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Director:
Lenny Abrahamson
Release Date:
05 Sep 2014
Genre:
Comedy / Drama / Music
Country:
UK
Runtime:
95 min

Jon, a young wanna-be musician, discovers he's bitten off more than he can chew when he joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank.



Jon, an aspiring songwriter, witnesses a man trying to drown himself while walking along the beach of his town. The man is taken to the hospital and Jon talks to Don, who explains the man was a keyboardist in an experimental band, the Soronprfbs, managed by him. Jon mentions that he plays keyboards and is invited to play with them that night. Jon goes along and meets the rest of the band, all of whom are reluctant about Jon, except Frank, the band leader who wears a papier-mâché mask. The concert goes well, until Clara breaks her theremin and storms offstage.

Frank invites Jon to become a full-time member. He accompanies them to Ireland, where they will record their first album in a remote cabin for the next year. Clara is very antipathic towards Jon, and continually torments him for being mediocre and having no talent.

Don explains to Jon that he wanted to be a songwriter too, and just like Jon lacked talent and was terrible. He plays a song for Jon, who compliments it. Don tells Jon that Frank is special, and that eventually Jon will believe that he either can be Frank or could at least be like him, but that it is impossible because Frank is unique. Don implies that this realization will hurt Jon the most, and that this is what is causing Don to be depressed himself. However, Jon feels that if he could just have hard experiences that he assumes Frank had (with his mental illness and believed hard childhood) that it would fuel him and get him to take the next step in his creativity. Jon believes that his time with the band will be the catalyst that will make this happen.

The morning after they complete recording of their album, Jon finds Frank's corpse hanging from a tree. He calls the rest of the band down and they remove the mask, only to find it was Don wearing Frank's mask. Don is cremated and Jon is told that Don was the band's first keyboard player; every keyboard player that followed him has had some kind of mental breakdown.

Afterwards, Jon reveals he has been posting the band's recording sessions online. The Soronprfbs have gained a small following and have been invited to South by Southwest. Clara is against going to South by Southwest, and accuses Jon of manipulating Frank and giving him delusions of grandeur. During one of their fights, Clara and Jon's hatred for each other turns into passion and they end up having sex, but Clara tells Jon that he disgusts her and they will never be together again. However, Frank wants to be popular and to create "extremely likable music" so he decides to go; Clara warns Jon that if things go badly in Austin she'll stab him.

Upon arrival in Texas, Jon, Frank, and Clara scatter Don's ashes, but realize the band's guitarist Baraque accidentally packed a canister of powdered food instead of the ashes. Afterwards, the band travels to Austin, while signing up for South by Southwest Jon and the band discover that they aren't as popular as they thought, and that the crowd will have no idea who they are and will have never listened to their music before. Upon hearing this, Frank starts to become erratic and has a panic attack. Clara sees the changes in Frank and knows that he can't handle this situation, so she pleads with Jon to help convince Frank to not perform and go back to their unknown status. Jon refuses and works with Frank to try to create a more likeable version of their songs. On the day before the concert, Clara and Frank disappear. Jon finds them in an alley where Clara is trying to calm Frank and get him to agree to leave.

Jon convinces Frank to ignore Clara and to do the gig. Clara stabs Jon in the leg and is later arrested by the police. Back at the hotel room Drummer Nana and Baraque accuse Jon of getting rid of Clara and quit the band. Jon and Frank become a duo. As they go onstage, Jon announces that it's the best day of his life and begins singing one of his own songs. Frank falls over and when Jon rushes over to him to check on him, Frank tells Jon that his music is bad, suffering a nervous breakdown. Frank passes out on stage with Jon trying to revive him. The next day, Jon attempts to reason with Frank and tries to remove his mask. A panicked Frank runs out of the motel room and is hit by a car. Jon gives chase but realizes Frank has escaped, leaving only remains of the mask behind. Jon subsequently gets hit by a car.

After being released from the hospital, Jon goes to a diner. When other patrons refer to him and the band as "freaks", it dawns on him that their internet popularity was never about the music, they were simply laughing at how strange they all behaved. Sometime later, Jon has attempted to track down Frank in order to make amends, but he cannot be found anywhere. However, he finds a bar where Clara, Nana, and Baraque are now playing. Jon finally succeeds in tracking Frank to his hometown of Bluff, Kansas, where he is living with his parents. They explain that Frank has had mental health issues all his life and began wearing the mask as a teenager. Jon questions Frank's parents about his childhood. They tell Jon that Frank had a loving family and a happy childhood. Jon realizes that there was no traumatic event in Frank's life that inspired Frank to become a musical genius and his mental illness never propelled him but limited him. Jon now sees that Frank's amazing talents aren't from traumatic events or from his illness, that Frank's genius was just inherent, and that he will never be able to be like him; just as Don had told him. Jon finally see Frank's face, only to see a despondent man with scars on his face and bald spots on his scalp from the prolonged use of the mask. Jon apologizes to Frank for ruining the band and trying to take off his mask. He then takes Frank to the bar where the band is. Frank begins to speak and they realize who he is. He begins singing and joins them in a song while Jon leaves the bar.

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Runtime:
95 minutes
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English
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Runtime:
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Runtime:
95 minutes
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Runtime:
95 minutes
Language:
English
Subtitles:
No
Resolution:
480x208 px
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Normal
Price:
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