Twenty years after lightning zapped them off of the stage, 1970's rock band "Strange Fruit" reunites. Tragicomic frictions quickly resume. Original lead singer Keith died of a drug overdose during their heyday, but sardonic Les still reveres him and belittles replacement singer Ray. Ray is a recovering alcoholic, unsure of himself and dimwitted enough to attempt getting into a car with an open umbrella. Ray's caustic wife Astrid calls their music passe. Drummer Beano ducks and hides a lot, fearing that inland revenuers are after him. Peacemaking optimist Tony still carries a torch for groupie-turned-manager Karen, but she still carries a torch for Brian, the charismatic songwriter/guitarist who is believed dead. His replacement is half their age. Roadie Hughie just laughs at them all. But when a teen passes by, listening to an old song of theirs, they take it as a good sign.
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On a record exec's advice, they begin by touring outside their native England. They suffer poor reaction in a Dutch dive. They are underpaid. They get lower billing than upstarts "Blind Fish." Ray's attempt at "scale" - singing "Scream Freedom" with excessive loudness and glitz - is disastrous, as the crowd covers its ears and the band disappears in stage fog. Ray and Les leave the stage for an argument that culminates in Ray walking out into the night alone, getting drugs, falling through ice, and nearly drowning. Believing Tony's white lie that it was an attempted suicide, Les is contrite. At their next gig, he harmonizes with Ray on the Keith tribute "The Flame Still Burns," a song he formerly would not let Ray perform. They shine. The crowd loves it. But the magic gives way to infighting again when band members see each other's idiotic interview comments televised. Even Tony gives up, lambasting the rest for not being able to bury the past before it buried them. They go back to their day jobs.
Visiting Keith's grave, Karen's daughter finds a card amid the flowers. It's from Brian. He's alive. Karen and Tony track him to a mental institution where he was once a patient and is now a gardener. Reuniting with him, the band lands a major gig. But at a pre-concert press conference, Brian freezes. He cannot go on stage. Ray tries to fill in, but quits cold, eliciting boos. Is this their final humiliation?
The review of this Movie prepared by vjm