“Mission To Lars” is a delightful film that falls somewhere between documentary and human interest drama.
Only a heart of stone would fail to be moved by the quest of Kate and Will Spicer – a journalist and a film-maker – to help their brother Tom realise his dream of meeting Lars Ulrich, the drummer from Metallica, a heavy metal group.
Tom has Fragile X syndrome, a form of autism, and lives in a care home in Devon. Kate and Will decide to take him on a road trip to the western USA in an attempt to meet his idol. Tom has wanted to see and meet Lars for 10 years.
I am a great fan of metal and know a lot about Lars, so you don’t need to. Lars is Danish, was a successful tennis player, became obsessed with Deep Purple and Diamond Head and formed Metallica in the early 1980s. Their music has helped me to do housework very quickly for many years and is responsible for the very clean state of my home.
It’s all very heartwarming and the film is enjoyable, never straying into the mawkish. Tom is never easy when removed from his routine and Kate and Will are unflinching, when their own inabilities to deal with their brother cause them to bring in long distance help.
“Every Metallica fan wants to meet Lars”, they hear from a music manager and you can see their faces fade with discouragement at this news.
I don’t get the feeling that Kate or Will would play Metallica usually, even to get boring housework done. That adds to the joy of this saga of love for siblings.
Everyone at the Gate Cinema in Notting Hill had high praise for this, when chatting afterwards, and all agreed that it was rather wonderful.
We see too few films about real family caring enough to give up time, money and energy and this quest felt real and lovely.
Do see it at the Gate if you can. It’s uplifting and kind and joyful. Does Tom get to meet Lars? Is Lars worth the effort? Find out the answers by seeing this.