Reminiscence (2021) – Transcript

Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) uses a machine that can see people's memories to try and find his missing love
Reminiscence (2021)

Nick Bannister, a private investigator of the mind, navigates the alluring world of the past when his life is changed by new client Mae. A simple case becomes an obsession after she disappears and he fights to learn the truth about her.

* * *

[man] The past can haunt a man. That’s what they say.

And the past is just a series of moments. Each one… perfect. Complete. A bead on the necklace of time.

[upbeat music playing]

The past doesn’t haunt us. Wouldn’t even recognize us. If there are ghosts to be found… it’s us who haunt the past.

You lost your queen.

Care to find her again?

Maybe another time.

[man chuckles]

You’re late.

“Late” is a construct of linear time. We don’t deal in that.

And yet, we charge by the hour. Your first appointment’s already in.

Who is it?

Your old pal from the forces. The one who never pays.


Hey, Bannister.

How you been?

Got turfed out of the place I was crashin’ at.

Land baron?

You know it. They stealin’ all the drylands. I’ve been missin’ my old place. I’d like to see Angie again.


[Nick] It used to be you couldn’t go back again. But time is no longer a one-way stream. Memory is the boat that sails against its current. And I’m the oarsman.

When the waters rose and war broke out… there wasn’t a lot to look forward to… so people began looking back. The tank started as an interrogation tool… and since then… nostalgia’s become a way of life.


But for Watts and me, it’s a living.

Synaptic map complete. Ready for the lull.

You’re going on a journey. A journey through memory. Your destination? A place and time you’ve been before. To reach it… all you have to do is follow my voice. It’s summer. 13 years ago. You’re in the fields behind your father’s house. […] You pick up the ball.

[Hank] Ah!

[Angie barking]

Come on, Angie. Drop it. [laughs] Come on, drop it, Angie. Come on. Yeah, you’re a good girl. Okay. You ready? You ready? Go get it. Come here, baby. Come here. Come here, drop it. Aww! That’s a good girl. Yeah. You’re such a good girl. Come on, you ready? [chuckles]

[Angie barks]

You wanna go again?

[low bark]

Go get it. Go get the ball, Angie.

I love that damn dog.

[Hank] I’m cash-strapped, but I got these.

You know what baca will do if you don’t get off it, right?

Well, nothin’ worse than what the world’s already done. You know how it was. You two served. I heard you were a damn good shot.

Mm. Only after a couple of drinks. And if I aimed one man to the right.

[both laugh]

It’s not quite enough, but… I can get you back next time.

No, it’s on the house.

Thank you.

You keep putting shit on the house for your war buddies… the roof’s liable to cave in.

We’ll be fine, Watts. Nostalgia never goes out of style.

Truth is, nothing is more addictive than the past. Who wouldn’t want to be reunited with a loved one? Or relive the most meaningful moments of their life?

[baby cooing]

Look at those toes. Can Mommy kiss the toesies?


Mommy’s special girl.

[Nick] But memories, even good ones, have a voracious appetite. If you’re not careful, they consume you.

[man] Don’t worry, my flower. I love you. I’ll always take care of you.

Hey, Elsa. Here. Take it home. You always revisit the same memory. This way, you can watch it anytime… instead of wasting your money on the tank every week.

Thanks. But it’s not the same. In the reminiscence, I can feel his arms around me. Nothing compares.

Thought you were worried about the roof caving in.

I’m tired of staring at his pasty ass. She needs to quit being sentimental and move the hell on.


[door buzzes and unlocks]

I’m headin’ home.

Here. Have some. It’ll help with the pain. You think I can’t tell when you’re hurting?

Well, I have the leg. What’s your excuse?

I work for you.

[door opens]

We have another appointment?

[door closes]


[Watts] We’re closed.

I’m sorry. I know it’s late. I lost my keys on the way home from work. I’ve looked for hours, but I can’t find them anywhere.

Call a locksmith.

[Nick] It’s bad for business, but it’s true. There are certain moments that never leave you. Like the moment I first saw her.

We can give her a quick nudge.

Thank you.

[Mae] What is that for?

Protects everyone. Ensures that we don’t have you remember anything you don’t want us to know.

Do you think you can find my keys?

[Nick] That depends. Are they lost or forgotten? Forgotten things can always be fished up and dusted off. But the lost, those things people never really took much notice of… till they were gone. They’re defined by their absence.

You can’t remember something that never made an impression.

Let’s say the keys are misplaced.

It’s your money.

Just take a seat. Thiopental. Relaxes the neural pathways for the prompts. It won’t hurt. Just a little pinch.

Okay? Sedative will kick in soon. If you’d liked to get undressed, we provide modesty suits… so I can slip out while you…

You’re gonna see it all anyway, aren’t you?

[clears throat] You’ll have to lose those.

So, we never go over 30 volts. You don’t need much to unlock a flood of memories. Trick is finding the right one. Relax. It always works out fine.

Don’t say “always.” “Always” makes promises it can’t keep.

I’m Mae, by the way.


Let’s get this over with, shall we?

You’re going on a journey. A journey through memory. Your destination? A place and time you’ve been before. To reach it, all you have to do is follow my voice. It’s last night. The sun is setting. You’re beginning your day.

[Mae moans]

[alarm blaring]

[turns off alarm]



Sunken Coast?

She decent?

Like she’d care.

There. She put the keys in her bag.

When did you next take your keys out of your purse?

[Watts] She’s still got ’em.

Here you go. Bye.


[Mae clears throat]

Have you seen my earrings?

Which ones?

My lucky ones. The jade?

We got ’em.


[Watts] Why bother? She left the keys in the dressing room. Nick, come on, let’s pull her out of the tank.

In a sec.

[breath trembling]

[Watts] What the hell’s wrong with her?

[audience applauding]

♪ It seems we stood And talked ♪

♪ Like this before ♪

♪ We looked at each other In the same way then ♪

♪ But I can’t remember where ♪

♪ or when ♪

♪ Some things that happened ♪

♪ For the first time ♪

♪ Seem to be happening again ♪

♪ And so it seems ♪

♪ That we’ve met before ♪

♪ And laughed before ♪

♪ And loved before ♪

♪ But who knows where or ♪

♪ When ♪

[audience applauding]

Hey. Miss Fancy left something. [clicks tongue]

[Nick] When the sun rises… Miami turns into a ghost town. To escape the heat of day, the city’s become nocturnal.

[sighs] But sleep doesn’t come easy.

We’re all haunted by something.


[electrical buzzing]

Years ago, the battles at the border ended… but the battles at home had just begun.

We try to go on like nothing’s changed… but underneath, the city simmers with unrest… which means the DA’s office is never short of work.

[Walter sneezes and coughs]

[man] Walter Sylvan is gravely ill.

[woman] Walter Sylvan is the most notorious land baron in Miami.

He wanted to buy the land cheap, so he burned it to the ground.

Sorry I’m late.

[man] It’s all right.

The DA won’t be needing your services after all.

Isn’t that right, Avery?

I’ll contest this at a higher court.

I’m sure they’ll agree my client’s in no shape to get in the tank.

If you wanna depose him, you’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way.

You can’t convict me for being a good businessman, sweetheart.

No, but I could convict you for murder.

There were families in that building, Mr. Sylvan.

Not all of them made it out on time.

[Walter] I never burned any buildings.

No, of course not. Your lackeys did it for you.

I suppose you and your associate will have to put me in the tank… to prove that little theory.

But it appears that won’t be happening. [clears throat]

[Walter coughs]

Case is going well, then.

Nothing we can do.

The law doesn’t apply to men like Sylvan.

Come on, Dad. Let me take you home to your medicine.

I have to get my affairs in order.

Have you found her yet?

No, Dad. Not yet.

[Nick] Avery’s right.

Arson, bribery, murder.

The whole city is rotten with corruption.

[man] Both united, one voice! Down with the Sylvans!

[Nick] During the war, barons like Walter Sylvan bought up all the drylands… for pennies on the dollar.

They profited off the desperate and left them to live at the mercy of the tides.

The displaced carry on the best they can.

One day, the ocean will reclaim all of this.

Until then… the Sunken Coast is where they call home.

[Mae] ♪ I set my chin A little higher ♪

♪ I hope a little longer ♪

♪ Build a little stronger ♪

♪ Castle in the air ♪

♪ And thinking You’ll be there ♪

♪ I walk a little faster ♪

Thank you.

You have a great voice.

Four years I’ve worked here.

And you’re the first man to notice my voice.

Will you tell me something I’ve been wondering about?

Before you performed last night, you were crying.


That was my memory.

Shouldn’t you have just seen the things I was looking at?

Close your eyes.

It’s a little demonstration to answer your question.

So, you have a boyfriend or someone you’re involved with?


[chuckling] What does that…

Answer the question.

Eyes closed.

No, I’m not involved right now.

Then for the purposes of this experiment, we’ll use something more elemental.

Your first kiss.

Picture that moment.

Charlie Mulvaney.

Okay. The way young Charlie approached.

And the kiss itself.

Not just the beginning… the whole kiss.

Until the moment you break away.

And by the end, you saw yourself as well as him, didn’t you?

Happens with everyone.

Your turn to answer my question.

Why were you crying?


Happens before every gig.

I step onto that stage… and they don’t wanna see a woman in a thrift store dress… wondering how she’s gonna make rent.

They want something perfect.

They want to be lied to.

You don’t seem like you’re lying.

Well, I guess it’s working.


Would you escort me home?

All right.

Don’t bother. Bulb’s out.

Would you like some water?



That machine of yours…

How close can you get before the illusion’s broken?

Can you get this close?

This close?

How about… this close?

Aren’t you tired of watching from the shadows?

[objects clattering]

[both breathing heavily]

You’re up early.

I like it this time of day.

Before the sun sets and the city wakes up.


I can’t find my mug.

It’s under your sink, next to a lipstick, a stocking… and… your neck massager.

You were snooping.

I saw it in your reminiscence.

How come I don’t remember the mug?

People tend to notice the same things they were focused on in the moment.

I mean, it’s possible, if you revisit the same memory enough to notice new things, but… if you’re not careful, you can get burned.

Have that moment seared in an endless loop in your mind.

That’s why you never go in the tank?

Memories are like perfume.

Better in small doses.

Maybe you haven’t made the right memories.

[Watts] Jesus Christ. You’re in here again?

No, no, no! Put me back! Put me back!

For months now, you’ve been hitting this tank, reliving every damn memory you had with her.

You have to get your head out of the past and into the here and now.

God damn it!

[panting] Oh, shit.


It’s been months, Nick.

I can’t keep turning a blind eye to this.

I’m the boss, not you.

And I’ve turned a blind eye to plenty.

Well, the difference is I know what I’m gonna find at the bottom of a bottle.

And it’s not answers.

We were happy. We were planning for the future.

She wouldn’t just disappear, not without a word.

She settled up with her landlord. She emptied her apartment.

She would have told me.

Why didn’t she tell me?

All I know is, wherever she is, she has moved on. And you should, too.

People don’t just vanish.

Okay? She must be in some kind of trouble.

We’re the ones in trouble, Nick.

Pods poaching our business, regulars jumping ship.

Even Elsa hasn’t popped by for her usual in months.

I never thought I’d miss the sight of that old man’s pasty ass, but here we are.

Every business has its ups and downs.

No, no, no. This is different.

We’ve gotten by in the Spill-Zone for years.

But pretty soon that dam is gonna break, and we’ll be underwater with no funds to fish ourselves out.

So, what do you expect me to do, hmm?

Avery called. She’s got a day job for us.

So, go home and get some sleep.

‘Cause you look like shit.

[Nick] I try to forget.

But even without the tank, she haunts me.

[Mae] That book.

I see you reading it sometimes when you can’t sleep.

What are those? Are those memories?

They aren’t mine. They belong to the people I interrogated.

During the war?


You can’t find one memory without moving through others.

I couldn’t just see the things I was asked to find.

I saw why they ran in the first place.

When the waves came for them… they had no walls to hide behind.

And the people, what happened to them?

The world moved on.

Trying to pretend like none of this happened.

[deep sigh]

But there are some things we should never forget.

And some things we can’t forget even if we want to.

[Nick] Where did she go?

Why did she leave?

People don’t just disappear.

All right.

Look, man. I’ll tell you the same thing I tell you every time.

Mae isn’t here.

If there’s something you know, please, anything.

I’m not sure Mae was the person you thought she was.

[door buzzes and unlocks]

[Nick on tape] You’re going on a journey.

A journey through memory.

Your destination?

A place and time you’ve been before.

[Mae] Are you awake?

[Nick] No.

Then I must be dreaming, too.

This bruise, what happened?

Oh, occupational hazard.

You try waiting tables in 6-inch heels.


How did you smuggle us into baron country anyway?

Called in a favor from an old client.

You do this to impress all the girls?

Only the one I’m in love with.

You don’t love me. We’ve only known each other a few months.

You know how many sunsets I saw in the trenches?


I counted them, every minute.

Sunset was the last few minutes before the fighting began again.

I used to wonder how I could spend those moments better.

Now I know.

Come with me.

There’s somewhere I wanna take you.

[Mae] Tell me a story.

[Nick] A story? What kind of story?

One with a happy ending.

No such thing as a happy ending.

All endings are sad.

Especially if the story was happy.

Then tell me a happy story, but end it in the middle.

Ever hear of Orpheus and Eurydice?

[alarm blaring]




[knocking on door]

[knocking continues]

We’re closed!


She came back for me. I know she did.

She could’ve lost that earring months ago.

All kinds of shit gets swept up in the gutter.

You’re late, Bannister.

You’re not gonna take me in again!


Not again!

Ah, shit. Shit. Shit, shit, shit.

Saw a lot of runners at the border.

There are more elegant ways of stopping a man than a bullet.


I heard your partner didn’t share the same philosophy.

Only philosophy I had was “don’t die.”

And I went through plenty of bullets trying to keep it that way.

Oh, they’re here.

Okay, good.

It’s about time.

I haven’t seen a rig like this since the war.

Government cutbacks.

2D’s all they spring for now for offsites.

Meet Mr. Falks.

Drug dealer, recently OD’d on his own supply.

Rumor is, he was working for a baca kingpin out of New Orleans named Saint Joe.

Joe is the one we’re after.

Could be the only thing left in there is jambalaya, but… if you do find anything, the warrant gives us a window of 10 years.

At least it saves us on thiopental.

[Watts sighs]

It’s been 12 goddamn hours. Still no sign of Joe?

Well, you should have invested in a better rig.

It’s not just that.

His mind’s fighting my prompts because he’s dying.

Dying men always want closure.

Some last, happy thought to cling to before they die.

I need another approach.

Do you enjoy a good party, Falks?

[machine whirring]

Oh, here we go.

What’s up?

Where is this?

[Watts] Looks like New Orleans.

[Avery] That’s Lorenzo. That’s Joe’s main muscle.

Lorenzo, what’s happenin’?

[Nick] All right.

Is that anyone?

Keep ’em coming.

Did you see any other old friends?

Holy shit, that’s him. We got him. That’s Saint Joe.

[Falks] ‘Sup, Joe?

I got a big shipment comin’ in soon.

Gonna need your friends on the force to look the other way.

That could be arranged.

[Avery] He’s making some kind of deal.

[Nick] Who’s that Joe’s talking to?

[Avery] Some lowlife. Who cares?

[woman] ♪ Whispered something In your ear ♪

She’s new.


♪ It was a perverted thing to say ♪

Oh, shit.

♪ But I said it anyway ♪

When? When was this?

Over five years ago.

♪ Made you smile And look away ♪

♪ Nothing’s gonna Hurt you, baby ♪

♪ As long as you’re with me, You’ll be just fine ♪

♪ Nothing’s gonna Hurt you, baby ♪

Get me an introduction.

[Avery] Warrant doesn’t cover Joe’s booty calls. We need to move on from this.

The girl, when did you next see her?


Hey, Joe. This is Mae.

[Mae] It’s a pleasure to meet you.

The pleasure, shi wo de.


No, no, no, not that pastel shit. Hmm.

Ever tried baca?

[speaks Mandarin]


They’re a little strong for my taste.

[Falks] Listen, you’re gonna sing at his club, party in his pad… but you’re too good for his baca?

[Joe] Easy, Falks.

A girl like you needs to be put in her place.

Let go! No, no. No!

[screams and groans]

[Falks] What the hell, Joe?

[Joe] Apologize to the lady.

[Falks] Apologize to her?

You misapprehend your place in the world, Falks.

See, a niu like that is one of a kind.

Whereas men like you are replaceable.

[Falks] Wait, wait. Hold on, hold on.

I recommend doing it outside.

Easier to hose down the brain matter.

[Falks] No. Please.

Please! You can’t do this.

Sure, I can. Probably get a medal for it.

[Falks] Stop, stop, stop! Don’t shoot.

See how simple it would be?

[Avery] All NOLA cops are dirty. Focus on Joe.

Just wait.

[Falks] I’m sorry.

[Falks breathing heavily]

You all right? You look shaken.

It’s okay?

[Mae] Yeah.

You sure you don’t want one?

It’s good for the nerves.

Jesus, don’t.

What are you doing, Mae?

Who gives a shit about this girl?

Get back to the collusion case, Nick.

Hang on.

Tell us about Saint Joe.

Hey. Hey.

Look, he sent you here…

Don’t do that.

…because he’s expanding his baca business into Miami, isn’t he?

[machine blaring]

Whoa, whoa, whoa… What the hell is that?

He’s blanking.

You really should let the professionals do the prompting.

I just asked a question.

A leading question.

You presupposed Joe sent Falks here to help with a Miami expansion.

You were wrong. There’s no memory to access, you hit static.

He blanks for more than a couple of minutes and he’ll get brain damage.

Bannister. God damn it, just do it.

All right. Come here, quick.


It’s all right, Falks.

You took a misstep.

You just traveled down the wrong path.

But now you’re back… back to somewhere you’ve been, with someone you know.

The girl you sent to Joe, when was the last time you saw her?

[Falks] Hey. Sorry to bother you.

I’m just here to pick up the weekly drop.

[Joe sighs, speaks Mandarin]

[in English] Had to go anyway, baby. Be good, huh?



Joe’s leaving. Move on, Nick.

[Mae] Have a seat, Falks.

[Falks] I really shouldn’t.

[Mae] Joe won’t mind.

Do you remember the first time we met?

I was broke. Alone.

I thought I had nothing left to lose.

But I was wrong. I still had… a shred of innocence, a glimmer of hope.

And then I… I tried baca. And it took everything away.

The innocence, the hope.

But also the fear, the hurt… the guilt.

I became invincible… because nothing mattered.

Nothing but these little pearls. [laughs]

[Falks] I should go.

Joe’s expecting his baca drop.

What the hell?

You stealing from Joe?


Because I have nothing left to lose. [grunts]

Get your head in the game, Nick.

You’re growing gills in the tank for that junkie?

She’s not a junkie. She’s not.

Oh, shit. You didn’t even know.

She never touched baca. Ever. Right?

God damn it.

You knew and you never said?

Wasn’t my place.

Baca is a drug that you don’t kick. Ever.

She’ll keep going back to it and to whoever she gets it from.

Then I know where to find her.


[indistinct announcement over PA]

[Nick] Who was she?

Who was she when not with me?

Was she the woman I knew?

Or that stranger I saw?

Was she running from the past… or racing back towards it?

To find where she’d gone, I had to know where she’d been.

I had to look back… to New Orleans.

The hell do you want?

I’m looking for Saint Joe. Lorenzo referred me.

Friend of Lorenzo’s.

He said he’s a friend of Lorenzo’s.

Friends with Lorenzo, eh?

You got guanxi with me, pal?

Business transaction.

I’d rather discuss it in private.

Vet, huh?

You folks even starch your sentences.

What brand of henchman were you?

I was in the navy. Then I was drafted for border patrol.

Drafted. Huh. I know how that goes.

Government forced your hand.

Forced mine, too, only God-fearing citizens like me weren’t drafted for border patrol.

We were rounded up and put in little camps.

You were interned.

Right here in Louisiana. 9th Ward.

Were you there when the levees broke?

How do you think I got this name?

Sure as hell ain’t my sense of piety.

“Jiu” means “ninth.”

“Saint” ’cause they figure my ass walks on water.


But that’s all blood under the bridge now, pengyou.

And this is business, right?

Right. I need vermillion baca, 10 pallets.

Bulk, eh?

You got balls. Bocce-sized.

Fine. Let’s discuss payment.

Alas, payment is not the wenti holding up this transaction, pengyou.

It’s trust.

[speaks Mandarin]

For instance, your pal Lorenzo’s been dead for years.

Work-related injury.

Which means you’re not who you say you are. Are you?


People say it’s peaceful to drown… but that’s gou pi.

I learned that in the camps when your kind left us to die after the levees burst.


Here, I’ll show you.

[muffled grunt]


Now, gao su wo, why are you really here?

I’m looking for a woman.

Some niu ran out on you?

I guess your balls ain’t so bocce-sized after all.

She stole your baca.

Goes by the name Mae.


You’ve seen my favorite chanteuse.

So, you come to my jia thinking she boomeranged back?

Sorry, pengyou.

I haven’t seen Mae since she skipped out years ago.

Don’t feel bad. She fooled me just like she fooled you.

Hey, I know exactly what she took from me.

Drugs, money, time.

But what did she take from you?

Hmm? [laughs]

Oh, poor guisunzi.

You’ve been had, and you don’t even know why.

Hey, hey, hey. Don’t worry, pengyou.

The pain will be over soon.

[breathing heavily]

But not too soon.


[door opens]


[all screaming]



Let go and I’ll shoot you myself.




My tank.



[Watts] Shit, I’m out.


[man yells]


[breathing heavily]


Good thinking, shooting the tank.

I was aiming for Joe.




I’ve seen this kind of hit before.

Your lungs will fill with blood. You’ll suffocate before you bleed out.

I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Don’t let me die… like they did in the camps.

We’ll part as friends, then.


Why do you put yourself through this, Nick?

[Nick] Mae. What was she hiding?


You still have me in there?

Locked away with all those other memories?

You and your lost keys.

Ever think the best thing would be to destroy them?

Why would I do that?

Maybe memory fades for a reason.

If we just dwelled on the bad things in the past, we’d never get over them.

And if we just dwelled on the good… we might never match it again.

There aren’t any memories you wanna hold on to?

I guess there’s one.


When London sank, I fled to New Orleans.

But New Orleans had a lot of… bad associations.

So, I got a one-way ticket out of there to here.

When I arrived in Miami, I had no plan whatsoever.

I had no savings, I had no place to stay.

So, I found a dinghy in a canal and crawled in it for a nap.

And while I was sleeping, some asshole cuts me loose.

I drifted south past the Keys and would have drifted forever… if I hadn’t found Frances.


[Mae] At first, I thought it was a mirage.

She was smoking a cigarette on the stoop of a white clapboard house… in the middle of the waves.

It was like something out of a dream.

And she took me in and got me on my feet again.

So, when I’m feeling scared or lost… then that is what I think about.

I think of a song.

My grandfather used to hum it.


After he died, didn’t hear that song for a long time.

And then I heard it again.

You sang it so sweetly, it was like I’d never… never truly heard it before.

[Mae humming]

♪ You are smiling You were smiling then ♪

♪ Can’t remember where ♪

♪ Or when ♪

What are you even looking for in there?

What she took from me.

She was a grifter, playing me, looking for something.

No offense, Nick, but what would she want to take from you?

The only thing of value I have doesn’t belong to me.

Right. Some bullshit memories. You’re reaching.

Come on, think. You were here with her the last time she was here.

Of course I was.

Were you with her the whole time?

[door opens]

Oh. Nick’s not around for another hour.

No, I brought these for him, but this is for you.

I was hoping we could talk a bit.

You don’t like me, do you?


Nick’s good at seeing people in the tank.

My eyes are clearer out here.

You’re hiding something.


I’m an addict.

I was.

In New Orleans, I got hooked on baca.

And you haven’t told Nick.

He wouldn’t judge you.

He wouldn’t look at me the same way, either.

Why are you telling me?

Because you will judge me.

But it won’t change the way you see me.

I’m not one to judge.


You know how I got my name?

“Watts”? Figured it was from the…

During the war… after my stint on the front, I worked in munitions.

Soldering lithium batteries into drones. It was a shit job.

But I needed money for me and my daughter.

You have a child?

She’s grown now.

We’re not in touch. I’m not exactly the maternal type.

Though… I tried for a while.

Even gave up drinking.

The problem with going dry is the mind is clear.

But the hands… [scoffs] they shake.

All it took was one wrong spark.

Lit up that whole place like Independence Day.

Afterward, my daughter went north… to stay with some relations…


…and I went back to the bottle.

Only thing stopped me drowning in it was Nick.

That’s why you stayed all these years.


That, and he doesn’t pay me enough to drink myself to death.

Men are strange, aren’t they?

They don’t see what’s right in front of them.

There’s nothing to see.

We both know that’s not true.

Excuse me for a sec.

It’s okay. I was gonna go anyway.

[Watts gasps]

Whatever you saw in there… please don’t jump to conclusions, Nick.

What am I supposed to think?

I mean, this whole time, you’ve been keeping this from me?

It’s complicated.

I didn’t wanna ruin things between us.

You were supposed to watch over this place.

Instead, you got drunk, you let her walk into the vault.

What are you talking about?


No, no, it’s impossible.

Even with the keys… she wouldn’t have known the code to the vault.

Even I don’t know the code to the vault.

It’s not a code… it’s a tune.

She studied me for months. She must have figured it out.

[Nick and Mae hum]

[clicks on]

Everything in my batch is here.

Wait a minute, look.

Look at this. Cameron, Campbell, Caplan, Cummings.

What is it?

There’s no Carine.

Elsa Carine’s files.

They’re all gone.

What would Mae want with Elsa? She barely had enough to pay us.

[dramatic music playing]

To the floating market at the park.

Sir, I’m looking for this woman.

Sir, have you seen this woman? Elsa?


Sir, have you seen this woman?


Hey, uh, I’m looking for Elsa Carine, I think she works here.

Just wanna have a word.

Yeah. Talk to that rat over there.

Thank you. Hey.

Hey, hey!

[indistinct yelling]

[dramatic music playing]


[Nick] Just wanna talk to you.

[music stops]

Just wanna talk.



I’ve got papers, pig!

Hey, I’m not a cop, okay?

I’m a friend of Elsa’s and I want to help. I think she’s in trouble.

How the hell are you supposed to help her now?

She’s dead.

[ominous music playing]


What happened?

Told the cops.

But they don’t care what happens to people like us.

What did you see?

Elsa was packing up for the day… when some guy decides to get in her face.

All I know is Elsa didn’t stand a chance.

He killed her.

I haven’t seen Freddie since.


Elsa’s kid?

[Nick] Elsa had a child.

Did the man hurt Freddie, too?

He left that to his girlfriend.

Some redheaded bitch. She grabbed him.

Wouldn’t let him go no matter how much he screamed.

[Nick] Who was she?

Who was she when not with me?

A liar.

An addict.

A killer.

I had to find her.

But it turns out, she was already looking for me.

[faint whistling]

[Nick] Mae?

[Nick grunting]


Forget about Mae.

She’s moved on.

And I suggest you do the same.

It’s me.

Loverboy won’t be bothering us no more.



You wanna get burned?

Have this beatdown in your brain forever?

You’re gonna have to let this go.


He must have left some clue of who he is. I just need to remember.


What are you doing?

I am saving your junkie ass.


I was hoping you’d drop this, but I can’t let you burn yourself.

I found something in your peripheral vision.

Anything about this face strike you as familiar?

He’s the dirty cop who worked for Saint Joe.


Let’s go see what we can find out from Avery.

[crowd clamoring]

[man] Break up the barons!

[woman] Murderers!

[Watts] Town’s ready to riot.

What happened?

Man, you’re in the tank so much, you don’t even know?

The land baron, Walter Sylvan… the guy you were supposed to depose, he died a couple of days ago.

These folks were hoping the courts would bust his monopoly.

But his widow and son will inherit everything.

It’s late. Someone might see us.

Come on, Mom. You’re just confused.

Do they think this is a mistake?

Old fling of yours, Nick?

Yeah, we met a long time ago, back when I first opened shop.

She came to me for a session.

[Nick] Seeing Tamara stirred a memory.

A clue that had been in my mind all along.

I thought I told you not to get back in the tank.

Well, Mae stole all of Elsa’s files, but there was another copy.

What did you find?

Well, I talked to Avery.

She’s still pretty pissed about you blowing her deposition.

But she did give me some intel.

His name is Cyrus Boothe.

Cyrus Boothe.

He used to work for Saint Joe, but they had a falling out.

So, he moved to Miami.

And until recently, he’s been working for…

Walter Sylvan.


See, look at this. Listen.

[man] Don’t worry, my flower. I love you.

I’ll always take care of you.

I mean, that voice always bothered me.

I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

And then I remembered where I’d heard it.

Tamara Sylvan’s reminiscence.

Walter’s widow.

It was years ago.

I never forgot that voice.

Did anyone see you?


[Tamara] Thank God. Everyone’s mad enough as it is.

They think this is a mistake.


Don’t worry, my flower. I love you.

I’ll always take care of you.

They say you can’t tell yet, but I know it’s a boy.

Are you happy? Tell me you’re happy.

I’m so happy I could dance.


[Tamara] There’s no music.

[Walter] Remember the song that was playing the first night we met?

On the count of three, I want you to imagine it.

Can you hear it?

I hear it, Walter.

Elsa’s lover was Walter Sylvan…

[Tamara] I hear it.

…and they had a son.

And Walter wanted him dead.

He knew he was dying. He sent Boothe to tie up the loose ends with Mae.

We can’t prove it. Not with this.

The only files on Elsa are in your memory. That’s hearsay.

Avery can’t use it, but I can.

If I find Boothe, I’ll find Mae.

Nick, wait.

In all the time that you knew Mae, how much did you really know her?

How much did you really love her?

Why the hell do you care?

Because I know how blind you can be.

You’re hurt because you thought you were in love.

But it wasn’t real.

She was an idea wrapped in a tight dress.

An absence you wanted to pour all your broken pieces into.

You think I’m chasing an absence? Well, at least I’m chasing something.

I’m not just running away all the time.

What’s that supposed to mean?

You ran away from your own daughter.

You can be a real son of a bitch, you know that?

But it’s true, isn’t it?

Everything you cared about, your ex, your kid, your job…

you left.

I never left you.

Well, maybe you should have.

‘Cause I’m no better than the bottle for you. I’m just another place to hide.

You’d be better off working a pod.

You don’t mean that.

I do.



What you have with me isn’t a life.

It’s barely a living.

Maybe it’s best if you moved on.

You’re firing me?

I’ll call one of the pods on your behalf.

I’ll set you up with a good gig.

Screw you and your charity. This isn’t about me.

This is about you and your goddamn obsession.

She is responsible for the murder of an innocent woman and the kidnapping of a little boy.

And she used my files to do it.

Then go to the police.

We both know the police don’t care about cases like this.

I’m asking you.

I am begging you.

Don’t go down this path.

Stay here in this life.

Stay here with me.

I’m sorry, Watts.

I have to do this.


You made your choice.

I just hope to hell that you survive it.

‘Cause I won’t be around to save your ass the next time.

[gun barrel clicks open]

[dramatic music playing]

[barrel clicks shut]

[announcer] For your safety, please stand behind the yellow line.

[music increases in tempo]

[Nick] The Sylvans, like all other barons, live in the drylands.

They build dams to insulate themselves… pushing the waves into the surrounding areas.

The barons stay afloat by drowning everyone else.

They say the only ones to survive the Titanic were the rich and the rats.


The barons are both.

I’d like a word with Ms. Sylvan regarding the…

I know exactly what it’s regarding.

And you’re an hour late.

Little tall, aren’t you?

[footsteps receding]

[melancholy music playing]

Try to stick to the script, and fix the tie.

[enchanting instrumental music playing]

[clock ticking]

Did anyone see you?

Oh, thank God.

Everyone’s mad enough as it is.

They think this is a mistake.

[Nick] Most burners are torn apart by the worlds they straddle…

the real one around them and the one playing in their mind.

Only the rich mold the world to meet their delusions.

Do you remember me?

We met once. I’m Nick Bannister.

Walter, please.

They say you can’t tell yet… but I know it’s a boy.

Your boy’s grown now.

We need to talk about Cyrus Boothe.

Boothe works security for you, right?

Where is he? Tell me.

I hear it, Walter.

I hear it.

All right, I’m done playing. Your husband is dead. Come here.


Walter and I are expecting our baby any day now.

When are we?

It’s been years, Tamara.

When did I change?

You ever hear of a girl named Elsa Carine?

She and Walter were having an affair.

One of many flowers.

Only this one was different. She had a child.

Walter never liked sharing.

That’s why he told Boothe.

Told him what?

To kill them. Both of them.

You heard him say that?

He’s not the man I thought he’d be.

When you’re young, you think the future will be one thing.

You see it play out like a string of dominoes.

You have no idea… the things that are lined up.

Boothe… was he working with anyone?

There was a woman.

Some whore from New Orleans.

Where are they now?

Tamara, where are Boothe and Mae?

Where do you think?

With all the other trash you can’t throw away.

You’re the man from the deposition.


I just have a couple of questions.

He’s harassing my mother!

I’m not. I’m not harassing her.

It’s all right. Hey.

Come on.

I know you.

You’re the man who remembers everyone else’s memories.

What do you want us to do with him, ma’am?

Exactly what Walter would have done with him.

[dramatic music playing]

Let’s go.

Wait, wait!

[Tamara] You’re so happy.


[Tamara] You’re so happy…

[Nick grunts]


Sorry, buddy. I’ll make it fast.


You served?

Two tours on the Gulf.

Three tours. Western line.

Next time, I won’t miss.

[sprinkler swiveling]

[upbeat instrumental rock music playing]

I wanna buy your boat.

[Nick] I didn’t get much from the Sylvan widow, but it was enough.

There’s only one place where the trash piles up… alongside all the city’s lost souls.

The old recycling plants.

To find Boothe and Mae, I had to go to Hell itself.

[indistinct chattering]

[footsteps receding]

[eerie music playing]

[Cyrus] Say it.

Say “People like us don’t fall in love. We plummet.”

Then touch me here.

Don’t move.

Hello, Mae.

Get out of here.


[gun cocks]


Tenacious fella, ain’t you?

Tell me where I can find her.


I bet you thought that was fate, huh?


Some kind of sign… that she should sing that song from when you was a kid.

But nothing’s an accident with Mae.

Everything’s researched… meticulously calculated.


You can hate her for it.

But who are you to judge?

Mae and me, we’re from a different world.

The one that sank.

When the waves came, they washed away our lies.

Revealed what this world has always been.

A wilderness with one rule.

Survive or die.

A place like that is beyond good and evil.

Only sin left is self-deception.

Telling yourself that you’re better than everyone else.

That you deserve to be standing… while everyone else sinks.

I’ve never labored under that delusion.

Always seen myself… exactly for what I am.

And I see you, too.

Where is she?

You think you’re some avenging hero.

Where is she?

You’re just an empty man looking for a woman to blame.

Come on, shoot me.

You won’t get what’s in my head.

You’ll never get to Mae.


[eerie music playing]


[gun clatters]

[both grunting]


[glass shattering]

[music increases in tempo]

[Nick grunts]



[breathing heavily]

[dramatic music playing]

[both grunting]

[both yelling]




[eerie music playing]

[both grunting]


[water gurgling]

[softly] Shit.


[muffled grunt]

[muffled grunting]

[Mae] Tell me a story.

[enchanting instrumental music playing]

[Nick] A story? What kind of story?

[Mae] One with a happy ending.

No such thing as a happy ending.

All endings are sad. Especially if the story was happy.

Then tell me a happy story… but end it in the middle.


[dramatic music playing]



[eerie music playing]

People love their secrets.

They think secrets are the one thing they can take with them when they go… but not you, Boothe.

You don’t get to keep your secrets or hers.

You think you want answers… but you don’t.

You’re blind with rage.

And there’s safety in that.

Your ignorance protects you.

‘Cause when you finally see Mae for who she really is… the truth… ain’t gonna set you free.

It’s gonna damn you.

Like me.


You’re going on a journey.

Your destination?

A place and time you’ve been before.

You were sent to Miami to find Mae.

Show me when you found her.

[lighter clicks]

[dog barks distantly]

Stay away, asshole.

Is that any way to treat an old pal?

I don’t know you, “pal.”

But I know you.

You’re Saint Joe’s old niu.

Don’t know who that is.

Joe’s still got a hard-on for you.

Especially when you took off with all of his baca.

You’re the dirty cop he used to run with.

He sent you to bring me back?

He did.

But I’m an independent contractor now.

Those scars a courtesy of Joe?

Guess I’m not the only one who stole from him, then.

I’m gonna look like the goddamn Mona Lisa compared to what he’s gonna do with you… if I hand you over.

Baca’s gone. I sold it a long time ago.

I’m not here for that.

I got a new proposition.

Unless you want Joe paying you a visit… I suggest you cooperate.

What do you want me to do?

I want you… to do what you do best… to this guy.

It was all a setup.

Tell me about your friend from the war again.



What do you want to know?

Hank? Oh, shit.

[Mae] Anything that comes to mind, really.

Kind of women he likes, kind of music he listens to…

There’s this song he used to whistle in the trenches.

[whistles song tune]

[Mae] ♪ And so it seems… ♪

[Nick] She planned everything.

♪ …that we’ve met… ♪

The song.

♪ …before ♪

[Nick] The earring.

Oh, my God, even the lost keys were a setup.

Do it again!

You drop the keys!


You’re gonna do it again.

This whole time, I was nothing but a mark.

It has been three months.

These things take time, okay? His partner’s got the key.

I can’t figure out his combination.

Liar! You’re stalling!



Ugh! [slams hand]

Don’t tell me this gimp screwed a conscience into you?

I’m touched.

But remember, in this line of work, a conscience will get you killed.


[Nick] This bruise, what happened?

I want those files.

Show me.

[Mae] Here they are.

The guy she’s with, he’s that baron, isn’t he?

What are you gonna do with them?

I’m gonna destroy them.

And all other proof of their little tryst.

What other proof?

No one ever told you about the birds and the bees, Mae?

The rich, they really don’t like it when a bastard branch sprouts off of their precious family tree.

The boy, what happened to him?

Hello, Elsa.

Oh! Sorry, do I know you?

We have mutual friends.

How’s Freddie? Is he here today?

Uh… what… what do you want with Freddie?

Oh, hey. Hey, Freddie.

Can, can you tell me what this is about?

You screwed the wrong guy.




No. No.

He loved me.

Said he’d take care of me.

Oh, yeah.

He’s gonna take care of both of you.


I did you first. Be grateful for that.


Hey, Freddie.

Can you help me, please?


Come on.

Stop! Freddie, don’t!

Don’t be afraid.

Come here, kid. Come on.

No, don’t!

No, I want my mommy!

Don’t! No!

[Cyrus] The hell are you doing?

What I should have from the start.


Go! Go ahead!

Go to the boat!

Get in!


Go, go, go!

[both grunting]


Get down!

It’s okay, it’s okay.



[engine revs]


She saved him.

She got away from you, you son of a bitch.

It’s all right. It’s all right. You took a misstep.

I led you down a path never taken.

Let’s try again.

Oh, my God, you did see Mae again, didn’t you?

[knocks on door]

Oh, my God.

We’re closed!

I figured you’d come back.

What was the plan, huh? Run away together?

Play mom and dad to the little boy?

Guess I’m gonna have to take both of you out now.

No, no, no! Wait, wait, wait.

Let’s get lover boy out here.

Nick doesn’t know anything.

Take me. I’ll come with you and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Please, just don’t hurt him.

Get in the car.

The earring. You wanted me to find it.

I love you.


She came back.

Because of me.

What the hell did you do to her?

Let’s not make this more difficult than it has to be, huh?



No more. No.

Undiluted baca.

Now, tell me, where is the boy?

Soon, the baca is gonna kick in and bring back the Mae I used to know.

And when it does… there’s nothing you’ll hold back.

Nothing you won’t do.

No one you won’t betray.

Not the kid… not your boyfriend.

Oh, God.

You’ll tell me everything you know. Understand?



Now, tell me where the kid is.


[faintly] You already know.

You know.


I told you once, don’t you remember?

At first, I thought it was a mirage floating in the waves.

White clapboard house.

It saved me once. And maybe, maybe it can save Freddie, too.

What are you talkin’ about?


I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier.

But you’re here now, aren’t you?

We have this one last chance.

Yes, Mae, I’m here. I’m right here.

There are so many things I wanted to tell you.

But I was scared.

You looked at me in a way no one’s ever looked at me.

I wanted to be that person you saw.

It’s so stupid of me to think falling in love could save me.

People like us don’t fall in love.

We, we plummet to places… deep and dark.

But love?

Love is the thing we climb to.

Rung after rung, we, we pull ourselves out of ourselves… reaching for something greater.

If we could just hold on.

I wish I could’ve held on longer.

Stay. Stay.

I love you…



Who the hell do you think you’re talking to?

The man who’s gonna kill you!


[Cyrus groaning]

There’s only one way out.

Mae, don’t. No, no, no. Wait, no.

No, no, no.

Where do you think you’re going?



No, no, Mae. Mae, Mae, Mae, no, no…

I can’t let him find Freddie.

Stay. Don’t…

I’m sorry.

No, no… No. No!

No, no, no!

[sobbing continues]

Mae was wrong, I’m not gonna kill you.

‘Cause dying is easy.

A few moments of suffering and then nothing.

You deserve more than nothing. You deserve to remember.

We’re going on a journey.

A journey down a path you tried to forget but never could.

A journey to your worst fear, your worst pain.

How did you get your scars, Boothe?

They call ’em rats of the sky.

They’re just doves… with dark wings.

They are as they’re made to be.


I told Joe we couldn’t trust you.


You been skimmin’ off his sales.

Of course I did.

This whole town is bent. Be crooked not to.




Feel that fire?

Burning like it did that night.

[muffled screaming]

But this night will never end.

This night will be with you for the rest of your life!

This is where your journey ends!

[machine beeping]

[muffled screaming]

They say you can’t tell yet… but I know it’s a boy.

Don’t bother calling security, all right? We need to talk.


For a long time, you’ve known about your father’s affair, haven’t you?

Must’ve been quite a shock to learn that he’d fathered another child.

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Sure you do.

He was in love with Elsa.

[Walter] Don’t worry, my flower.

[Nick] And vowed to protect her and her son.

[Walter] I’ll always take care of you.

He was looking for them.

He wanted to make things right with them before he died.

Have you found her yet?

No, Dad.

Didn’t wanna split your fortune, did you?

So, you hired Boothe to kill them so you could keep the money to yourself.


Your own mother tried to tell me.

Walter never liked sharing.

She just confused you and your father.

It’s easy to see how.

Mother gets confused.

Not about this.

Boothe proved it with a phone call.

It’s me.

I thought he was conspiring with a woman I knew.

But I was wrong.

And he couldn’t have been calling your father.

Your father was already dead.

And the dead don’t take phone calls.

But you do.

[cell phone vibrating]

Should’ve tossed your phone.

Name your price.

I’ll have as much as you need once the estate clears.

I doubt that.

Your half-brother Freddie, though, he’ll, he’ll be quite comfortable.

Freddie, he…

Alive, yeah.

Police picked him up early this morning.

Visited a white clapboard house off the coast of the Keys where they found him… safe and sound.

Won’t be long before the cops piece together what happened.

They’ll be here for you soon.

Go ahead. Do it.

[gun cocks]

[breath trembling]

I won’t let them take me.

Between memory and oblivion… I know which torture I’d choose.

But you’ve never done your own dirty work.

I doubt you have it in you to start now.

On the count of three, imagine it.

One, two…

[Sebastian sobbing]

I hear it, Walter.

I hear it.

[Watts] Don’t worry. Your father is in great hands.

The tank will keep his body sustained for years.


Thank you.

I’ll give you guys a few minutes.

Thank you.

If you’re thinking about checking in, trust me, you cannot afford it.

I burned someone on purpose.

Such a kidder.

Joking about something like that.

Everyone knows that would get you more time than murder.

It’s not a joke.


You got a death wish?

The DA will pluck that little confession right out of my head with the tank.

I want them to.


What are these?


They belong to Elsa Carine and Cyrus Boothe, the man who killed Elsa…

and Mae.

Mae is dead?

I’m sorry.

Take these. I need you to get them to Avery.

She’ll depose me.

She’ll ask about you.

I’m counting on it.

Sorry, Watts.

I’d ask someone else, but, turns out, you’re my only friend.


I wish I’d fired you a long time ago.

Gee, thanks.

I see clearer now all the things that I missed.

Your best moments aren’t behind you, Emily.

They’re waiting for your arrival.

Your daughter… go find her.

There’s still time.

You’re acting like I won’t see you again.

You’ll see me. I’ll see you.

You’ve always been there for me.

I don’t expect that will change.

But first, you’re gonna have to hear my confession.


It started, as you know… with a set of lost keys.

Only, they were never really lost in the first place… not even misplaced.

It started as a con… but by the end, it was something real.

The city reacted swiftly to word of Sylvan’s crimes.

Their rage against the barons had been pent up too long.

No walls could contain it.

A trickle became a flood.

Maybe this time it would wash the world clean.

Either way… I won’t know.

For my role in exposing the Sylvan conspiracy…

Avery cut me a deal.

I didn’t get to walk… but I got what I wanted.

You’re going on a journey.

A journey through memory.

Your destination?

A place and time you’ve been before.

To reach it… all you have to do is follow my voice.

The past can haunt a man.

That’s what they say.

That the past is just a series of moments.

Each one perfect.


A bead on the necklace of time.

[door opens and closes]

[Watts] We’re closed.

I’m sorry. I know it’s late.

I lost my keys on the way home from work.

[Nick] The past doesn’t haunt us.

Wouldn’t even recognize us.

♪ It seems we stood And talked ♪

[Nick] If there are ghosts to be found… it’s us who haunt the past.

We haunt it… so we can look again.

See the people we miss… and the things we missed about them.

I see you fully now.

Your darkness and your light.

Shimmering… like the city at dusk when it’s most beautiful.

Tell me a story.

A story? What kind of story?

One with a happy ending.

No such thing as a happy ending.

All endings are sad.

Especially if the story was happy.

Then tell me a happy story, but end it in the middle.



You miss him… don’t you?

Missing people is a part of this world.

Without that sadness… you can’t taste the sweet.

A long time ago, we both chose our endings.

He turned back… and I looked ahead.

I like to think that we both chose right for ourselves.

[Nick] As I held her in my arms, I thought of a story.

It’s a tragedy… but only if you stop at the end.

Ever hear of Orpheus and Eurydice?

They were a couple very in love.

Until one day Eurydice died.

That’s a horrible story.

I’m not in the middle yet.

Orpheus descended to Hell… begged the Devil to release her, until… finally, the Devil agreed… with one condition.

He couldn’t look back until they had escaped.

And what happened?

Orpheus took her by the hand… and led her back to life.

And they lived happily ever after?

What other ending could there be?


[“Save My Love” playing]

[instrumental music playing]


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The Exorcism (2024)

The Exorcism (2024) | Transcript

A troubled actor begins to exhibit a disruptive behavior while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.

The Bikeriders (2023)

The Bikeriders (2023) | Transcript

After a chance encounter, headstrong Kathy is drawn to Benny, member of Midwestern motorcycle club the Vandals. As the club transforms into a dangerous underworld of violence, Benny must choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club.

The Garfield Movie (2024)

The Garfield Movie (2024) | Transcript

Garfield, the world-famous, Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat, is about to have a wild outdoor adventure. After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father – scruffy street cat Vic – Garfield and his canine friend Odie are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist.

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