevented Grigory from slumping under the pressure of the System all his life.  For his «iron spine» lieutenant Morozov earned his nickname «Harley» in the Police Academy.  Years of service in the Prosecutor’s office as an Investigator for particularly important cases didn’t bend Grigory’s backbone.  He would walk the plank for his ideals.  When Interpol deformed itself into something intermediate between Travel bureau and Government’s call-girl, Grigory chose to work independently, circling the globe with his suitcase and respectable, but now useless Interpol’s ID.  Solitary business trips to Egypt, London, Berlin… Thanks God for old days’ connections.

In general, he leads a dog’s life: even to own a dog is not an option.  Grigory’s personal possessions are limited to flower «immortale» on the windowsill of his modest bachelor studio apartment near «Sokol» subway station in Moscow.  One of his regular clients — U.S. attorney Michael Katz — calls the Russian P.I. who speaks fluent English «Greg».

Finishing Katz’s order — surveillance of an American banker’s cheating wife, traveling to Moscow with her lover — Grigory notices that the woman is being followed by someone else.  Seeing that Mr. X at the airports gate is behind the lovers, detective is forced to fly to New York on the same plane urgently without the luggage. His employer insists on Greg being in JFK to point out Mr. X at the airport.

 

Georgy Gavrilov
& Permanent Residence
Presents

Bensonhurst Blues

«Bensonhurst Blues» – a tough, intense and subtle psychological thriller
TV- series of 12 episodes.

This story begins with a violent murder of a Russian immigrant, a gorgeous young woman from Brooklyn.  The plot resembles a puzzle, last piece of which the viewers do not get until the last episodes.  An enigmatic «missing link» of complex investigation jumps on us as unexpectedly as a masked killer with a knife out of darkness. The initial impression of the murder appears even more shocking then the wildest S&M show, in which the victim participates. Only at the very end it becomes clear how a curved mirror of lies gradually mutated the characters, distorted their affections and values, managing to redraw our perceptions.

Closest American equivalent is «Twin Peaks» by David Lynch.

Moscow

The hero of this movie, 43 year old Grigory Morozov — private eye.  Veteran of Russian Military Police and Interpol had retired to injury, but doesn’t enjoy being put out of work. He lives up to his international experience, specializing in cases involving foreigners.

Integrity prevented Grigory from slumping under the pressure of the System all his life.  For his «iron spine» lieutenant Morozov earned his nickname «Harley» in the Police Academy.  Years of service in the Prosecutor’s office as an Investigator for particularly important cases didn’t bend Grigory’s backbone.  He would walk the plank for his ideals.  When Interpol deformed itself into something intermediate between Travel bureau and Government’s call-girl, Grigory chose to work independently, circling the globe with his suitcase and respectable, but now useless Interpol’s ID.  Solitary business trips to Egypt, London, Berlin… Thanks God for old days’ connections.

In general, he leads a dog’s life: even to own a dog is not an option.  Grigory’s personal possessions are limited to flower «immortale» on the windowsill of his modest bachelor studio apartment near «Sokol» subway station in Moscow.  One of his regular clients — U.S. attorney Michael Katz — calls the Russian P.I. who speaks fluent English «Greg».

Finishing Katz’s order — surveillance of an American banker’s cheating wife, traveling to Moscow with her lover — Grigory notices that the woman is being followed by someone else.  Seeing that Mr. X at the airports gate is behind the lovers, detective is forced to fly to New York on the same plane urgently without the luggage. His employer insists on Greg being in JFK to point out Mr. X at the airport.

New York

After a quick exchange of envelopes — one with the video materials for one full of cash — Banker’s Man goes after Mr. X, Greg takes a taxi.  P.I.’s favorite aunt, a hereditary aristocrat, dwells in Manhattan.  Nephew always stays at her town-house while here.  Greg visits the old lady rarely, the childless widow always happy to see him.

The fat fee for the Banker’s case allows Greg to buy his dream of many years, «Harley-Davidson», and he quickly adjusts to the rhythm of a megapolis — first time in the role of a Big Apple’s biker.  Soon enough Grigory’s aunt asks him to do her a favor.
«Grand-daughter of my childhood friend phoned me… Naive girl rented cheap apartment… Projects outside of Seagate are inhabited by poor Russians and colored people, youth are selling drugs, Rap doesn’t let Lera sleep till dawn. Bring her to my place, please…»  Greg rides his bike to Brooklyn and nearly rips Lera out of hands of two black amateur hashish addicts.  Recent graduate of Moscow State University’s Juridical Faculty, Lera took a temporary international program assignment in Brooklyn Police Department and now works on a murder case as an interpreter.  All participants and witnesses of this drama are Russian.

Lera consults with Grigory about the case’s details:
Victim is an orphan.  Tania Bogatyreva had been adopted by a Jewish family 14 years ago and became Tasia Fertelmeyster.  Shorty after her arrival in the U.S. her foster-mother died in a fire.  Young girl ran away from the drunkard-father… got into a bad company.  Her decomposed corpse with multiple knife wounds was found because of the stench, in the bathtub of her boyfriend — a notorious Bensonhurst’s thief and a card gambler Alex Trubbe.  The suspect left to Russia the morning after a loud night scandal with the 20 year old victim, skipping out on his probation just before its expiration date…

Initially Lera believed in the police version, but when the case was ready for transfer to Interpol, Trubbe suddenly flew back to NY using the return round-trip ticket he bought at a counter in JFK.  After his arrest at the airport thief was transferred to the morgue by the cops.  There, in a hysterical state of mind Alex identified his girlfriend’s unrecognizable, lifeless body by her unique natural gold curly short hair, as well as her engagement ring…  He cried, puked, lost consciousness twice — throughout the ordeal begging cops to tell him who killed his beautiful, beloved fianc?…  Being charged with Tasia’s murder, in jail he refuses to eat.  Inmates complain that the crazy Russian is having lucid dreams and howls all night long…

Greg’s expert opinion is that the cops are wrong: Trubbe’s psychological profile doesn’t coincide with the one of presumptive perpetrator in this vicious crime.  It looks like Alex is still in shock… When Michael Katz, whom Trubbe hired to defend him for $40,000 invited Greg to help him with «this Russian mess», he agreed eagerly.  Detective’s adrenaline is already pulsing in his veins: just recently a mulatto-dancer from the strip club whispered him a secret… the murdered Russian girl had been her partner in hard-core porno S&M movies for a year.  The mulatto subsequently got fired because of her cocaine problem, and it was the day when the white girl threatened her: «I wouldn’t expect my man-friend to obtain any rumors about our «extracurricular activities»… from you or someone else».  Back then the colored girl was afraid of Tasia, but now she thinks that «that jealous jerk probably found out by accident and whacked her».

Greg is intrigued. What a jump-start!
On top of that, Alex Trubbe’s father — professor of NYU — is Greg’s aunt’s acquaintance from the Noble Assembly.  Vladimir Trubbe confided in her that he and his wife didn’t approved Alex’s choice, but Alex was deeply in love with Tasia.  The thief’s well-bred parents are positive that their son is not able to even hit a woman, any woman, especially to kill the one he admired… using his father’s gift.

The handmade Russian knife — the heaviest evidence against Alex – was left on the bathroom floor wrapped in his shirt with traces of victim’s blood, as if on purpose, for the police to find it.  Grigory’s methods are far different from those used by the American PDs. His experience is broad; his IQ is a little bit higher.

The exotic dancer unexpectedly drops dead from an overdose, but she gave Greg an important hint.  Holding a thin broken thread, he unravels a tangle of brutal crime. This investigation is growing with riddles, like a rolling snowball.
Under cover of night, the Russian P.I. breaks into the loft in Dumbo and… here is proof of victim’s voluntary participation in dozens of wildest S&M shows. Tasia never performed on stage against her will by some kinky blackmailer, she actually liked to torture other girls even more than to be tortured by the Boss…  She was shear sado-masochist, compulsive, but obviously, not an irrational one. Tasia had been paid big bucks for this «hobby».  However, her 39-years old boyfriend had no idea about either her hobby, nor her financial affairs…  Cash was not found.  Alex’s girlfriend didn’t have a bank account.

Autopsy uncovered a contraceptive device in the victim’s uterus… while her lover, a card-sharper with very sensitive fingers — swore to God and on his life, that Tasia didn’t have one…  Alas, in front of jury in court such allegations can only damage the accused image. In addition, Alex had enemies… on both continents. Two years ago the thief cut a deal with the very same police detectives who arrested him this Saturday. Instead of serving time, Trubbe gave authorities crucial information about a lieutenant of the local Russian mafia. «Microbe» was interrogated again today in presence of Lera: the prisoner admitted that after landing him behind bars, traitor — «Truba» stole a dear woman from him… and dumped her when he met Tasia. Both Microbe and his ex- have an ironclad alibi, but mafia could recruit a professional from former Soviet Union for revenge…

Private eye has not yet realized how close he is to the truth: Ukrainian killer for hire nicknamed «Chill» is still in Brooklyn.  Chill picked Trubbe’s flat’s lock long before Alex’s return and has already managed to break the neck of the Banker’s wife’s lover… That very guy Grigory knew by his last Moscow job… As of today he heard nothing about any of it, but Chill’s perfect last job was marked by police as «suicide».

Meanwhile, the Banker’s Partner at his office is talking with an FBI agent, known to Greg as Mr. X. Mr. X pretends that FBI is interested in the channels of money laundering through Moscow banks. It becomes clear that the Partner ‘leaked’ Banker’s wife’s affair and had been promised «the G-roof» for that. To agent’s regret, his unauthorized blackmailing scheme failed. When X showed the woman video of sexual intercourse in Moscow hoping to buy «a favor for his silence», she sternly declined the offer and «dropped» camera in hot soup, not knowing that her lover «jumped out of window». Banker — the initiator of the horrible act of revenge — forgave his pretty young wife for sake of their child, and she repented, promising to be loyal to him in the future.

Greg queries defendant’s neighbors who heard the quarrel on the night before Tasia’s murder through the wall.  The Yugoslav family consist of 2 adults and 7 kids. The two older girls understand Russian.  One of them insists that Trubbe was not the victim’s husband, but… her father (!): «She screamed it repeatedly many times! Dad killed his daughter…»

Attorney Katz meets P.I. at jail gates for a visit with the client.  It turns out that Alex’s jumpy departure was caused by this particular scene: that evening Tasia accused him of incest, claiming herself to be the daughter of Trubbe’s ex-girlfriend.  Alex broke up with Nastya 21 years ago… close proximity of dates brought him to madness.  He was eager to learn the truth of orphan’s birth and flew to Moscow in panic wishing to clear this matter with his first love. He brought a certificate proving that Tasia lied, but… still didn’t see any reason why somebody would want to harm her.

Next morning Lera grills Greg with some hot news.  Analysis of the flies’ larvae recovered from the corpse gave an hour of death, when Trubbe was over the ocean.  Police detectives interpreted lab result by declaring Trubbe’s premeditations.  They proposed that before leaving home for Moscow, Trubbe filled the tub with his victim’s body with ice. A call to Alex’s ground line the next evening from millionaire Rayberg, the cops promptly cancelled as an erroneous connection: «It’s unlikely for a VP of a major computer company in Florida to buy stolen goods from our petty thief»… «It’s simpler to make a joke if you don’t want to seek for another potential guilty party,» — comments Greg.

Wishing to prove defendant’s innocence in this crime, Greg flies home to dig for clues in their native country. This puzzle is too complex.  Putting the whole picture together requires for him to dive deep down into Alex and Tasia’s past…

Just before Greg’s arrival to JFK, «Chill» flew to Kiev from the same airport. Now in the lavatory of another plane the killer is binding money to his ankle and smiles a cold, lifeless smile. Trubbe was gone and his woman was already dead, when he got inside his apartment, but the fee from «Microbe» was delivered to him by «Leather-man» anyway. Chill thought: «Trubbe is going to burn for this sooner or later. My part is done…»
At this hour the Banker’s wife watches TV news in a bedroom of their luxurious mansion.  Photo of her lover on the screen distorts woman’s pale face with grief… She drops the remote and bursts into sobbing when the Banker enters the room. Husband puts his hands onto wife’s shaking shoulders and kisses her fondly: «My baby… It’s my fault: I didn’t pay you enough attention.  But what a loser!  Pathetic suicide…  My love is stronger.  I would never leave you so cowardly…»
Moscow

In Moscow Grigory immediately catches something unforeseen. Young victim’s childhood was full of dark spots.  Attacks of aggression, abortion at 14, way too many lovers later…  16-years old Tasia accidentally broke an arm of one of them…  But it was her eyes that scared the guy.

In the morning in his studio Grigory digests bits and pieces of new data and mumbling to the mirror while shaving: «I smelt she was key».  Then he drives his 10-years old Cherokee in Orphanage #4.  Children walk and play in a big yard inside the prison-like fenced walls.  Snotty kid pulls down P.I.’s sleeve: «You my Daddy?»

All the staff at the Orphanage had long been replaced, but one employee remembers «aunt Lucia» – a woman, who worked here for 40 years and knew every child by name. The old caretaker retired and moved to a tiny village, Bugry, somewhere near Opalikha town, in the outskirts of Moscow.

Nastya (self-confident lady with an honest glance) confirms for Greg the correctness of Trubbe’s story. Alex had been her first love, she was about to marry him and go to United States as his wife when her father, Militia Major General, had learned that the purebred son of a famous MGU professor Trubbe is a swindler.  Nastya cancelled the wedding and went to the abortion clinic. When she met with Alex last month, he was in extreme distress, asking all these stupid questions… She pitied him.

In the moving train, opposite Grigory, a wrinkled granny with a basket is dosing off.  Train stops, and she wakes just to teach her grandson: «Look at you, Victor! Legs wide spread, like a Jew.  Pull your boots under the seat».  The boy obeys.  At Opalikha station Greg exited the coach behind them.  Then the trio of fellow-travelers quake shattered on the bumpy road, in a bus to the dilapidated village Bugry. The street signs are absent.  Disguised as a «poor soviet laborer» by his worn-out clothing, P.I. asks the old timer if she ever heard of «aunt Lucia».  Babushka points her clumsy finger to a green fence and threatens Greg: «And just in case, mod, keep in mind – my son is militia captain.»

Elderly aunt Lucia is a moonshine drunkard, but she remembers Tania Bogatyreva vividly.  Two newborn babies were dumped at the threshold of the orphanage simultaneously. Tania appeared to be a healthy, big baby.  The other girl was weak and smaller in size.  Later on they became closest friends, but back then Natasha was hardly a survivor. Aunt Lucia nursed her back to health, and grateful girl didn’t forget that up to this age. She and her foster-parents visited aunt Lucia and even invited her to their home… Not like Tania, who just disappeared.

Then drunken old woman clarified with sadness that both of Natasha’s parent died in an auto crash this autumn. For the detective, Natasha’s address was easy to find… Taganka, but nobody opened the door. He got acquainted with her neighbor and soon was informed that at the end of June the student left on vacation… to America. It sounded like the south… Florida?

Grigory’s eyes twinkled.  He figured it out: America, Miami… strange phone call to Trubbe’s apartment from millionaire Rayberg… Natasha should’ve flown out of Moscow 2 days prior the crime in Brooklyn. There are no direct flights to Miami, but through New York. P.I. felt like a bloodhound taking the scent.  To top it off, that evening, Natasha’s «left door friend» showed him a recent group photo.  In the center of it was the victim — alive and good-looking Tasia Fertelmeyster with uncharacteristically long hair (!!!)
New York

A fight in the showers of the criminal jail continues on in eerie silence, disturbed only by the naked prisoners’ husky breathing. Their fists are covered with rolled towels. Who is being beaten is unclear.  Nobody yells. One by one the washed people are getting out into the corridor.  Muster shows, that somebody is missing. Guard takes a peek into the sanitary block and sees the head of a man laying on the tiled floor (Alex depleted with his hunger strike and unrecognizable, because of his skinny torso and wet hair). Soupy water trickles, mixing with blood flowing from under his forehead into the lattice.  The guard radios for help.

Several hours later a jail employee comes to the room where Katz is waiting to see his client.  He reports to the lawyer that Trubbe is scheduled for urgent brain surgery due to head trauma.

On a plane to New York, Grigory shuffles the documents he obtained in Moscow.  Lera meets him in JFK with gruesome news regarding his client’s poor condition.  Alex’s surgery was not a success, he is comatose.

Banker kisses his wife in their mansion. Meanwhile, two men are coming out of the car near the house on Brighton Beach Avenue and pull ski-masks over their heads in its hall. The banker’s wife is in bed with her husband. Two men in a ski-masks kick open the door of Banker Partner’s office, one of them socks the secretary in the face. Woman flies back to the wall and ragdolls to the floor. The scene of love in the Banker’s bedroom reaches crescendo. Masked men “Uzi” down the Partner. Blood is sprinkling. Bits of broken glass and shreds of plastic are flying around. Apogee of love. The Banker collapses on the bed close to his wife. Empty clip drops slow-motion next to the other smoking cartridges. (This montage flashes before Grigory’s eyes when he INFORMALLY examines this crime scene).

Mr. X in his FBI office opens his mails.  Seeing an envelope from the Cayman Islands addressed to him personally, his face changes.  Out of the envelope slips a photo of the Partner’s corpse.  Despite this blunt hint — «beware» — now Mr. X cannot implicate the Banker. In best case scenario, such an attempt would cost the corrupted agent his career.

Katz in prison hospital threatens to sue every entity responsible: jail, state and city for millions on the basis that the wrongful arrest and bail denial caused great harm to his innocent client. Trubbe’s parents around his bed are grieving over the son. Alex emits his last breath.  Medical staff rushes him to the operating block, but their efforts are fruitless. Tired doctors cover the corpse with a sheet. In an hour, after signing a new contract, Katz is already representing the interests of Alex Trubbe’s parents.

Gregory rides to the lawyer for royalties and then directly goes to Tasia’s father. He buys a 6 pack for the old man, who under the influence mumbles obsessively that the death of his wife in a fire was not an accident.  At the end he breaks to Greg a rather shocking confession: «It was Tasia who started the fire in the apartment where my wife was burnt.»

Police detectives at precinct # 61 prepare «Taisia Fertelmeyster’s murder case» for closing on the ground of the main suspect’s death.

Last pieces of the puzzle are falling into place in Greg’s mind, forming a picture of what happened on July 1st and 2nd of this hot summer in Bensonhurst…  He recreates the sequence of events:
Twin-sisters from the Moscow’s orphanage with different names met that tragic night in Trubbe’s place. For one of them it was a misfortune. On the route to Miami Muscovite-girl planned to visit her only biological relative. Scandal with Alex on the theme of incest was provoked by Tasia. She intended to get rid of her boyfriend ahead of Natasha’s arrival.  Thief’s girlfriend had a motif.  Tasia could not tolerate her sister’s luck of catching such an enviable groom.  She decided to correct injustice of fate, replacing millionaire’s fianc? with her own identical body.  Natasha was tired after the flight.  Showing her care, young New Yorker filled a hot tub for the sister. The bathroom didn’t have a lock.  As soon as Natasha got undressed, Tasia hit her on the head with a heavy bottle of vodka and holed her face under the water. It’s kind of simple.

After loading the corpse into the tub, she is hatefully popping her sister’s dead body with Alex’s knife. Then Tasia wipes the blade with his dirty shirt, puts everything on the floor, and answers Rayberg’s phone call… (Natasha announced her arrival to JFK to both of them using her mobile and supplied Harry with a number of her orphanage-period soul mate Tania. So, Rayberg honestly stated to the police during their check-up call that he did not recognize neither Alex Trubbe, nor Taisia Fertelmeyster’s names).

Trubbe’s engagement ring fits onto cadaver’s finger perfectly. Alex’s love cuts dead sister’s long hair copying her own haircut, carefully packs them into victim’s bag and… vuala! The ticket to Miami is here. Tasia puts on Natasha’s clothing and leaves the apartment to the airport by subway. Her road to the bright future is obstacle free: she knows not only all the secrets of her trusting lover, but those of her sister as well…
Miami

Greg enters the stupendous suites of Rayberg and hands Harry his file.  Harry looks at Tasia’s photo.  Comparison of fresh snapshot of Natasha in Moscow with more recent pictures on his table drove the point home.  His fingers begin to tremble.

P.I. speaks up in his low voice: «Sorry to burst your bubble sir, but she started the preparations for your transition to heaven way ahead of wedding.  And very wise, so to speak.  The ingredients for poison were ordered over the internet from various sites overseas.  Cleaver young lady — uses fake identities, different computers and mailboxes every time…  I have no authority in this country.  My stay here has lasted too long.  It’s time for me to go home and take care of my pet-flower.  It’s called «immortale», but still it needs watering once in a while.»

After making copies of Greg’s papers and photographs, pale Rayberg gives him an envelope: «Thank you. Open it in Moscow. I have enough connections in this country to finalize this matter.» Rayberg’s bride takes a sunbath on the beach that belongs to a luxury condominium «Pinnacle». Some Spaniard unceremoniously scans her body with his glances.  Next to him stands a grim-faced older man. Gold-haired beauty spits the words arrogantly: «What’s the matter, guys? You confused me for someone else? I don’t know you.» At that, the younger police detective answers: «But we know you, Miss Taisia Fertelmeyster. Oh, we know you very well». His colleague handcuffs Tasia, reads her Miranda rights and states the charges: premeditated murder of her twin-sister Natasha, arson, that led to the deaths of her mother, indirect involvement in the death of her boyfriend… presumed intents to poison her new groom.

Harry Rayberg observes this scene from his office through powerful binoculars. Despite the tears in his eyes, Harry’s lips are compressed into a tight knot.
New York

Trubbe’s father brings Gregory and Lera to JFK in his car. Vladimir cordially thanks them both for clearing Alex’s name: «You knew everything…  Thief, but not a murderer …» Cell phone rings in detective’s shirt pocket. Agitated voice of Mark Fertelmeyster says into his ear: «Even though… It’s some kind of justice. Nobody believed me previously…»
Moscow

At his bachelor pad, Grigory loads dirty clothes from suitcase into the washing machine.  Suddenly he claps himself on the forehead, unloads things on the floor, checks it for something and extracts the crumpled envelope out of the shorts’ pocket. Inside it he finds a check from Harry Rayberg for a hundred thousand dollars.

On the next day he takes Lera to the bank and donates the entire amount to the orphanage, where the two sisters grew up. Grigory grew up in approximately the same institution.  He is an orphan too. P.I. explains to his lady-friend: «I long dreamed of making a noble gesture, but never could accumulate a decent sum of money». Later that day, Grigory shakes his pockets for a small amount of rubbles to pay for Lera’s ice cream and coffee. She laughs: «Grisha, my noble militia-man, I love you in all your poverty!» He’s wrinkling his nose: «Then, as a true gentleman, I have to marry you… in half a year. Before that, I won’t have the money for a wedding, and selling my Harley is not an option: I am honest, but I’m not that holy».

Wedding of Grigory and Lera. At his place — modest, but fun. A couple of dozen friends with practical, inexpensive gifts.  At some moment a DHL postman rings the doorbell. Bride reveals an envelope from Michael Katz. It contains a check for two hundred thousand dollars and letter from the lawyer: «I heard you are getting married with that girl who helped us? Congratulations! Since the state agreed to pay 10 millions in favor of Trubbe’s parents, my clients and I decided to give you a present. Handful of peanuts for a thorough job is not an American way.»

***

Thus ends one of the American trips of private eye Grigory Morozov, but a lot of similar stories are waiting the viewers ahead.

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