Symphoria (2021) - full transcript

Returning from a 12-year self-imposed exile in Europe, Shawn Wittig's past begins to catch up with him when he begins an illicit and, possibly, deadly romance with his University Professor.

[birds chirping]

-[glass breaks]
-[heavy music]


[orchestral music]

[paper slicing]

[woman singing]

[singing continues]

[scissors slicing]

[singing fades]

[foreign word]
Thank you

Thank you, for the cheque.

Put that other motherfucker.

Purse middle zipped compartment.

Right, see just one of the many
reasons why I love you.

Do you know how much to use?


[Vicky - foreign language]

Love you, my adorable little
anal compulsive.

[engine whirring]

[door slams]

What hoops did your minions

for me to jump through
this time huh?

Don't be a dick.

-There's a new program.
-One I haven't tried yet?

-Lucky me.
-I'm not the one with a DUI.

I'm not the one being threatened
with jail.

You act like I come up with
reasons to torture you,

-for fun.
-I don't dad, chill.

I hear the words, I'm having
a hard time buying them.

Okay, I'm sorry.

You don't have a hard time
buying everything else.

My years at therapy and rehab,

my BS diploma,

my freedom.

-Give me that.

[glass slams]

There's a mentoring program
at the University,

with a high success rate for
people like you.

[smirks] People like me.

It's an addiction recovery

It's a new approach.

Initiated by the program

who by the way is going
to be your

supervising professor.

-No shrinking.
-Shrinking, yes,

it's in conjunction.

You'll see a physiatrist
outside the University system.

The program focuses on the
student's transition

back into academia.

So you can graduate and

eventually find a place
in the real world.

-But, I'm not a student.
-You are!

It's an excellent opportunity.

You've anted to be a writer

forever, right?

A lot of shit since forever.

You will do this.

Or else?

Don't be ridiculous, the court
will put you in jail.

These should help you sleep,
they're herbal,

supposed to be non-habit


You need to make this work.

[soft piano music]



[machine whirring loudly]

[file falls]

[machine turns off]

Mr. Wittig, you're seven minutes

Wow, that's really an
improvement for me.

Not from my perspective.

Oh shit you're the JT Dalton.

I prefer Professor Dalton.

Okay, Professor Dalton.

Rule number one. Don't waste my
time Mr. Wittig.

Wait in my office

I will be with you in seven

Aye aye, Prof. Dalton.

[fingers click]

Don't touch my things.

Wait for it, wait for it!

Now, it's seven minutes.

Is that your idea of being

Well, I was going for cute,
but alright, I'll take clever.

Rule number three, be on time,
I get that.

I've no doubt you can read
Mr. Wittia.

My job is to make sure you reach
your goals.

That will be easy,
I don't have any.

I can see you.

[clicks fingers]

[piano music]


I looked it up honey,
D2O is traceable.

I'll check our isotope,
otherwise, there is cause.

-Swing the bat.

You worry too much.

Would you just let me in
already Huh?

[foreign language]

Do I look like I need your
fucking protection?

Nothing I haven't done before

-Do it!
-[foreign language]

We were fucking babies then,
and that was Taiwan.

-Women don't swing, bend down.
-[foreign language]

What happened to not leaving
each other behind?

Vicky, I'm invoking my right.

No, don't.

[piano music]

[running footsteps]

I made it with a minute
to spare.


Impressive, Mr. Wittig,

including the rules you broke

It's a real talent to break four
before you even begin work


Wait, you think I broke four?

Do you even remember what it is?

Oh, rule number four?

Um, yes no altered states.

Ethanol surely doesn't slow
down your synaptic transmissions


Two buck chuck.

I'm not drunk.

There goes rule number five.

Are you trying for a record
Mr. Wittig?

Rule number five.

Oh, I'm not lying.

I can smell it from here.

Note to self,
get more tic-tacs.

Ok, it was one little drink,
more like a sip.

Really it won't happen again.

You read the contract and signed

Yes, just consider me warned.

Oh, you think that's all
you're getting?

-First offence hey.

Better take a break,

you look like you're getting
high from the fumes

[suspenseful music]

[door slams]

-I'd say you work fast,
-Hold the applause please.

Don't think I can't smell past
the tic-tacs. Nice try.

So I did what you asked,

I washed every piece of your
fine ass china.

Pun intended.

It stunk like hell, I mean
it helped to...

take off the edge a little.

Ease the pain, you know.

I could help you with that...

ease the pain.

Round off the sharp little

Are you sure you're ready to
play with the grown ups,

Mr. Wittig?

Yes, I've been playing with
adult before I became one.

Bring it.

You must be stoned out
of your mind.

Oh wait that's not
all Prof Perfect.

You didn't smell the ethanol
this time did you?

Smells like fat and malt,
so green label whiskey?

Not that you deserve it.

But I was trying to save you
some humiliation.

Hey, come back here.

Hey, you can't get away talking
to me like that lady.

[fast paced music]

You will do this,

you need to make this work.

W hat hoops did the minions
arrange for me

to jump through this time, huh?

You need to make this work.

You must be stoned out of your

Wait that's not all
Prof. Perfect.

You need to make this work.

[breathing heavily]


The court will put you in jail.

I can't even remember her face,

You've been twisted up in this,

for so long, you've been
punishing yourself.

None stop.

With all the junk in your body,

You going to give this rehab
a real shot.

And you are going to start
forgiving yourself.

It's time.

You did not kill that girl.

It was an accident.

[pensive music]

[piano music]

[suspenseful music]

Prof. Dalton,

Hi, peace offering.

Please give me a second chance?
No bribes.

Except for the apple.

No threats, no bark from
my father

I'll be this programs poster boy
what ever you ask I'll do

I swear.

I'll even pitch up for therapy
on time.

I mess up once

I'll leave you alone without
an order.

I need your help.

Not so fast.

[uneasy breathing]

You're on academic probation, so
all your class work,

and work study from my lab will
be closely supervised.

I want to know where you
are at all times.

I'll be your fucking slave.

Let's minimize the exploiters.

I'll be your... fracking slave?


That's some potent stinking


Well western reagent

contains Sulphur, which explains
the smell.

Yes, nothing explains that

[clicking fingers]

Feeling better Mr. Wittig?


An apple?

[loud crash]

-Your majesty's office door too?
-Are you cray?

If it's open, let her close and
lock up when she leaves,

if it's closed touch that
doorknob at your own risk

it's your life.

She doing something naughty
behind those closed doors?

-Very interesting.
-Don't be too interested,

She'll shit can you if touch
that door when it's closed,

This is addition for the
rules for the lab.

You memorized the rules right?

Yes, one to seven.

The seventh is that !!
Wrong one!

Alright, chill man, it's not
like it's going to kill me.

Da, Hello!
D2O not H2O.

Deuterium is the isotope of
Hydrogen you drink enough of it

you die.


You're Carl Wittig's son
aren't you?

Ah, yes.
I'm not sure it's dismay.

This is my girlfriend Tammy.

[nervous giggle]

I'll catch you too
lovebirds later.

And I'll run those thin little
plate thingy's after my class.

Thin layer chromatography,
TLC, like

Tender loving care, but not.


Remember why you're doing the

So, I can find out what are the
products from your reactions.

The samples in the fridge.

And viles in the beakers marked
for Prof. Dalton.


I'm kidding, I look for the
label for Shawn.

Huh, you're a riot, do you know
what solvent to use?

-Do you know where it's stored?

I'll find it.

Maybe you should wait for me
to do it first.

You can use some help with
the technique.

I got it all right here, in the
idiot guide you gave me.

Look, it's color coded and

[bicycle wheel spinning]

-Hey dad.

Okay, here we go.

Samantha Chen survive by her

and her sister, who is not
available for comment.

Ellen Chen, according the Chen's

was institutionalized after the
over dose death of her sister.

So, your program got
you doing that,

opening old wounds?

That seems counterproductive.

I'm just curious.

Did you ever meet Ellen?


No, the Chen family wanted,

they wanted us to leave them

and to leave Ellen alone,
I think we should do that.

Anyway, she...

she never really got her shit
together from what I heard.

and that she's still in the
mental hospital.

You know, she looks a little
like that professor of yours.

Put her in something sexy,
and she could be a hottie.

Oh dude, grow up, and while you
at it get me a beer.

Grow up.

You're riding you
don't want it.

We'll see.

[window slides closed]

[water running]

[water dripping]


[gentle music]

[music builds]

[draw opens]

[suspenseful music]

[camera wind clicks]

[music continues]

[music fades]

[camera snaps]

Hey Shawn.
[camera snaps]


How was your weekend?

It was great...

-Yes? What'd you do?

Did you have fun?

I like fun too.

Okay, um I got to...

get to class so, if you'll
excuse me.


You don't know what you're
missing out on.

[multiple camera snaps]

[Asian music]

[piano playing]

Well thanks for coming.

Did I have a choice?

Do you have kids professor?

You're a parent, you love your
son, I get it.

Do you?

Yes, more than you know.

And in light of that, I expect

to be kept up to date on his

It seems like such a small
thing to ask

after such a large donation,
wouldn't you agree?

No, it's only natural,
but Mr. Wittia

Carl, please.

Carl, your son has the right
to privacy too.

He's not a kid anymore

I'm not sure he ever had
a chance to be a kid

his mother died when
he was four.

She had cancer,

not after that,

he needed something, and it was
something that I...

well I obviously failed
to provide.

I used to blame my parents for
a lot of my misbehaviors,

but, then I realized,

that they loved me just the way
they knew how.

I find it difficult to imagine
you, misbehaving.

Mr. uh... Carl,

Your son is almost 30.

At some point he has to take
responsibility for himself.

I signed him up to your program,

because your numbers
were so good.

Having met him.

Do you or do you not think you
can help him?

Trust and I will give him
the future he deserves.

[eerie scraping]

[eerie music builds]

[door creeks]

Did you zero the balance
Mr. Wittig?

I didn't know anybody was here.

Yes, it's zero.

Use the spatula to load the
platinum chorum.

It's better to under

Oh, frack.

I went over it.

I'll take it out with this,

Uh huh.

And make sure your fingers don't
touch the paper,

the small quantity, your sweat
or body oil

might significantly
increase the air margins.

My hands are too big for this.

Oh yes, they're big.

Hold it like this,

and scoop.

Then use your index finger
of your other hand

tap the dust off lightly.

Harder than it looks.

It's because you're tired,
go home and get some rest


you haven't noticed I'm kind
of having a problem

with sleep right now.

Have you identified the source
of the problem?

What do you mean?

Well, our program used the
scientific method

as the steps to reach sobriety

You like lists, don't you.

All the more to focus by.

This is what scientists use to

reach your goal from beginning
to end.

Instead of 12 steps you have

I've always felt it's the most
efficient way

for anyone to get anything done.

I'm going to need you to hold my
hand through this.

It's what I'm here for,
Step one...


What's my question?

[suspenseful music]


[machine whirring]

[machine slows]

[machine beeps]

[foreign language]

[language continues]

Hey, where you going?


[child laughing]

[singing in foreign language]

[baby toy talking] 'mommy, would
you like me to sleep?

[baby crying]Oh faker...

[foreign language]

you can't catch me...

[baby toy distorting]
[foreign language]

Show me what you did.

Hmm, problem one, those dots
are too close, um,

Even them out across the line

like your dividing your one line
into four equal segments.

Ed said to draw the spots away
from the edges.

That's correct, but you have
more than enough room to spare.

[glass clinks]

Works on the principles of
capillary reaction it's a

attraction between a liquid
and a

Um, solid surface

when they come into contact with
each other.

I get that.

Opposites attract.

Three times?

[glass clinks]

Problem two, it's a heavy load


-Three fast jabs.
-Three fast jabs.

When you touch and hold,

see how it spreads and makes
one big mess?

I think I'm learning
my lesson now.

That will give you much,

sharper, more focused

smaller spots not blurred
or spread way out.

Thank you, Prof. Dalton.

Don't thank me yet.

[gas flowing]

[gas stops]


[gentle music]

[lid closes]

[music continues]

[lid turns]

[cups clinker]

[music quickens]

[music fades]

[up beat music]

[music stops abruptly]

[piano plays]

Need some help?

I'm good.

Making sure we're all stock up?


[door closes]

[pensive music]

[file crashes]

[tape rustles]

[eerie music]

[music fades]

[door opens]

This gives you leverage,

and steadies the transfer,

to avoid spillage.


The capillary action I talked
about before,

it's how we don't spill a drop.

The attraction causes a...

sucking up action under
the realm.

Are you paying attention?



[drumming music]

[music continues]

[music ends abruptly]

[piano plays]

[running footsteps]

Are you serious about this?

Can you find me an alternative?

Yes, honey move on.

I've tried.
You know I have.

[foreign language]

[eerie music]

[water bubbling]

What are you searching for?

Thought you had bottled water?

It's not in there.


I'll get it for you.

I thought I saw bottles.

Those weren't H2O,
they were D2O.

Still haven't learnt the
difference yet, huh?

[suspenseful music]

[glasses clink]

Your choice.

You're messing with me, right?

What do you think?

[breathing increases]

Wait, wait!

Jesus you scared me.

Wash your hands, we're almost
ready for dinner.


[music fades]

[gentle music]

[suitcases knocking]

[child giggles]

[child laughing]

[child crying]

[gentle music continues]

[child giggling]

[child laughing cutely]

[music builds]

[music slows]

[eerie music]

[Asian music]

My parents used to bring me here
when I was little.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

[wind whooshing]

My poor parents, I was the worst

The irony was that

my bad influences weren't
from China town.

Exclusive private school, I was
so wild. Crazy.

You, wild?

Well, I would've loved to have
seen that.

Sometimes I swear which is just
leaves to our hormones'.

Melatonin causes drowsiness.

Endorphins produce feelings
of well being, so

Serotonin, regulates our moods,
activates our sleep.

You mean, being controlled
by them?

Well yes, progesterone has
a common effect.

and testosterone and estragon.

Uh uh!

[foreign language]


How are you, Mrs. Yang?

How many years it has been.

I sing, I worry about you.

If your parents can see you...

Very handsome.


Yes, um...

I have restaurant, I make the
best Kung Pao chicken.

-Okay, of course.

Very nice.
I'm there.

Mrs. Yang.

[loud bang]

[flames roaring]

[harp playing]

[ribbon whooshing]

[music quickens]

[whooshing continues]

[music slows]

[handle knocks]

[music quickens]



[gasping breath]

[intense music]

[loud moans]

[music slows]

[intense breathing]

Wait, stop.

It's okay.


I wish I could take it back.

But, it doesn't matter.

I might as well have taken
a gun and shot her.




After they questioned me,
her dad came in.

He was older, distinguished.

I thought he would hit me,

He just...

He just looked right trough me.

As if,

I didn't exist.

My dad took care of it all
as he always does.

The terrible thing is,

I don't remember her face.



[eerie music]

[seagulls singing]

[waves rolling]

[suspenseful music]

[waves continue]

[music calms to gentle]

[music continues]

[all sounds fade]

I was so miserable.

Before we met.

I didn't care.


you make me feel so good.

When we're together it's like...

it's like it's all fixed.

Walk away Shawn.

Forget all this, forget me.

Just run as far away
as you can from here.

What, I'm not running, none of
these things that you

care about matter to me.

I'm not who you think I am.

I'm beyond repair.

It's just,

Not my karma at this time.

I love you.

You shouldn't.

You... tell me you don't love

You can't.

Can you?

It's okay.

You don't have to say it,
for me to feel it.


It's you Shawn.

It's always been you.

In ways that you'll never

[heart beating]

[beating continues]

[erratic breathing]

[engine whirring]


So, is this where my money's

-Where is she.
-Dad don't.

I did not put you in this
woman's school

so she could seduce you.

-Now, where is she?
-Just listen to me!

-It's not like that?
-Not like that!

Holy shit.

J.T. fucking Dalton,

Well, aren't you the shape
shifting succulent.

Stop it now, or I'm going
to throw you out!

Why you?

Of all the people in this world
to pick on,

why pick on my son? For money?
Dad stop it please!

You want to get into my family's
money, is that it,

or you just
like them young, what?

Oh. I'm thinking it was about
the money.

It was about the money right?

You read about my kid in the
papers about to go to jail,

suddenly you show up out
of the blue

with this miraculous

What, wait, I thought my dad
went to you?

She told you that,
that's bullshit!

You were a ticket to fund her
fucking program.

You get money from my father
to put me in the program?

Tell me that wasn't all planned?

Let's get out of here Shawn.

Tell him the truth.

She can't.

Just tell him you love me.

Just that much.


-No, no, no.

Lady, you slept with my son,
the addict in your care.

I know what I seem like to
people, because I have money,

like toys, woman, whatever.

It leaves the wrong impression,
all I really care about,

is Shawn.

I'll do anything,
to protect him.

[foreign language]

[language continues]

[doll thuds]

[eerie music]

Hello Prof. Dalton,
this is Audrey

from the probation
services again,

Shawn Wittig is still skipping
his mandatory meetings

in our office and his
therapy sessions.

Listen it's urgent that you call
me as soon as possible

and let me know if he's reported
back to you since we spoke last,

okay thank you.

[loud retching]


[breathing heavily]

Shawn, I'm worried.

[eerie music]

[keys jingle]

[door creaks]

See I knew these would come
in handy again someday.


[door closes]

-Oh my god!
-Are you kidding me?


That exactly a man of material
needs, huh.

Hey, honey.

Do you know a Tammy Boyle?

[suspenseful music]

[engine whirring]

Oh boy!

-Time out guys.

What did you take?

I told him, only to have one.

That's what I had!

But one wasn't enough buzz
for him.

Okay, calling for an ambulance.

What's wrong with me?

What's wrong with you?

Ed, wrap cage and get
out of here.

-I don't want to go!
-Oh for gods sakes!


How many pills did you take?

What do you care?

Stay awake with me.

Don't worry,

I didn't try to kill myself,
I'm ok, just go away.


Look at me.

Look at me.

I love you.

I... love you.

[eerie music]

What do you love about me?

You're sweet,



please, you can't die yet.

My love, please


You going to break my heart,
aren't you?

[suspenseful music]

Listen, about all the drinking
and everything,

I'm sorry.

I couldn't stop myself.


[eerie music]

[deep breath]


That's the problem.

You'll never stop.

Not this way at least.

[music continues]

[kettle whistles]

Want some lunch?

No, I'm still not hungry.


The tea will make you feel


You know what I'm hungry for?

Not until you drink some.

It's for your own good.
Trust me.

If you won't do it for yourself,
then do it for me.


[forceful glugging]


[both laughing]

You happy now?


[eerie music]

[music fades]

[shorts breaths]

What's this?

I've never told anyone.

Only my parents knew,
and Vicky.

Because they were there.


now my parents are gone, so

Sammy was just a kid,

and so was I.

I was so young,

Oh my god.


You're her sister.

I'm her mother.

You have to understand,

being an only child, and very
traditional Chinese parents

I was wildly rebellious,

got pregnant at 13,
despite them.

I didn't even bother to find out
who the father was.

Completely unacceptable to their
affluence sort of cronies.

So they claimed Samantha
as their daughter,

took control of both of us and,

moved us out of China town.

Turns out, Sammy was...

even more free spirited
than I was.

So beautiful.

Hard to resist wasn't she.

[coughing uncontrollably]

I'm sorry.

But, how do I know you are?

This is revenge.

This is all a lie.

Oh my god.

The tea.


I love you.

And I forgive you.


[loud drum]
Wake up!


Wake up!

Wake up.

Wake up!


Wake up.

[gentle music]

I would've given you my life.

She didn't want that,

For you to die you know.

Maybe, she actually did fall
in love with me and,

decided to kill herself instead.

I don't know, it takes a long
time to die by deuterium oxide.

So, whatever plan she made,
she did it a long time ago.

Didn't you ever notice, she kept
you away from the wine?

That's where she kept the D2O.

I thought it was just because
of my addictions.

God no.

It was because of her addiction.

She was just so completely
haunted by Samantha's death,

She couldn't let it go.

Do you know what she was

Frankly I thought she was going
to kill you.

So, she wanted me to love her
and loose her.

Or maybe, she just wanted
to transform you

so that you'd actually have
a conscience.

And then you'd have to suffer
the same pain she felt,

after what happened to Sammy.

Or maybe she just wanted to save
all those other girls from you

repeating the same fucking
mistake over and over again.


maybe she just simply loved you?

What the fuck!

Doesn't really matter either

bitch broke all our hearts.

[orchestral music]

[Asian song]

[song ends]