Curvature (2017) - full transcript

CURVATURE is a time travel sci-fi drama about an engineer who travels back in time to stop herself from committing a murder.

(woman's voice) If you
could go anywhere,

any time, anywhere.

(man's voice) There's
nowhere else I'd rather be.

[serene music]


[gentle digital alarm]


swelling sound]

(man's voice) Did those
guys give you enough time off?

Because I can talk to
them if you want me to.

A week was fine.

You sure it's a good idea
for you to be back in the

office this soon?

Right now, my choice is to
go to work or lie at home

and stare at the
ceiling, so...

These things take time to
process, that's all I'm saying.

I will be...

processing what he did
for the rest of my life.

Helen, I want to help you.

I-I don't see how
you can do that.

And there is also
something else that I

would like to ask you.

Everything your husband
and I have been doing, all

of our years of...

researching and dreaming
and planning and building...

You want to keep
going without him.

I wanted to ask you first.

We both know how strongly
Wells believed in this project.


Well, he would want
me to finish it.

To follow through, and
I truly believe that.

And like you, I will miss
him every single day.

But at least I can do
this: I can get our ideas,

his ideas, out
in the world.

Helen, do I have your
blessing to do that?

Thank you.

It's what he
would've wanted.

[whale sounds playing
over headphones]

(muffled voice) Helen?

Helen? Helen!

Dice of destiny!

I'm sorry, what
did you say?

It's your roll this week!

Alex I...

My lunch hour is
in your hands.

Six times four.

Six times four...

twenty four.

Not bad.

[serene music]


[indistinct chatter]


Wanna show
'em how it's done?

I'm over the hill.

I wouldn't even
know where to start.

Oh, how are you honey?

You want some tea?

Scratch that.

I have some whiskey.

Sound better?


I can't believe it still
works after, what,

five years on a shelf?



Okay, mostly works.

I was sure you were going
to fail me for this guy.

Wells had to
beg me not to.



You know, you could come
to the lab sometimes if

you wanted to.

Build things for fun.

For fun?


Why not?

Listen, Florence.

-You don't have to...
-Oh please.

Don't even worry about it.


Any time you want.

[thunder crackles]

[peaceful music]


[haunting music]


[heavy wind sounds]

[mysterious music]


[stove starter clicks]

[phone rings]

[phone continues ringing]

(woman's voice on phone)
Get out.


(woman) Now, Helen.


[phone rings]

Who is this?

(woman) Stop wasting time!

What are you
talking about?

(woman) In about five
seconds, you'll see a

black BMW coming
down the street.

Do not let the man
in the car catch you.

My car's gone.

I don't understand.

(woman) Get out
before he can see you.

(woman) Shit!

(woman) Get back.

Stay low.

How do you know?

(man's voice at door)
Mrs. Phillips, I just want to

talk to you.

(woman) Don't
listen to him.

Who is he?

(woman) There isn't time.

Stay in the kitchen.

[lock clicks]

[tense music]


[shallow breathing]

(woman) Around the corner.

[tea kettle whining]

[tea kettle continues whining]

(woman) Easy...



Back of the house!

Turn right!

[glass crunches]

(woman) The house on your
right, behind the wall.


(woman) Easy.

[car honks]

(woman) Trust yourself
and nobody else.

[melodic phone ringtone]


(man's voice on phone)
Anything new?

Well, she's alive.

(man) And she's okay?



(man) But...

Ahh, she took
off running.

Wouldn't let
me talk to her.

(man) She ran away?


Who knows why she's doing
anything right now.

I want to bring her in.

Find out where she's been.

(man) No, leave her alone.

Don't you want to know who
she's been talking to?

(man) All I care about
is that she's okay,

that she didn't hurt herself.

-I said, leave her alone.

(Kraviz) Fine.


[tense music]




Where have you been?

I saw...

I-I went to bed last
night, and when I woke up

this morning it was a week
later and I was wearing

these clothes and I
don't remember anything!

Whoa, whoa.

Slow down.

Where were you all week?

I don't know.
I was hoping you could tell me.

I haven't seen you
since last Friday.

Are you serious?


You said you were going
out to the cabin for the


At first when you didn't
show up on Monday,

I figured you just
stayed out there.

I remember you
telling me that.

Okay, well, did you go?

I have no idea.

I remember I went to the
university lab after work,

and then I went home and
I went to sleep, and then

after that I woke up
this morning and then...


Have you talked to
anybody this morning?


Nobody's called
asking about me.

No, nothing.

Here, take it easy.

Come on.

I missed the whole
week of work?

I called your house, your
cell, the cabin phone.

I went by your place too.


What happened?

I don't know.

I was so worried
about you.

Everybody was.

Because I was missing.


And because of Wells.

Say it.

It's only been
a month since...

Since it happened, okay?

People were
afraid for you.

That's all.

Anyway, come on.

Let's go.

Go where?

The hospital.

No, no.

I need to
figure out where I've been

and what I've been doing.


I need you to take
me to the cabin.

Now? Why?

Okay, you don't have to
come, but let me borrow

your car.

Where's yours?

It's missing.

And so is the
key the cabin.

And maybe the answer to
what happened is just

sitting out there
waiting for me.

[tense synth music]


I forgot how creepy
this place is.

Less people, more deer.

Better for hunting.

You never told
me you hunt.

I used to.

I'm having problems
picturing that.

I'm my father's
only child.

What's he gonna do?

I tried to teach Wells
but he was hopeless.

True city kid.

Your car's not in here.

[eerie music]



We're going to
the hospital now.

No, maybe something
will trigger my memory.

I just need to

Helen, I understand you
want to do things your

way, but we need
to get you help.

I don't know why you're
being so weird today.

[sharp metallic noises]


You were just.. gone.

I think I'm okay now.

You need a doctor.

Someone who can explain
what's happening to you.

I don't think a doctor can
explain what's happening

to me.

[tense music]


That was definitely
your car.

Give me your phone.


Just humor me, okay?


[phone ringing]

(Helen's voice on phone)


Are you there?



Who is this?

(Helen) You called me.

Where are you?

(Helen) You're with
her, aren't you?

How do you know...

(Helen) I'll send you a
message when it's safe.


She called me this
morning to warn me.

Maybe... maybe that woman's
impersonating you.

Stealing your identity.

It wasn't someone
impersonating me,

that was me.

Obviously that's
impossible, so can we

please think of
another answer?

How much do you know about
what Wells was working on

when he died?

Tell me, Mr. Griffin, any
change in your condition?

Nausea come back?


Yeah, they come and go.

And the dreams?

Still unusually vivid?


But they're just dreams.

Let's talk about
your memory.

Any improvement there?

It's just...


A big fat gap.

How far back does
the gap reach?

About a week before the
experiment, maybe more.

And that includes
the 36 hour loop?

I-it's a complete blank.

It's like it
never happened.

Okay, thank you.

We need to find Helen.

I thought I
made it clear...

We have to assume Wells
told her about this


She disappeared
for a week.

We don't know where she's
been, who she's talked to.

We've no idea what she's
told people about whatever

it is you're doing here!

And what?

You want to
interrogate her?

I just want to
talk to her.

It's unnecessary.

Let her show us that.

I'll be the first
to apologize.

(Alex) I want to believe it.

I mean, what
engineer wouldn't?


Only the simple fact that
the laws of physics tell

us that time travel is
probably impossible.

Why do you think Wells was
so secretive about his work?

It wasn't because they
were building toaster ovens.

You said they started
sending volunteers back a

few months ago, right?

Yeah, a maximum
of 36 hours.

Then why?

Why if things were
going so well?

Why would Wells commit...

Why would he
do what he did?

Why now?

I'm sorry, I...

I shouldn't have asked.

The volunteers were having
all these problems with

amnesia, like I am right
now, and Wells was so

frustrated that he
couldn't solve it and...

You know, maybe that's...

I'd seen him depressed
before, and it wasn't like that.

At least he didn't seem
like that, but, I mean

clearly what the
hell do I know?

If I...

I'd paid closer attention.

If I hadn't been so consumed
in my own work, maybe...

He rejected life.

Our life together.

He rejected me.

It makes me so
fucking angry at him.

He came here
alone that night.

He wanted to work on some
bug with the prototype,

get away from the lab.

Clear his mind.

He was...

upset about something.

He was, I could
tell, but...

I didn't let him go.

The next morning
I called and...

and I called and...

when he didn't pick up I,
I drove out here, and then I...

Then I found him.

I found...

Listen to me, okay?

You know I've been there.

Right where you're
sitting right now.

I've been there.

We had breakfast
together that morning.

I knew Caroline was gone.

A blood vessel
in her brain.

And afterward, the world
just kept on moving but I

was stuck in the
land of "what ifs."

Could I have done this?

Why didn't I do that?

Why didn't I
see it coming?

That was three years ago.

And it's taken that long
for me to realize

it's okay, I'm still alive.

You're suffering, blaming
yourself, living in the past.

It doesn't help him now.

[melancholy piano music]






[sound of lock releasing]


That's not for
hunting, is it?

It was our first date.

The combination, my
first date with Wells,


We went to this dive
bar at grad school.

We used that
combination as a code.

Nobody else would know it.

He left this
thing for you?

No, I would've seen it
the last time I was here.

So you think it was...

the other?

I don't know.

[clock ticking sound]

[clock ticking slows]

[mysterious synth music]


[garage door closing]

[metallic noise]

[watch ticking]

No fucking way.

I don't wanna ask.

Wells left me a message.

[computer beeps]

[computer alert sounds]

[computer alert sounds]


Tell me what this is.

I don't know.

Something to do
with optics, right?

It's the mathematical
description of the optimal

frame rate of a video
camera, once you give it a

set of lighting
conditions and lenses.

Am I supposed to be more
excited about that?

Okay, listen.

Wells and me,
we had a game.

Sort of like our own
version of Pictionary or

charades, but
for math nerds.

One of us would start
out writing a series of


A physics problem, some
descriptive mathematical


The equations would
represent a specific

physical phenomenon.

For example:

An equation describing
the motion of a baseball pitch.

The goal of the game is
for the other person to

guess the object as
quickly as possible.

So the pitch equation
would mean baseball. Got it?

You guys really were
a pair of dorks, huh?

And proud of it.

These equations here
mean video camera.

It's written exactly how
Wells and I used to do it.

There's a camera hidden in
the house,

but that's not all.

I remember seeing this
board the day that Wells

died and I didn't
solve it then.

The solution was blank,
and that's how I left it.

[tense music]


Watch it!

Watch out!

Isn't this all a
little Spy Versus Spy?

Wells wanted me to
find that message.

You don't have to believe
me, but help me anyway, okay?

I believe you.

Then start looking.

How'd you get these?

Bribed the manager.

It was her third trip
there this week.

There she is.

Take a look at her
shopping list.

Timers, digital scale,
pressure cooker.

Want to hazard a guess?

I know what you
want me to say.

Fine, I'll say it for you.

Your girl there.

I think she wants to
blow something up.

That's ridiculous.

[melodic phone ringtone]


Well this is interesting.

[pensive music]


[digital beeping]

What did you see?

Wells protected
the footage.

I don't think
it was Wells.

She got here first.

She solved the equation.

She found it and watched
the footage and then

locked the camera.

We should tell
Thomas about this.

About everything.

He could help.

Wells was paranoid
for a reason.

Besides, the other me
watched this footage,

whatever it is, right?

And I didn't go
to Thomas then, did I?

If there really is another
you running around out there.

Do you have a
better theory?

Let's say there
is a time machine.

That lab has to be sealed
up tight as bank vault.

How did you just walk in
and take the machine for a

joy ride?

I don't know.

Look, we can sit around
and wait for everything to

make perfect sense, but
I'm asking you to help me

right now.

When I really need it.

What do you want to do?

I want to find her.


You really think you're
going to need that?

Helen's not dangerous.

Maybe you don't know her
as well as you think you do.

So what happens if you two
are in the same place at

the same time?

Is the universe
gonna collapse?

God, I hope not.

[tires screeching]

Did you hear that?

Oh shit!

What are you doing?


(Thomas) Helen?

Helen, it's Thomas.

Helen, just let them in.

You haven't done
anything wrong, okay?

They're here to help.

How do you know that?

(Thomas) I just
want to talk to you.

Wait a second!

(Kraviz) Helen, we've
got you on tape!

The pressure cooker, what
are you going to use that for?

I don't know what
you're talking about!

(Thomas) We
saw you, Helen.

What do you want from me?

(Kraviz) Alex, help
your friend out here.

You called them.

What the fuck?

Please. Let them help you.

(Kraviz) Enough!

You've got ten seconds
to open the door.

Put that thing down!

-(Kraviz) Ten, Nine..
-Open it.

Not unless you
put the gun down.

Do it!







Drop the gun.

And then what?

Give it to me.

Helen, have you
lost your mind.


What are you doing?

Don't be stupid!

Drop it! Drop it!

Drop it, drop it, drop it!

Okay, okay.



What, and you're going
along with this?

I'm sorry, I
can't trust you.

You're making an
awful mistake.

You called him.

You wouldn't listen to me!

You wouldn't
let me help you!

I thought he might
know what to do.

I trusted you.

I'm sorry but this, this
is getting out of control.

You can get out of the car
right now if that's what

you want, but I'm going
to find her, I'm going to

figure out what's
happening to me.

Why I sent myself back.

So what's it going to be?

I think I've
already decided.


You happy now?

I didn't mean to
pull the trigger.

You just missed that
guy's head by two inches.

That was an accident.

But a version of me is
out there, buying sniper

rifles and pressure cookers,
which I'm assuming they

think is for a bomb.

It's like there's this
thing out there I can't

control doing
stuff in my name.

You know, ever since I was
a kid, I had this dumb

phobia of being blamed
for something that I didn't do.

And now it's happening.

Except the kicker is is
I probably did do it.

It would be funny if it
weren't so fucked up.

[phone notification sound]

It's from you.

What does it say?

"I need you to understand
why I can't let him live.

Not after this.

Watch the footage.

Vis Viva.


She left the
camera for you.

For us.

The password must be
something that we both know.

Something private
between us.



Do you see that?


-Fuck that.

Slow down, slow
down, slow down!



[tense music]


What happened?

Can we track her again?

[computer beeps]

Yeah, she still has my
gun, but they can't be on

foot anymore.

I'm going wherever
this thing's going.

[wooshing noises]

[computer beeps]


One night, please.

50 Bucks.

We only need it
for a couple hours.

Not that kind of hotel.

We'll pay for the night.

So, the message is for us.

It's got to be something
that we share.

Just us.

Read me your
message again.

"I need you to understand
why I can't let him live.

Not after this.

Watch the footage.

Vis viva.


"Vis viva..."

The living force
of a system.

The conservation
of energy.

You remember our old
god debates, right?


Do you still believe?

I'm still trying to.

This has to be our clue.

We need to think back.

Reconstruct our

I remember I envied your
belief so much after

Caroline died.

But I couldn't suddenly
pretend I trusted in some

afterlife just because it was
going to make me feel better.

Do you remember
what you told me?

I quoted Galileo.

"Mathematics is the
language with which God

wrote the universe."

I sat with that idea.

I wondered, what is the
afterlife in terms of

physics or chemistry?

And it's the
conservation of energy.

It's the conservation
of matter.

It's the idea that
Caroline's essence or soul

or whatever you want to
call it, that it went somewhere.

It didn't just disappear.

Galileo's phrase
became my mantra.

The bridge between
my head and my heart.

I never thanked
you for that.

I was so sure of myself
when I said those things to you.

I-it's different now,
feeling them for myself.

[projector whirring]

(Wells) Black ops
assassinations in Syria.

What does that have to
do with our science?

You are being
willfully naive.

(Wells) 99.9 percent of
the CIA itself doesn't even

know about our project.

Do you think that
story won't make some

journalist's career?

Do you know what I would
call leaking information

like that, Wells?


Maybe I'll just have to
sabotage the prototype myself.

Hey, I don't want to work
with these guys either,

but we can't stop now.

What was our pledge?

-Oh come on.
-What was it?

That we would never use this
technology to alter the past.

That's right.

This was always about
proving it could be done.

Not about doing it.

But we are scientists!

We're not philosophers,
we're not politicians, and

the job of a scientist is
to advance science, and

whatever happens to
those advancements,

it's not our responsibility.

They changed
the terms on us!

There is nowhere else we
can go for this funding

and you know it.

We drop out of the
assassination program by the

end of this week, or I
go to the press.

-Wells, please...
-End of story.


(Wells) Look.

You remember why we
started all this?

It wasn't for the money.

It wasn't to win
the God damn Nobel.

It was for the joy of
doing something that

nobody thought
was possible.

[melancholy strings music]


That lying piece
of shit. I could kill him.

I should fucking kill him!

Oh my God.

That's it, that's
what she's doing?

What, trying
to kill Thomas?

The email, she told us!

"I need you to understand
why I can't let him live..."

What if I did it already
and I just don't remember now?

What, and then sent
yourself back? Why?

To stop her!

To stop myself to...

What if I realized
that I was wrong?

That I didn't want
to be a murderer?

And I couldn't go back far
enough to save Wells, but

I could save myself.

And this was the only
way to reverse it.

One night.

[GPS beeping]

[tense synth music]


I need to find her.

If you were her...

You are her, so
where would you go?

[lock clicking]

[door lock opens]


The window!

[frantic music]




Oh, you picked the wrong
dog in this fight, my friend.

Fuck you.

Where's she going?

[rock music
playing in bar]


And that's why all of us,
physicists, engineers,

chemists, we need to read
novels, see films, engage

with philosophy.

Science doesn't
happen in a void.

We need nuance.

We need context.


Just because you can do
something, doesn't mean

you should.

Not if it's going
to hurt anybody.

People should never be
sacrificed for progress.

What if sacrificing a few
people now could save

thousands later?

What do you do then?

That assumes we know
what's going to happen in

the future.

And we can
never know that.

So what, we're supposed
to live like insects,

reacting moment to moment?

If we try to do the best
possible thing in each of

those moments then...


Ethical insects.

Hey, something
to live up to.

[serene music]


Helen, you finished?

Florence, hi.

I, I left my
backpack here.

Do you mind if we...


You are being
enormously unhelpful.

What else do you
want me to say?

The truth.

You can't expect me to
believe that you believe

there are two versions of
Helen running around right now.

Helen believes it.

Does she have any proof?

You see two Helens
in one place?


Or maybe she gave you some
stock tips or predicted

the Powerball numbers.


She just...

convinced you?

Told you a good story
and you bought it.

Well hey man, I
wouldn't blame you.

Crazy people can
be very persuasive.

It's the passion they
bring with everything, you know?

Helen's not crazy.

But she is grieving.

She is paranoid, and
she is delusional.

The stress of Wells'
suicide has driven her

over the edge.

It wasn't a suicide!

Excuse me?

Thomas Dettmann
killed Wells.

You know what?

You're worse than Helen.

I'll show you.

You've been so
strange about this.

I don't quite understand.

What do you mean?

Well, you bolted in
here this morning.

The way you locked the
door in my face like that.

I'm so sorry.

When are you going to show
me whatever it is you're

building in here?

It's not that interesting.

She was... I-I was here.

You're sure?


What kind of a
question is that?

When was the last
time you saw me?

I dunno, fifteen
minutes ago?

[tense music]




I'm sorry.

The machine only
goes back 36 hours.

Not far enough
to save Wells.

Well fuck me.

Helen's seen this?

So that's what
she wants, then.

To get revenge on Thomas.

Not this time.

Look, even if that machine
does what you say it does,

there's no way she broke
in an used it, so stop

with this two-Helens shit
and tell me what her plan is.

Forget Helen!

We should be going
after him right now.

One way or another, we'd
better find him before she does.

His house or the lab?

We're just going
to have to guess.

[playing piano]

[car engines starting up]

[tense music]




Back off!

You gotta be kidding me!


The lab.




Sir, we have a situation.

Put your weapon down.

What are you doing here?

Saving you.


Lock up the lobby.

[electronic lock beeps]

You can go, I'll be fine.

So, you're saving me.

From what?

I killed you once already.

I'm not going to let
myself do it again.


I used the prototype.

I came back.

Please stop this.

Let us help you.

The way you helped Wells?


I know what you did.

Wells was depressed.

He was sick. We all know that.

You ruined my life.

You killed your
partner, my husband.

You killed him, for what?

- For your fucking ego?
- That's insane.

It's the truth.

And I killed you for it.

But that made me a
murderer like you.

So I sent myself back to
save your worthless life.

Then where are you?

Where is Helen
the assassin?

I don't know.

That's because what you're
saying is impossible.

It's just another fantasy.


Listen to me.

To use the prototype you
would have to sneak into

this facility without a
single person noticing.

Then you'd have to know
where we keep the machine

and you'd have to know
how to operate it.

Even if Wells was reckless
enough to have told you

all of these things, it
still doesn't matter.

Do you know why?

Because you are standing
right in front of me,

right now.

Do you understand?

You never got anywhere
near that machine,

and you never will.

You were right
about Wells.

He was going to
destroy everything.

So, he had to go.

Oh, you fucking coward!

Wells had become a
self-righteous prick,

so I was simply doing
everybody a favor.

[electronic whining noise]


[electronic lock chirping]

[alarm sounding]

[electric lock continues

This was always your plan.


[brief orchestral swell]


Are you okay?

[serene music]


[gentle alarm sounding]


Hey yourself.

You ready for lunch?

Oh, yeah.
I just need to finish something.

I'll meet you downstairs?


Somewhere out there
right now, we're doing

everything all over
again, aren't we?

I think there's a version
of us that will always be

doing everything
all over again.

So we're the
lucky ones, huh?

We get to leave the
loop and keep going?

Better not
waste it, right?

Hey Helen, you
got a package.

Oh, thanks Roy.

(Helen) W-wait, wait wait wait.
Speak to the camera.

(Wells) I couldn't believe it.

We, we just sent
a little piece of titanium back.

It worked! It fuckin' worked!

(Helen) So, for posterity's
sake, from the man who invented

the time machine, where,
sorry when, would you go?

- What are you gonna see?
- No, no, no.

It's not gonna
be like that.

But if you could
go anywhere.

Any time, anywhere.

Well, I know that I
wouldn't go backwards.

Regret, nostalgia, those are
just versions of death.

- You know?
- As upbeat as always.

- [Laughs]
- Come on.

Past, present, or future?

There's nowhere
else I'd rather be.


In all of space and time?


Right here.

That's all I want.

Um, prove it.


[upbeat music]


[watch ticking]

[mysterious music]