Violence, crime, and... music. These are the three interconnecting aspects of The Score, a British movie that had its official premiere this week at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia, following a Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The Score drew attention at both festivals for its unusual mix of action and musical genres.
The story follows a young man who, at a rendezvous point for a crime that might earn him a lot of money, meets the local waitress and discovers they share a passion for music. The Score marks the directorial debut of Malachi Smyth, who wrote Ghost Machine and the upcoming Sentinel. The Score stars Johnny Flynn (Netflix’s Lovesick), an actor and musician whose body of work served as great inspiration for Smyth to write the thriller-musical. On top of integrating the main cast, Flynn ended up writing original songs for the movie. The rest of the main cast includes BAFTA Rising Star Award winner Will Poulter (Midsommar) and BAFTA winner Naomi Ackie (Master of None).
The synopsis is straightforward:
Two small-time crooks, Mike (Flynn) and Troy (Poulter), are on a mission – the ‘score’ – that they both expect will transform their circumstances. At a roadside café, as they wait for a rendezvous hand-over, Troy falls in love with the waitress, Gloria (Ackie), and begins to question his life choices… while the threat of real danger is driving to meet them.
In an official interview at the Black Nights Festival, Smyth revealed that he originally did not plan to write a musical and that it sort of just came to him:
“I had absolutely no intention of writing a musical. I was looking to write a simple story that I could get made as a first-time director. Something low-budget, with a small cast and few locations, with a combination of thriller and dramatic elements. […] I decided to try an experiment – I picked a song – “Barleycorn” – that I could imagine being sung by the four main protagonists as the introduction to my film. It would set the tone, announce the film as a musical, and give each of the characters a strand that I would draw together. It fitted like a glove. I showed the result to Ben, a producer I had a long-standing professional relationship with, and he was enthused. So I set about looking for other songs in Johnny [Flynn]’s existing back-catalogue that would fit in as well. It was remarkably easy. The songs I found didn’t need to be manhandled to fit, they slotted into place with almost no decision-making necessary.”
A release date hasn't been released for The Score is yet. Watch the trailer below:
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