preview: Mission To Lars

Mission To Lars follows filmmaker William Spicer and his journalist sister Kate on their quest to unite their brother Tom with his idol Lars Ulrich, drummer of Metallica.

Simple enough? There’s a catch. Tom has Fragile X Syndrome, akin to a kind of autism, which presents several problems to the siblings’ plans: he hates disruption, loud noises, crowds and queues, all of which are somewhat prerequisites of a Metallica concert.

As William and Kate drag their brother around the US in a Winnebago, his evident discomfort makes for some heavy viewing, but this dissipated as the pair realise the effect their stress and squabbling has on Tom. What we are witnessing is their own learning-curve, and the determination they show to turn their guilt into something productive is ultimately uplifting.

Behind the camera, William is something of a silent partner, with Kate providing the narrative driving force. However, the love they both feel for Tom is tangible. As their journey progresses and they learn more about their brother’s condition, the true spirit of the film emerges.

For this is not really a film about Metallica. It’s not a film about Lars, or William, or Kate. It’s not even really about Tom. Mission To Lars, truly, is an important message to all of us (and one that we need to hear) of the importance of taking the time, and risks, to make the lives of those we care about jut that little bit richer.

Mission To Lars will be on limited release in June.

Words: Jack Casey