The Sonata (2018) - full transcript

A gifted musician inherits a mansion after her long lost father dies under mysterious circumstances. She discovers his last musical masterpiece riddled with cryptic symbols that unravels an evil secret.

Is everything OK, Rose?

That was a really great take.

It wasn't. I was late on the
second movement.


Your manager's just
arrived, so why

don't we all take five, yeah?

I thought you were in Berlin.

I was.

Rose, I have some--

I have some bad news.

I spoke with your
notary on the phone.

Your father is dead.

I'm so sorry.

Are you OK?

Mr. Gilford wasn't able
to tell me anything more

over the phone, but we're
supposed to meet him

tomorrow morning at his office.

Sorry, uh, to barge in.

We should try moving on.

We only have until 6:00.

I don't have time
for this right now.

Let's go again.

Can we deal with
this tomorrow?

10 a.m.?

Jesus Christ.

Above all, I wish to express
my most sincere condolences.

I also apologize for the
way you were informed

of your father's demise.

Well, actually, I had no idea
whether he was alive or dead.

From the little I knew of him,
I'm amazed he lived this long.

We weren't exactly close.

When was the last
time you saw him?

Uh, 1993.

He left when I was 14 months.

My French counterpart,
Monsieur Zurah,

informed me of his death.

According to him, you
are the one and only

heiress of Richard Marlowe.

Richard Marlowe, the composer?


You're the daughter
of Richard Marlowe?

You never told me?

I didn't tell you
anything about my father.

But I thought--

Not now, Charles.

Uh, there's no will.

You inherit the copyrights
of his entire body of work,

his property in France,
some minor bonds

worth next to nothing,
and, uh-- well, that's it.

I'm afraid there's
very little money.

Let me get this straight.

All of Marlowe's musical
copyrights now belong to Rose?


Are we done?

Uh, almost.

But, uh, before you go,
I am obliged to give

you these myself.

In there are the property
title and some personal effects

he wanted you to have.

For the house.

Miss Fisher?

Can you deal with the rest?

Of course.

Forgive my curiosity,
but was Mr. Marlowe famous?

Not famous so
much as notorious--

the kind of composer
an up-and-coming

conductor would cite
in order to show off,

show they were in the know.

Back in the '80s, he
composed a symphony that

caught the critics off-guard.

He became trendy, I suppose.

Some hailed him as the leader of
a new generation of composers--

a savior of British
classical music,

which he might have become
if he hadn't disappeared.

Every medium has one--

a would-be champion that burns
out before they got started.

Rock and roll had Syd Barrett.

We have Richard Marlowe.

The press thought there
had been an accident,

some form of foul play.

Ends up he was just
in France rotting

in a country.

There's something I
should probably mention.

I didn't dare say anything
while Miss Fisher was here.

If there is any
legal impediment--


No, not that.

More a moral one.

Mr. Marlowe committed
suicide in the most

violent way imaginable.


He set fire to himself
in front of his house.

I see.

Thank you for not mentioning
that in front of Rose.

I know she doesn't seem it, but
she's actually very emotional.

Is there anyone who can be
with her-- family, a loved one?

Rose's mother is
dead, and she doesn't

have time for loved ones.

Doesn't have time?

Her words.

I'm the closest thing
she has to family.

I'll take care of it, make sure
to tell her at the right time.

What do you want?

Can I come in?




Jesus Christ, Rose.

I'm worried about you.

Well, don't be.

I've known you
since you were 16,

and I know perfectly
well when you're not OK.

Why didn't you tell me your
father was Richard Marlowe?

It wasn't relevant.

Wasn't relevant?

You're a classical violinist.

He was one of the most gifted
composers of living memory.

You don't see the link there?

I didn't want people to know.

Christ, Rose, I'm
not just your agent.

You could have told me.



Because fuck him, that's why.

He didn't give a shit
about me and my mom.

He left us.

So I want to make it
on my own without even

a hint of trading in his name.

Yes, he was a great composer.

Well, so was Shostakovich.

And that's the only
context in which

Marlowe has any meaning to me.

I wouldn't have made
you trade on his name.

Wouldn't you?


Listen, I didn't
come here to fight.

I want to be here for you,
help you through this.

Is that the estate in France?


I'm heading over tomorrow.

Good, but how?

Oh, I'll probably take
a plane and then a taxi.

You know what I mean.

You're halfway through
your recording.

The studio costs a fortune.

The label is expecting
six pieces, not to mention

your other commitments.

Well, it's going
to have to wait.



I'm heading over
tomorrow, Charles,

and that's all there is to it.

It's not just your decision.

So your sympathy extends
as far as it affects

the next concert, is that it?


I'm your agent, remember?

Yeah, well, about that.


I've been meaning to tell
you for a while, actually.

I was contacted by DMI in New
York, and they want to sign me.

Since when?

It's been a few months.

Rose, you're a wonderful
musician, but it's too soon.

What do you mean too soon?

Look, I had a lot of clients
like you-- young, talented,

with potential for greatness.

They go to bigger
agencies which cares only

about money and fame,
and end up swamped

by all the other musicians.

No, you haven't.

You've had clients that are
good and clients that are OK,

and the good ones leave and
the passable are dropped.

But you've never, ever
had a client like me,

and you know it.

And every time I bring this
up, it's always too soon,

or let's wait, or be patient.

But I'm out of
patience, Charles.

I've waited so long that--

You think I'm
holding you back.

I'm afraid that you're
never going to let me go.

You've taken me
as far as you can,

and now you need to let me go.


Just 'cause you
screwed up your career

as a musician doesn't mean
I need to screw up mine.


Rose, do whatever you want.

I don't give a shit anymore.

But keep one thing in mind.

You're good, but
you're not that good.

And talent is not the
only thing that matters.

Thank you.

With, uh, fire.

Et voila.

Hello, Rose.



Um-- are you OK?

I'm fine.

Are you in France?

Yes, I'm at Marlowe's house.

Look, um, I-- I wanted to
apologize for the other night.

You know, it was--

I didn't mean to
say what I said.

It was wrong of me to--

to say it.


It's OK.

Look, I just want the
best for you, that's all.

Now, if you feel I'm
holding you back--

No, I am--

I'm frustrated, but I
didn't mean to lash out.

I think I just need
some time alone.

I understand.

So this house, what's it like?

Old, creepy, isolated.

I like it.

It reminds me of you.


How are you holding up?

Did you learn anything
about your father?

Well, that's actually what
I wanted to tell you about.

I think that he was working
on something before he died--

a sonata.


You mean a finished one?

I think so.

But it's really weird
because some of the staves,

they begin with symbols
that I've never seen before.

What kind of symbols?

I can't describe them.

Perhaps if I send
you some pictures--

do you think you'd have
time to have a look at them?

Of course.

Rose, you do know if this
is your father's final work,

it could be a huge sensation.

Yes, well, that much
had occurred to me.

And if this score was more
important to him than I was,

I'd like to know why.


I've got to go.

I'll send you the
pictures as soon as I can.

Sure thing.

Keep me posted.

Will do.


Oh, and-- and
there's one last thing.


You wouldn't happen
to know how he died?

Your father?



Did you find anything?



Talk soon.

Mr. Marlowe,
good evening, and thank you

for granting us this interview.

We are aware it is not really
in your habit to do so.

Over the course of the
last three or four years,

you have gone from being an
obscure, shall we say, composer

to being the face of a brave
new era of classical composers.

And yet an equal
number of detractors

find your music
too old-fashioned.

You know, the concept
of old-fashioned

means very little to me.

I don't judge a piece
of art by its period.

If Mozart were alive, he would
meet the same silly criticism.


I don't write music
to please anyone.

It's not entertainment.

It floats around,
whispering inside me.

I heard it from
the day I was born,

and it will be there
long after I die.

It holds the key
to the human heart.

Its real voice has
no written words,

and it reveals darkness,
sadness, joy, longing.

It's magic.

By the
sound of things,

you seem to be entrusted
with a mission.

I just follow the
voice that I hear.


Something like that.

of your future work?

Can you tell us a
little bit about it?

I started years ago.

It's still not finished.

But it will be one day.

And do you
think it will affect people?

It will touch
someone, I think.


Who's there?


Bloody French.



Thank you so much for coming.

What wouldn't I do
for my former agent.


I know you're performing a
concert tomorrow evening,

but I'm in desperate
need of your expertise.

I'll have a pint
of lager, please.

Same again.

Since when do you drink water?

I'm on the wagon--

for good, this time.

These damn things make me
fall asleep half the time,

but they really help.

Well, I'm glad to hear that.

So, tell me about
this piece of music

that you want me
to have a look at.


What can you tell me about this?

Well, it would appear
to be a violin sonata.

And it's composed on the basis
of a fairly regular structure,

but it's quite uneven.

I mean, the quality it, uh--

it changes drastically
depending on the passage.

It's fairly coherent.

But the first, the third,
and the fifth movement here--

they are magnificent, they are.

They're truly
magnificent, in fact.

Who wrote this?

I'm not at liberty to say.

Oh, Charles, you tease.

Come on.

I must know.

Sorry, James.

I have to keep schtum.

But I will say this.

It's going to be huge
when it goes official.

About bloody time, Charlie.

The elusive big break, eh?

It's better late than never.


Right now, I need you to help
me decipher these symbols.

Do they mean anything to you?

In all honesty, I have
never seen anything like it

before in my life.

I mean, perhaps there's
some kind of a key beginning

of each stave--

you know, like a way they
code the score or something?

That would certainly
explain the poor quality

of certain passages.

It's almost as if the composer
has done this on purpose

so that nobody would be
able to decipher the score.


Charles, no one understands
more than me the need

for secrecy in this business,
but if you don't tell me

who wrote this, it's going to be
really hard for me to help you.

OK, James.

But I need your word
you won't tell anyone.


It's Richard
Marlowe's last work.

The Richard Marlowe?

The crazy, eccentric
savior of classical music

who disappeared to listen
to the voices in his head?

The very same.

I thought he died years ago.

No, last week.

Well, that would explain it.

Thank you.

Look, you have my word
I won't tell anybody, OK?

Do you know anyone
who can help me out?

I can think of one person.


He worked with Richard
Marlowe for years.

Truth be told, he was the
only one that Marlowe ever

really tolerated being around.

If he can't help
you, no one can.

But he won't really appreciate
me giving out his number

to a complete stranger.

Come on, James.

You owe me this.



I'll have to call ahead and
let him know that you're

going to be in touch.

He doesn't really
like new people.

Charles Vernais.

I have an appointment
with Sir Victor.

Follow me, please.

Thank you.

Monsieur Vernais.

Pleasure to meet you.

Pleasure's all
mine, Sir Victor.

And thank you for your time.

Please, sit down.

Meredith, if you'd be so kind
as to bring us some tea, please.

Right away, sir.

Oh, and, Meredith?

Yes, Sir Victor?

Preferably not the disgusting
concoction my daughter

gave me, if you'd be so kind.

She's new.

I see.

Are you writing a new book?

Uh, indeed.

The third and final volume of
the history of baroque music.

I must confess that your
visit offers me an unexpected

and quite welcome break.

So, Monsieur Vernais,
what can an old man

like myself do for you?

I came to ask you
some questions about--

about this.

It was composed by
Richard Marlowe.

I see.

The sonata.

I'm sorry?

I never thought
he'd finish it.

You've heard of this?

He used to speak of
it as his life's work.

Now, let's see.

It should go something like--

It's delightful.

Might I be so bold as to ask
how you acquired this work?

I-- it's confidential.

There are other parties.

I see, I see.

Well, go on.

The problem is that
the music is so erratic,

and then there are
these strange symbols.

Do these look familiar?

They are the same.

These symbols were created
by a French secret society

back in the 19th century.

Now, each symbol represents
one of four different aspects

of a code, which,
when joined together,

create the symbol of
the Famulus Order.


Does one have to be
Her Majesty the Queen

to get a simple cup of tea?

It's coming, sir.

I'm trying to work out
whether she is mentally retarded

or just maliciously slow.

The members of the Famulus Order
were, uh, perverted successors

of the Romantic Movement--

noblemen, artists.

What-- what does it
have to do with music?

They were convinced that music
has the capacity of unlocking

portals between worlds.

I'm sorry, portals?

Doors, openings, gaps in
the fabric of the cosmos.

I understand,
sir, I understand.

It's just that--
so-- so this order,

they believed that music
had a kind of magic?


Not metaphorically, or as part
of some illusion or trick.

They believed that music
had real, tangible power.

W-- what kind of power?

Well, they believed that if
the notes were properly aligned

and played with exactly
the right pitch,

they could conjure and
seduce the Antichrist.

By playing music?

More or less.

Their theory was based
on one simple belief--

one does not address
the devil with words.

Only music would allow mortals
to communicate with him

and understand his divinity.

The Antichrist, sir?

This is no joke,
Monsieur Vernais.

These symbols, do you
think they can be deciphered?

Of course.

Marlowe was fascinated
by the order.

He probably found
the inspiration

in it to code his own work.

You seem to have
known him quite well.

Were the two of you close?


To Marlowe?

You must be joking.

That man was the
very incarnation

of pride, ruthless and cruel.

I very much doubt he
was close to anyone.

But the two of
you worked together.

Surely you must have appreciated
each other's company.

Well, don't misunderstand me.

He was a terrific composer.

One couldn't help but
be impressed by him.

He was devoted to his work
and would have sacrificed

everything for his music, apart
from, perhaps, his little Rose.

Don't be so surprised,
Monsieur Vernais.

You can't possibly think that
I would allow you into my home

without knowing
everything about you?

It's not that I--

well, she's not exactly
aware of my being here.

And truth be told,
she doesn't speak

very highly of her father.

It's funny.

He loved those flowers
so much, he named

his own daughter after them.

Believe me, if the
rest of the score

is as good as the
opening passage,

and given Marlowe's talent,
you may very well be holding

an absolute masterpiece.

This is going to
seem rather forward,

but would you mind if I borrowed
your book on the Famulus Order?

Well, I can't see why not.

Thank you very much for
your time, Sir Victor.

I'll bring the book back
as soon as possible.

I have no doubt of it.



C'est un
fenetre de merde.


No, it's Santa Claus.

Oh, my god.

What the hell are
you doing here?

Yeah, great to see you too.

You scared the hell out of me.

Why are you coming in
through the window?

You weren't
answering your phone.

You've locked the front
door shut, so I improvised.

Why are you here?

I thought a little
company wouldn't harm you.

Plus, I brought a couple of
things you and I can work on.

By researching information
about this French sect,

I discovered the leader used to
live here in this very house.

Your father was fascinated
about their beliefs.

I discovered that the
symbols of the sonata

correspond to what they
call the four faces of evil.

The first symbol
represents power.

The second, immortality.

The third, appearance.

And the fourth, duality.

United, they form the symbol of
evil, which is also the symbol

of the Famulus Order.

Your father left clues for
you here in this very house.


This one represents power.

And I found another
one just like it.


It doesn't work anymore?

I turned it off
because of the noise.

And it was an hour late, anyway.

There's got to be a
logic behind all this.

If these symbols are
placed where they are,

it must be for a good reason.


Well, the symbol in the
chimney only appears

when the flames rise up.

Could it be that if--

It's worth a try, isn't it?

Lemon juice.

Kid stuff.

Which means that the
objects the symbols appear on

affect the way the
music is deciphered.

The symbol on the clock
represents immortality.

It must have a kind
of link with time.

When I found it, it was an
hour behind on French time.

And when I played this,
it didn't sound right.

Maybe if we shift
the notes forward,

making them a time late, it'll
give something more coherent.

Yes, that would seem logical.


Are you OK?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

It's just a headache.

I'm fine.

Are you sure?

I said, I'm fine!

We must look for all the
clues left by your father.

One must be appearance,
the other, duality.

Any ideas?

Have you seen the
size of this place?

It could be anywhere.

Then there's no time to lose.

It's like looking for
a needle in a haystack.

I mean, even if I knew--



Who's Therese?

My father had a cleaning lady.

She knows this place perfectly.

Maybe she knows something.

In that case, we have
to go see her and ask

her the right questions.

You should go.

You speak better French than me.



Recording number two.


You must join the others now.



We have to call the police.

Rose, what's going on?

Rose, what's-- what's wrong?

What's wrong?

Inside the chapel
in the woods,

children have been killed.

We have to call the police.

Wait, wait, wait, wait.

What are you talking about?

Under the chapel,
there-- there's a room

which has torture devices.

What are you talking about?

He recorded
them screaming.


Rose, for god's sake--

Let go of me!

We have to call the police!

Hey, tell me what
the hell is happening.

Listen to me, listen.

I don't know what you
think you've seen,

but right now I want
you to calm down, OK?

Deep breath.

Just take a moment.

Listen to me, I'm here now.

I'm protecting you.

I want you to wait until your
breathing's under control,

and then you take
it from the top.


Now, these children, are
there bodies, bones, what?

No, I saw some
shadows in the woods.

No, but I heard
them on the tapes.

What tape?

He was torturing them,
and he recorded it.

Ro, do you think
your father would

have been capable of
doing something like that?

I don't know.

I don't know.

But there was this--

this wall painting with
some kind of demon on it.

I'm not crazy!

Go and see for yourself!

OK, Rose, OK.

I believe you.

I believe you.

I'm sure whatever
you've seen down

there has given
you quite a fright,

but let's not jump to
any conclusions yet.

Don't patronize me, Charles.

I'm not!

I'm-- I'm trying to help you.

I've always been there for
you, and I'm here right now.

Look, I came over to
see you because I've

discovered a great deal of
things about your father.

I've been led to
believe that he had a--

drink up-- he had
a strange taste

for morbid folklore,
which doesn't mean he

actually did anything morbid.

It could simply be an
artistic approach-- a way

to immerse himself
in a fantasy world

to capture what he needed
to achieve with his music.

And believe me, he wouldn't
be the first to do so.

Take Schumann, for instance.

Schumann found inspiration
in voices from above,

and Tartini, from the devil.

It doesn't mean they
were psychopaths.

Well, you weren't there.

You didn't see what I did.

I don't want to
stay here anymore.

I want to go back to London.

So that's it, huh?

You want us to leave
now, let the whole thing

go when we're so close?

Do you realize what this
music could represent for us?

What do you mean "us"?

Why do you think he sent
you the key to this place?


If we're able to
decipher this sonata,

we'll own the rights to it.

Think about it.

Young virtuoso violinist plays
her long-lost father's work.

Look, I'm not saying we
shouldn't call the police.

I'm just asking you to give me
at least five minutes to tell

you what I've discovered.

Thanks to Therese, I found
the symbol for appearance.

The way I see it, this means
the score has to be played

in reverse, like in a mirror.

I don't think
this is a good idea.

I think we have to
destroy the score.

Could we-- could we, before
taking any rash decisions,

think this through
calmly, please?

We only have two
more symbols to find.


One, actually.


Of course.

Let's get back inside.

Yeah, let's go.

Now, if-- if we juxtapose them
like the statues, we should--

et voila.

I knew it.

Last, but not least, we
have to find the symbol

that unites them all.

It's the symbol of the Famulus
Order in the score.

Charles, we--

You look terrible.

You should rest.

We have to destroy the score.

Do me a favor, Rose.

Go get some sleep.

Who's there?


Recording number two.

For the beast will only speak
through the mouths of the pure,

the uncorrupted--

those who have
only known God's--

For the beast will only speak
through the mouths of the pure,

the uncorrupted--

those who have only
known God's love.

What were you
thinking, old man?

He loved
those flowers so much--

He named his own
daughter after them.



What are you doing?

It's absolutely phenomenal.

Once the symbol's
deciphered, it's pure genius.

Your father was a genius.

This score is going
to change the way

we consume music forever.

What's going on?

I've realized something.

All these years living
here away from the world--

it's all for you.

He wrote the sonata for you.

What do you mean?

All of this was planned.

He had everything
worked out, probably

before you were even born.

The last symbol
points to you, Rose.

The final staves are empty.

You have to fill them.

It's up to you to
finish his work.

Why do you think he wrote
the sonata for violin?

Whether you want it or not,
you're part of his work.

It's our duty to
make this music reach

people's ears all
over the world,

and you have to be
the one to play it.

But that's--

Rose, whether you like it
or not, it's your legacy.

You can't deny it.

That music is wrong.


It's so much more
than simply music.

It's evil, Charles.

Don't you hear it?

The children were screaming!

They were being
tortured for that music!

I know.

Their sacrifice was
a necessary evil.

The voices coming out of
those children's mouth,

it's magnificent.

They're pure, like you.

Listen to you.

I don't even recognize you.

The music is making
you go crazy.

Can't you see?

This is the very reason he
cast you aside all these years.

This sonata can only be played
by pure, uncorrupted souls.

The book says so.

That is you, Rose.

He left you because he knew-- he
knew he would have tainted you.

He saved you--
saved you for this.

Well, I don't
want any part it.

You don't have a choice.

The only thing that
matters now is the music.

What are you doing?

What I should
have done before.

I'm burning these pages
and going to the police.



I've always protected you,
nurtured you, and for what?

So you could leave?

So you could get out into the
world and leave me behind,

forget I ever existed?

I've given you so much,
and all you've done

is throw it at my face.

You don't even realize
how lucky you are.

If I had but only the
slightest hint of your talent,

I wouldn't have had
this shitty life.

This sonata is the
key to my success.

And for once in your miserable
life, you will listen to me

and do as I fucking say.

Got it?

Play it.


I need to hear it.

It keeps coming back in my head.

It's unbearable.

Charles, please--


I've deciphered all the symbols.

All you have to do is play
the music and let yourself go.


Play it!

Who told you to stop?

Keep playing!