First Hit: Odd concept, done well enough to keep my interest and my guess is that it won’t be popular.
Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) wants to be a musician more than anything. He writes songs that are painful to listen to. However he does know how to play a keyboard.
Witnessing a keyboard man for a band with an unpronounceable name try to drown himself, he tells the band's manager that he can play keyboard. He gets a call to fill in for the band and after the set, Frank (Michael Fassbender) the band’s leader, asks him to join them.
Frank wears a big round plastic head (helmet like) over his head and he never takes it off. It is a gimmick for the band but it is also Frank's protection from the world. In the band are two Europeans and an older punk woman Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
No one in the band likes Jon because he’s too mainstream in his musical thoughts and ideas. However, he funds recording the group and pushes the groups’ work on YouTube. In doing so they end up at South by Southwest Music festival. In the end Frank has to come to terms with himself as does Jon.
Gleeson is believable as the nerdy guy who wants to be a part of the music scene but doesn’t have real talent to lead a group or write worthy songs. Fassbender: It was difficult to describe acting when it is behind a large full headed helmet mask. However, he was able to reach out through the mask with his voice and inflections which gave the audience a sense of the wounded person inside. Gyllenhaal played tough and although effective she wasn’t very likable as a character. Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan wrote an interesting but difficult screenplay to put to film. Lenny Abrahamson directed the film. He was about as effective as one could be given the parameters of the characters.
Overall: Interesting for a few hours and forgotten within a day.