Award-winning true story starring Geoffrey Rush. David Helfgott, a gifted pianist, suffers a mental breakdown that threatens to derail his career.
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I did, I did. I thought I was a cat. Ooh!
Kind of, kind of. I identified with cats.
I kind of did. I wonder why that was?
They bite when you stroke them.
Maybe I was a sad cat. Was I? Yeah, yeah, I wondered about cats.
Truly I did, I did. Cos I was a fuddy-duddy.
Kissed them all, always kissed cats.
If a cat'd let me kiss it, I would.
See a cat on the fence, I'd kiss it. Always, didn't I?
Life's a perpetual risk, isn't it?
I think it is.
I was different then, wasn't I?
I gotta be different again, got to be different again.
Can a leopard change its spots? Who knows?
It's a blood sport, I think so. It's true. It seems to be true.
Or is it a blank?
Bit of a scrabble. Hoooooy!
Put the pieces together. See if you make words. Ho!
That's funny, that's funny.
It's a mystery, it's a mystery.
-Oh, thank you, thank you.
-Here we go.
HE KNOCKS REPEATEDLY
What's the problem, mate?
Sorry, sorry, mate, I'm the problem.
Ho-ho. Such a problem. I'm wet, oh!
But it's not an ideal world, is it?
We must make the most of it, but it's more ideal than before.
Because, I mean, we're privileged, right?
Not long ago, people would've been burnt at the stake, maybe.
-It's Tony. Who are you?
-Not maybe. Tony, Tony.
Who knows, Tony. I don't know myself. Ah!
I'm David, David. How does that sound?
-Hi, David. How can Sylvia help?
-Is it Sylvia? Oh!
Pleased to meet you, Sylvia, oh! SHE GASPS
Schubert, wasn't it? He said, "Who's Sylvia, what is she?"
-What can we do for you, David?
-Do for me?
-Got to stop talking. It's a problem.
-No, it's all right.
Just tell Sylvia why you're here.
-Are you lost?
-That's it! How does that sound?
Oh, is that your piano, beautiful Sylvia?
Oh, isn't Sylvia beautiful, Toby? SHE LAUGHS
Not Toby - Tony. You're beautiful too, Tony! Oh!
Perhaps I could play it?
-Like hell, baby.
-> Could I? You say.
-Shut up, Sam.
-Hell baby, oh, the devil. Diablerie!
-Get out of here. Go on.
-Sylvia, Sylvia, could I play?
-David, your name and address.
Leave it, Sylvia. Leave, leave it.
That's very important, isn't it? Molto, molto.
Then again, it's a lifelong struggle, isn't it Sylvia, Tony?
To live, to survive.
To survive undamaged, not destroy any creature.
Wrongdoers are punished for the rest of your life.
-Is it a lifelong struggle?
To keep your head above water, not get it chopped off.
I'm not disappointing you, am I Sylvia-Tony-Tony-Sylvia?
-Sam, yay, Sam! Oh!
-Oh, no. Get off.
Helfgott, what a name, oh! ALL LAUGH
Helfgott - with the help of God. That's what it means. How's that?
You see, Daddy's daddy was very religious, strict, and a meanie.
But he got exterminated. God didn't help him. Whooahhh.
Not very funny. Very sad, really.
I'm callous. Callous and a bit of a meanie.
Sorry, Sylvia. I mustn't damage Sylvia.
Perhaps I haven't got a soul.
-What makes you say that?
-Daddy said there's no such thing.
-Right. I'm ridiculous and callous.
Ridiculous and callous, uh, because it was a tragedy, a tragedy.
A ridiculous tragedy.
SLOW-MOTION APPLAUSE BEGINS
BOY: (I'm going to win. I'm going to win.)
(I'm going to win!)
(I'm going to win.)
David's going to play the piano for us.
-Aren't you, David?
What are you going to play?
David. What are you going to play?
Chopin. The Polonaise.
PIANO SCRAPES AGAINST FLOOR
PIANO STOOL SCREECHES
This is crazy. The piano!
That is crazy. The piano.
This kid's good.
He is my son.
-Here they come.
Did he win or lose?
Now we'll cop it.
It's your turn.
It's your turn, Daddy.
Ah, let me see. Let me see.
Ah, let me see.
You're losing. You're losing. You're losing.
David, always win!
You know, when I...
When I was a boy your age I bought a violin,
a beautiful violin.
I saved for this violin.
-And you know what happened to it?
He smashed it.
Yeah...he smashed it.
you're a very lucky boy.
My father never let me have music.
You're a very lucky boy.
I'm a very lucky boy.
Now shall I play for you?
No. Pick up this piece.
-I bet I could have won.
-You would have been too scared.
-CLASSICAL RECORD PLAYS
CHESS PIECES CLUNK
Have a listen, have a listen.
KNOCK AT DOOR
I told you, tell your friends not to come.
TRAIN BELL RINGS
I? Come on, wait!
Daddy, there's somebody here!
I hope I'm not interrupting.
-Ben Rosen. I was one of the judges.
You left before all the prizes were announced.
You were very good this afternoon, David.
He can play better.
Maybe he was a little too good. Some people don't like that.
We gave him a special prize for his courage.
A difficult piece you chose, David.
Daddy chose it.
Even great pianists think twice before attacking the Polonaise.
-A prize for losing?
-I wouldn't call him a loser.
Das genugt, das genugt.
Sie spielt aber gut.
They all, they all play.
I'm quite sure...
David could win lots of competitions with the right tuition.
-I teach him.
-You've obviously done very well.
Yeah. No-one taught me.
No music teachers, Mr Rosen.
No, of course. It's just a...
A few bad habits is the difference between winning or losing.
Perhaps you'd like to think about it. Mmm?
GENTLE PIANO TUNE
Yeah. You taught yourself?
From the record.
Oh, yeah. It's... it's very difficult.
It's very difficult.
It's, uh, the hardest piece in the world, you know.
Will you teach me?
one day you will play it.
You will make me very proud, very proud of you, David.
what are we going to do?
-We're going to win.
-We are going to win, yes.
So... Good night.
Good night, Daddy.
Come, come, come, come.
Don't touch it, don't touch it.
Mr Rosen, I have decided I would like...
you teach David...this.
Rachmaninoff. Don't be ridiculous.
He can play it already.
He's just a boy. He can't express that sort of passion!
You are a passionate man, Mr Rosen.
You will teach him, no?
I'll teach him what I think's best.
Rachmaninoff is best.
You are his teacher. I'll let you decide.
We'll start with Mozart.
I can't afford to pay.
SCALES PLAYED ON PIANO
Come on, David. Sylvia's getting wet.
-Sorry, Sylvia, sorry. Bye, Tony.
-See you later.
It's raining cats and dogs, dogs and pussycats.
-Ho, look out!
-You'll be right then, David?
-I'm fine. Home sweet home.
-Oh, you CAN play!
-Oh, kind of, kind of play, Sylvia.
Chopin, Sylvia, Chopinzee! The Pole-popolski.
Like Daddy and his family before they were concentrated.
-How long have you been here?
-Golly, a few years.
Aeons, how does that sound?
And Schubert, nothing wrong with Schubert, except syphilis.
Then typhoid on top of that, so we lost him.
-A bit careless of us.
-So, you're back.
Oh, Jim! I've been a naughty boy. Was I a naughty boy?
-I almost sent out a search party.
-A party. I won't be invited...
-He came to my restaurant a bit lost.
-He's very good at that, thanks.
-..have a party...
It's time for a wine and a very fine time, mardis gras and a long cigar.
HEAVY RAIN BECOMES...
APPLAUSE The winner...
our youngest state champion... CROWD CHEERS
-Rosen, we won, we won.
-Thanks to Mozart, hmm?
-And now he can play Rachmaninoff.
To present David with the prize money,
our very special guest from America, ladies and gentlemen.
Currently on tour in Australia, Mr Isaac Stern.
You have a very special talent, David.
Thank you, thank you, Mr Stern. So do you.
How much are you prepared to give to your music, David?
Ah, uh, everything.
But, uh, I do like tennis and, uh, chemistry too. AUDIENCE TITTERS
Do you play tennis as well as you play Mozart?
I bounce the ball against the wall at home mainly.
How would you like to go to a special American school
where MUSIC bounces off walls?
You know - land of the free, home of the brave, Mickey Mouse!
Ladies and gentlemen, what an honour for our young state champion -
an invitation to study in America!
AUDIENCE CHEERS AND APPLAUDS
-And now, all the way from America...
David Helfgott! Woooo!
-Thank you, thank you.
-He's not from America.
He's going to America,
and when he comes back, he'll be coming from there, won't you?
-I suppose so. BOY:
No, I have no money to send David to America.
-We'll raise it!
David hasn't yet had his Bar Mitzvah.
Religion is nonsense.
It's also a goldmine if you know where to dig.
And one day I'll play with an orchestra.
Wow! Can I come when you do?
You can ride in my Cadillac.
Where will you live in America?
With a nice Jewish family, they said.
Here is not a nice family?
Oh, yes, Daddy. It's very nice.
You're very lucky to have a family, David.
-MARGARET LAUGHS BOY:
-She was down there with him.
I've gotta go.
It's one of the finest music schools in the world.
It is for his father to decide.
He would be well looked after, I promise.
David could be one of the truly great pianists.
He is just a boy, Mr Rosen.
He still wets his bed.
Take this one, the brown one.
You see...how fit I am, how strong?
Show me the lion scratches when you worked in the circus, Daddy.
HE HUMS A TUNE
Yeah. That what happens when you're too close to the bars, eh?
David, come here.
-Yeah, as hard as you can. You too.
-Me too, Daddy!
You see - a man of steel.
No-one can hurt me.
Because in this world only the fit survive.
-The weak get crushed like insects.
Like grasshoppers, Daddy?
Believe me. If you want to survive in America...
you have to be fit and strong.
-Like you, Daddy?
Like me. Yes! Ha-ha.
Yeah, that's good.
SOFT TAPPING AT TYPEWRITER
PAPER IS TORN
See you next week, David. Don't forget to study.
Thank you, Rabbi.
Mr Helfgott! It is exciting, isn't it?
David, the Lord Mayor is dying to meet you!
Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention, please?
I would like to thank our wonderful Lord Mayor
for establishing this fund to send David to America.
And now to play for us, our very own David Helfgott!
'These people are a disgrace!'
They think they are so important.
What do they know, with their furs and their diamonds?
It makes me sick to the stomach! That Rosen - what kind of man is he?
He's not married. He has no children.
MUFFLED: Don't ever talk to me about Rosen.
He only wants for David the same as you have always wanted.
Don't ever compare me to him.
What has he suffered? Not a day in his life!
What does he know... What does he know about families?
About how your sisters died? And my mother and father?
Thank you! Thank you, David!
Thank you, Comrade Helfgott! Your son is a credit to you!
On behalf of the Soviet Friendship Society, we applaud you!
Meet Katherine Prichard.
You play beautifully.
My name's Sonia.
I know who you are.
You've got the most wonderful hands.
So do you.
So, um...are you... You're going to America?
That's right, yeah.
One day you'll go to Russia too.
There's someone important who wants to meet you.
I'd better go.
I've never met anyone who plays the piano as beautifully as you, David.
I've never met a writer before, Mrs Prichard.
You must be very proud of him.
As proud as a father can be.
I have a long-suffering old piano at home.
Ah, suffering piano!
Perhaps you'll play it for me one day.
Yes...anything to help.
I'd like that very much.
TAPS ON GLASS
Your attention, comrades. I wish to propose a toast.
That's my cue.
To our founder and very special guest this evening,
Katherine Susannah Prichard.
You will learn much from this old woman.
She has been to the Soviet Union.
"We have been informed of your exceptional talent
"and can only say how privileged we feel to have you stay with us.
"You'll feel very much at home here and you'll be pleased to know
"we're having the Bosendorfer tuned especially.
"We eagerly await your innement arrival..."
-I wonder if they've got a Cadillac!
"..imminent arrival and look forward to hearing you play for us.
"Kindest wishes, Simon and Basha Mickleburg."
Read it again!
Shush! You'll wake the baby!
"You'll enjoy the company of our parakeet
"and our poodle, called Margaret."
-Hey! It is not!
-It is too!
Turn it off! Give me the letter.
David is not going anywhere.
What are you looking at, you fools? He's not going to America.
I won't let anyone destroy THIS FAMILY!
Please, Daddy, don't!
I know, David, what is best, because I'm your father.
I am your father and THIS IS YOUR FAMILY!
David! David, come back!
SHE SHOUTS ANGRILY IN YIDDISH
I know what's best. Believe me.
Close the door!
Mr Rosen, please! It's David!
Time to get out, David. It's my turn for the bath.
Are you feeling better now? Have you stopped shivering?
You know, a bath is always the best, David.
Hmmm. You disgusting animal.
To shit in the bath. To do this to me.
You DISGUSTING ANIMAL!
HE SINGS FROM THE TORAH
I know you can hear me.
Don't do this to David!
You mustn't stop him going! Peter!
Whatever you do, don't you dare inflict bloody Rachmaninoff on him.
He's not ready!
SCREEN DOOR SLAMS
CAR DOOR CLOSES
CAR ENGINE STARTS
CAR DRIVES OFF
FOOTSTEPS APPROACH SLOWLY
-David. My boy.
It's a terrible thing, to hate your father.
Life is cruel, but...but music...
Music, it will always... always be your friend.
Everything else... will let you down in the end.
Everything. Believe me - everything.
-HE SPEAKS YIDDISH
-David. Don't hate me.
Life is cruel.
But you have...you have to... you have to survive.
You have to survive.
You have to survive, Dad. You have to survive.
No-one...will love you like me.
You can't trust anyone.
But I will always...be there.
David...give me a hug.
I will always be with you, for ever and ever.
For ever and ever, Dad.
MUSIC: Fast Zu Ernst by Schumann
Each time you play for me,
it expresses so completely the...inexpressible.
Is that good?
HE RESUMES PLAYING Tell me a story, Katherine.
What's the story today?
A new story - drops of water.
Perfect. I shall treasure this till the day I die.
"To you, all these wild weeds and wind flowers of my life,
"I bring, my Lord and lay them at your feet.
"They're not frankincense or myrrh,
"but you are Krishna, Christ and Dionysus,
"in your beauty, tenderness and strength."
MUSICIANS TUNE INSTRUMENTS
-'That was our final contestant, David Helfgott,
'with a very stirring Rachmaninoff.
'Well, what a close contest we have,
'with the national championship almost certainly going
'to one of the two pianists.'
'It'll be difficult for the judges to separate them, either one a worthy winner.
'The judges are now conferring.'
It's a tough game, isn't it, Roger?
It's a blood sport.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce the winner
of this year's Instrumental and Vocal Competition.
Our new National Champion is...
What was he like, Katherine?
He was for ever busy in his study.
"Go away, Kattie, I'm writing", he'd always say.
One day - oh, I was very young - I got so annoyed
that I upset the ink pots all over his desk
and scrawled on his work - pages of it.
When he saw it, he just stood there, SEETHING with anger -
I could feel it.
"What are you doing?!" he shouted.
There was this terrible silence.
And I just stared at him and said, "Go away, Daddy, I'm writing."
-He ran at me and he picked me up and cuddled me breathless.
My first literary effort, he always called it.
David, what is it?
Royal College of Music.
Oh, David, that's MARVELLOUS!
Daddy won't cuddle ME, Katherine. Oh, no.
He can't stop you, David.
He's such an angry lion, Katherine.
Oh, nonsense, he's a pussycat.
I'll miss you.
These were for my son, but YOU better have them.
It gets very, very cold in London.
Where have you been?
Um...I missed the train.
That Prichard woman!
What is this?
Look at me.
Look at me!
And you think you can just do as you please?
I...I want to go...
and, um...you can't stop me.
I am your father, who has done EVERYTHING for you!
You cruel, callous boy!
-You stupid, stupid boy!
Leave me! Leave him!
-Leave me alone!
Don't hurt him! Don't hurt him!
You want to go - go!
You want to go - go!
-I'll call the police!
-Out! Out! Out!
He is all right.
Are you all right, David?
Are you all right?
Yeah? Come on, David.
He is all right.
I'm old enough to make up my own mind.
He thinks he's going to London.
I've been accepted into the Royal College of Music.
What do you think will happen to you in London?
David...if you go...
you will never come back into this house again.
You will never be anybody's son.
The girls will lose a brother.
Is that what you want?
You want to destroy...your family?
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
David, if you love me, you will stop this nonsense.
You will not step out...that door.
..if you go, you will be punished...
..for the rest of your life.
My David...don't go.
Don't make me do it!
He has the most fantastic hands.
Not connected to anything above his shoulders.
Yes. He's a bit fragile, certainly.
I've seen enough to suggest
he could make the finals of the concerto trials.
And what have you seen, Cecil?
Moments of genius.
'Come on, David!'
Boldness of attack!
PROFESSOR SLAMS DISCORDANT KEYS Whoa!
-The devil, David!
-Mustn't break the piano.
Liszt broke plenty of strings.
Right, right, right.
Fill in for this useless arm of mine.
The notes first.
Interpretation comes on top of them.
On top, yes. Yes, yes.
-You agree, do you?
Oh, yes. I always agree, Professor.
Is that wise?
I don't know. Is it?
Don't forget, it's on the page!
Yes. Well, the...the notes are on the page.
But not the feeling, the emotion. That's what I feel.
You mustn't sacrifice everything to emotion.
It's all a question of balance.
Oh...is that the question, Professor?
Uh-huh. I thought so.
That's what I thought.
THEY PLAY LISZT'S "LA CAMPENELLA"
-Your allowance cheque!
-Thank you, Mr Wright!
Sorry, sorry, sorry.
I'll...I'll just stand still here.
Be careful, David.
Oh. By all means, Sarah.
-You look lovely today, Sarah.
-Thank you, David.
You too, Muriel!
Ease up, Helfgott.
David! You missed the bank.
-You'll have to wait until tomorrow.
-Can't bank on the bank.
-We know someone who'll cash it.
-Do we, Robert?
# Long before this dance has reached the end
# Bom ba ba ba baa Bom ba ba ba
# To you across the floor My love, I'll sing
# Bom ba ba ba baa Bom ba ba ba
# I just hope and pray
# That I'll find a way to say
# Can I dance with you?
# Bom ba ba ba baa Bom ba ba ba... #
DAVID: 'Got to concentrate, Katherine.
'Got to practise, practise, practise.
'Because there's three important things, ah...Professor Parkes says.
'And that's work, work, work.
DAVID ON TAPE: 'That's what I have to do
'to make the finals for the Concerto Medal,
'the winner of which gets to play at the Royal Albert Hall.
'You see, I bought a piano, Katherine.
'A beautiful piano.
'It's a suffering piano, like yours.'
Ah...I wrote to Daddy.
So that's a...a positive.
It's a positive, isn't it?
Well, it seems to be.
He didn't write back, but, um... ha, ha, ha!
BABY CRIES IN THE DISTANCE
How did we manage to get into the finals, David?
-You're a conductor's nightmare.
And what will we do?
-We're going to win, Ashley-Robert.
Are you sure?
I'm never really sure about anything, Mr Parkes.
The Rach' 3.
See, it's a mountain.
It's the hardest piece you could everest play.
No-one's ever been mad enough to attempt the Rach' 3.
Am I...mad enough, Professor?
HE PLAYS RACHMANINOFF'S PIANO CONCERTO NO.3
-Think of it as two separate melodies
jousting for supremacy.
The hands are giants, ten fingers each!
Performing's a risk, you know?
No safety net!
Make no mistake, David. It's dangerous!
People get hurt.
You have to learn to be able to play it blindfolded.
The page, for God's sake! The notes!
Sorry. I was forgetting them, Professor.
Would it be asking too much to learn them first?
-And THEN forget them?
Just give me the fingering.
RACHMANINOFF'S CONCERTO NO. 3 CONTINUES
David! Come on, my boy.
We're going to rest the muscles and fingers today.
Try to exercise the imagination.
First Movement. Cadenza.
Let's pick it up from, er...
-Pom-pom pom-pom... #
DAVID AND PROFESSOR CONTINUE POMMING
Your hands must form the unbreakable habit of playing the notes
so you can forget all about them...
..and let it come from here.
The heart! That's where it comes from.
Don't you just love those big fat chords?!
You have to tame the piano, David, or it'll get away from you!
It's a monster!
Tame it, or it'll swallow you whole!
METAL TWANGS PROFESSOR LAUGHS
Coming along nicely, David.
Morning, Mrs Perkins.
-I call this my little mausoleum, David.
Warts and all.
They made this after he was dead.
Poor Franz. Dead as a post.
You can still get these on the Left Bank, you know?
I've got Rachmaninoff in here somewhere.
You know, I played the Rach' 3 for him once.
He said he could hear himself in my playing.
He said it seemed... as if I had touched his soul.
That wasn't so bad, was it?
Not too bad at all, Professor.
Now, it's your turn, David.
Remember...once you've done it,
nobody can ever take it away from you.
And you must play...
as if there was no tomorrow.
Come on, David. Don't let me down.
How many moments of genius today, Cecil?
APPLAUSE DIES DOWN
ORCHESTRA PLAYS SWEEPING MELODY WITH PIANO
ORCHESTRAL MUSIC RISES AND FALLS WITH PIANO
DAVID'S PIANO SOLO PLAYS ON TAPE RECORDER
ORCHESTRAL MUSIC SWELLS TO A CRESCENDO
STRIDENT, RHYTHMICAL STRINGS
KEYS CREAK AND THUD
DISTANT RIPPLING PIANO
KEYS CREAK AND THUD
CRESCENDO OF PIANO AND ORCHESTRAL MUSIC
WILD APPLAUSE, CHEERING
APPLAUSE FROM TAPE RECORDER
DISTANT CRIES OF "BRAVO"
DISCORDANT PIANO NOTES ECHO
TELEPHONE RINGS DISTANTLY
TELEPHONE CONTINUES RINGING
TELEPHONE RINGING INCREASES IN VOLUME
Who is this?
Daddy, I'm home.
Someone here to see you, David.
It's me, David.
Suzie. Do we know Suzie?
-Your sister, David.
-Oh, sister Suzie. Sister Suzie.
Thank you, sister, sister nurse. Sister Suzie.
David, I won't be able to come and visit so often.
Not so often, sweet Suzie. Not so often.
I'm going to live in Melbourne.
That's the trick. Don't tell Daddy.
The milk. Mustn't cry over spilt milk.
Oh, well. What can you do, Margaret?
Margaret's in Israel, remember?
I remember Margaret. She called me Dopey.
Or was it a pig? It was the poodle.
It was all very complicated, wasn't it?
"Complicato" in Israel.
It...it was a battleground.
War zone. Such a bore. Such a bore. Always a war. Always a war.
It just destroys everything, really, doesn't it?
TROLLEY TRUNDLES NOISILY
-That's right, Nurse. That's me.
I knew I'd find you here.
I've been a naughty boy again. I've misbehaved, haven't I, Nurse?
-I think I have.
-Come on, David.
I might get punished for the rest of my life.
I'm flawed. I'm fatally flawed.
It's f-f-forbidden fruit. The doctor said it's forbidden fruit.
HE MUTTERS INCOHERENTLY
The thing is...he's...he's... he didn't approve, did he?
He was very disapproving.
Oh, he was very disapproving.
HE BABBLES INCOHERENTLY
LIGHT-HEARTED PIANO MUSIC PLAYS
Come on, Charlie. Let's put this over here.
Oh! So you can read music?
Kind of. Kind of.
Perhaps I'm just turning over a new leaf.
That's all right, isn't it?
My name's Beryl Alcott. What's yours?
Alcott. That sounds like my name.
-Helfgott. That's my name.
That's right. Ridiculous. It means "with the help of God".
What's your first name, Mr Helfgott?
Oh, yes. First names first.
David. I'm David. I'm David. How's that sound?
SHE STOPS PLAYING
-You're David Helfgott?
-That's right, Beryl. Right.
That's right. That's right.
I watched you win all those competitions.
Win some, lose some. Can't lose them all.
-Not your fault.
-I was a fan.
-Do you still play?
-The doctor said I mustn't.
-It'll end in tears if I misbehave.
I mustn't. That's right.
Is that right? I think so.
The doctor said it might damage me because it did once before.
Long, long, long time ago. That's the story.
So you play, Beryl. You play.
Boldness of attack.
SHE PLAYS "DAISY, DAISY"
Oh, that's good, Beryl. That's good.
Oh, very good left hand. Very good.
You've got to share and care and care and share and just behave.
That's right. That's right. Yes.
This is going to be a stylish marriage.
Ah, it's a stylish marriage, Beryl!
Oh, that's very good, Beryl. Very good.
Mmm. Oh, it's very good.
Oh, it's very good.
Oh! Press those pedals!
They're riding the bicycle, Beryl. Pedal, Beryl. Pedal.
-What goes on in his head?
-God only knows.
He's confusing at the best of times.
It's a complex disorder.
-Lives in his own little world.
-Poor lost soul.
Mmm. He's a sweetie.
He could leave tomorrow if he had somewhere to go.
Come along, David.
Beryl. Beryl. Beryl.
David, you know I can't abide smoke.
Oh, sorry, Beryl. Sorry.
What are you doing?
-I'll walk. I'll walk.
-You don't know the way.
-I'll follow you. How does that sound?
-It's all right.
Get in, David.
God bless you, David Helfgott!
-How's this, Beryl? This all right?
SHE LAUGHS WHOOAAAA!
MUSIC: Gloria by Vivaldi
Is that you, Nurse?
It's all right, David.
-Oh, here, here, never fear.
Where's the nurse? Where's the sister, Beryl?
-This is where you live now, David.
I'm fine. I'm fine. Aren't I, Daisy?
Daisy, Daisy, Beryl, Daisy.
Now David Helfgott really gets back on the rails.
Oh, that's the story. That's the story.
That's good, Beryl. That's good.
Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho!
Don't you just love those big fat chords, Beryl?
Oh, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!
CHOIR SINGS "GLORIA"
Botanical Garden's just down the road.
You'll be able to come and go as you please.
Mr Minogue's a lovely man.
A real Christian gentleman.
I know you're going to like him, David.
And guess what? You'll even have your own piano!
PLAYS LOUD, VIGOROUS MUSIC
HE MUTTERS INCOHERENTLY
-BANGING ON CEILING
-For goodness' sake, shut up!
Wakey, wakey. Rise and shine.
It's breakfast time.
I think it's about time we gave that piano another rest, eh, David?
Here. Sign your cheque.
Ah, look at you.
-You should get out and exercise.
-Exercise. Yes. That's right.
Get some fresh air into your lungs, David.
Because the weak get crushed like insects, don't they?
LIGHT PIANO MUSIC
-Thank you, thank you.
Hope you enjoyed your evening.
-It was great.
PEOPLE CHAT AND LAUGH
Sylvia. Your stray dog's back.
-Want me to get rid of him?
-No, I'll handle it.
Hey, Baby. What about a tune?
A tune. Sure. No worries. No worries.
Bravo. Bravo. Encore.
-Oh, sock it to us, Liberace!
-That's enough, Sam.
HE PLAYS "FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLE-BEE" BY RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
ALL APPLAUD LOUDLY AND CHEER
Two more, mate.
SPEECH IS DROWNED OUT BY APPLAUSE
Oh, I've got a live one!
Hey! Hey! Give us Beethoven's Fifth.
Sure, baby, no worries. Symphony or concerto?
I played quite well tonight, didn't I?
I played quite well.
I deserve a bit of a snack.
TIN THUMPS ON FLOOR
Are you feeling well?
Well. Well, well, well.
T-the thing is, the lid, I can't open it.
-There's something wrong.
-What could be wrong, David?
It's a mystery. It's a mystery.
Give it to me.
I'll show you.
how easy it is?
Couldn't be...couldn't be easier.
That's right. Couldn't be easier.
Look at me.
You are a lucky boy, David.
That's true. True. That seems to be true.
People...people say that.
-T-they think that I...
Get to the point.
I'm a very lucky boy.
HE BREATHES DEEPLY
No-one will love you like me.
Do you realise what an opportunity you have here?
Opportunity of a lifetime.
That's right, Daddy.
When I was a boy...
..I...I bought a violin.
..for this violin.
Now, you know...what...
what happened to it?
You know what happened...to it?
No. What happened to it, Daddy?
No, I don't. What happened? I've got no idea.
The thing is, you've got to be fit to survive.
To stay alive. That's right, isn't it?
(Good night, Daddy.)
Where are the kids?
Around somewhere amusing themselves.
I must warn you. I've got someone staying on weekends.
Not another Scorpio, is he?
Very funny, Gills. He's a child prodigy.
-LOUD OPERATIC MUSIC PLAYS
It's a madhouse.
Is that the water running?
Where in God's earth...?
David's been on it for hours.
-He's so cool!
-That you, Doctor?
There's no more hot water, Sylvia.
-Where does it go?
-David, come and meet someone.
There's no more hot water. It's all gone. All gone.
Where does it go? Who can say?
Where does hot water go?
-Gillian's a dear friend of mine.
-A friendly doctor.
-Pleased to meet you.
-She's not a doctor.
-Not a doctor.
-She's an astrologer.
A specialist! A heart surgeon.
An open heart surgeon!
-Don't be ridiculous.
-I'm ridiculous. I'm ridiculous.
-Gillian! That's it.
-Gillian might do your chart.
-Would she, Sylvia?
-Will you, Gillian?
-Of course, David.
-What sort of chart?
-An astrological chart.
Oh, the stars! I love the stars. Astronomical.
-And the planets.
-Oh, the planets!
Of course. Mercury and Neptune and so forth.
Music of the spheres.
If music be the food of love... Gastronomical!
The food of love! It is, Gillian.
What's he like when he gets to know you better?
DAVID PLAYS SWEEPING, ELEGANT MUSIC
PEOPLE APPLAUD AND CHEER
So what does he do?
Oh, he's an investment adviser.
-That's how I met him.
-So far, so good.
-How serious is it?
Come on, Gills! On a scale of one to ten?
I'll take that as a ten.
-When's the happy day?
-Oh, you know me.
I hate to rush into things.
Lovely, gorgeous hair. Blondes have more fun, don't they?
Hey, my doctor.
Better go to my room.
-Oh! Good night, Lucy. Oh!
-You were sensational!
LAUGHTER AND CONVERSATION CONTINUE
Mind if I come in?
Oh, hello, Doctor. Entrez, entrez, entrez.
-I've got these. Ooh, sorry.
-It's not your fault.
It's amazing. It just seems to be getting bigger.
It's amazing what you find when you're not even looking.
-There he is.
-Roger, Roger, Roger, Roger.
-Oh, Roger Woodward.
Oh, Roger, Roger. Yeah, he's a winner. He's a winner.
You've got one going already.
He's a hit, a big hit.
Oh, well, one's more than enough.
I really loved your playing.
-Did you, did you? It was all right?
Do you write music as well?
No, one, two, three, that's the Rach' 3, Rach' 3.
-It started out being a letter.
-Yes, I think so.
"Dear Professor Cecil, Royal College..."
Royal College of Music. It's a mystery.
-He only had one arm. A stroke.
-Stroke of bad luck. Poor pussycat.
Poor, poor pussycat. His paw damaged beyond repair.
He couldn't do anything with it.
Sad, sad pussycat. He was damaged.
It was just bad luck, really, wasn't it?
-I'm not damaging you, am I?
-Not at all.
-What's the matter, David?
-The matter, the matter.
It started out... It's a blank, a blank.
It's all such a long, long, long time ago.
That's the story. What can you do?
Inexplicably inexpressible. To express the inexplicable.
Why don't you tell me what you want to say?
What don't I want to say? That's a hard one.
It's not hard. "D-E-A-R", dear.
-That's it, that's it. "Dear".
-Parkes. Cecil Parkes.
-"Dear Mr Parkes".
He touched the soul of Sergei Vassilievich himself
with the Rach' 3 in D minor.
It's a hard piece, piece for elephants - elephantine.
-"Dear Mr Parkes..."
-Such a long time ago.
"It's been such a long time and I..."
"..and I...I hope..." Hope, Gillian. How does that sound?
-Is that right?
-Sounds good to me.
"..and I hope you remember me and the Rach' 3.
"I'm feeling much better..." I'm feeling better, aren't I?
"..and I've started playing again."
DRAMATIC FINAL CHORDS
Well done, Roger!
That was good.
-I am, Sylvia.
-At the camera. Here!
-Time to go.
-What can you do?
-Look on the bright side.
-You'll see Gillian again one day.
-Life goes on.
-Is that what it does?
-She has to go.
Little wrigglies to look after.
No, my kids are grown up.
-It's just me.
-Just me too.
I never grew up. I grew down! Ha!
I'm a bit of a handful, aren't I?
-Softly, softly, softly.
Will you marry me?
It wouldn't be very practical, David.
Not practical? No, of course not.
Neither am I. Neither am I. I'm not very practical.
-You'll miss the plane!
It's sweet of you, David. I don't know what to say.
The stars, Gillian, darling! Ask the stars.
-'You'd better let her breathe, David!'
I won't kiss you. I won't kiss you.
GUESTS SING ALONG TO "FUNICULI, FUNICULA"
Sorry, darling. Did I damage you?
-Far from it.
You made a noise. You went, "Ohhhhhh, David."
Oh, no. Poor Ravel.
Oh, poor Maurice, he's all unravelled.
-All that rehearsal, well...
-It's nearly time to get ready.
-Could I swim some more?
-All right. 10 minutes.
Do some Liszt - not a concerto!
Swim "La Campanella".
That should do it.
I've gone wrong, darling, I've gone wrong.
-I'm trying. I'm very trying.
Damn, page 37's missing.
Oh, that's the coda! It's the beginning of the end!
I'll soak my hands, soak my hands.
Your first concert in years and you wear odd shoes.
-I'm a sausage.
-You certainly are. Sit.
-Sit up straight.
-We'll be in the car.
-Sit up straight, sit up straight.
Must relax, must relax.
PLAYS "LA CAMPANELLA" BY LISZT
ENTHUSIASTIC APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
-I think they want an encore.
Do they, darling? They want some more?
-What are you going to do?
Not now, darling.
I'll do some more, I'll do some more.
-What do you feel?
The thing is, I feel nothing.
Nothing at all?
Well, I'm shocked, stunned and completely amazed.
How does that sound?
Perhaps it's all my fault. Perhaps it's me, I don't know.
You can't keep blaming yourself for everything that's happened.
That's true, and you can't keep blaming Daddy
because he's not here any more.
-But you are.
-I'm here, it's true.
Life goes on, doesn't it? Is that right?
-It does? For ever and ever?
-No, never for ever. Not quite.
I mean, life isn't all lamb loin chops, but it goes on
and you just have to keep going too.
-You can't give up.
Every time blooming Saturn comes along and gives us a jolt.
-Ooh, it's the stars.
-Everything has its season.
-It's a mystery.
-There's always a reason.
We just need to seize the reason for the season! Ha!
Award-winning drama based on a true story. Living in fifties Australia, the young David Helfgott excels at piano playing but is forbidden by his father to accept a scholarship to study further. In spite of his father's misgivings he travels to England where his genius is recognised, but then suffers a setback that will change his life forever.