n 1964 a reluctant John Lennon is persuaded by manager Brian Epstein to meet Freddie, the father who abandoned him 17 years earlier, with the press in attendance. The meeting is short and bitter. Three years later Epstein is dead and John invites Freddie to his mansion but again things turn sour, due to Freddie's drinking and insulting Mimi, the aunt who raised John. The Beatles set up Apple records but the press are hostile and Lennon's comment that 'we're more popular than Jesus' doesn't help. Rows with long-suffering wife Cynthia lead to marital breakdown and John's meeting Japanese performance artist Yoko Ono. Family history is repeated as Lennon leaves Cynthia and their son Julian for Ono, by whom he has a second son, Sean. In 1969 John returns his M.B.E. in protest at England's support for the Vietnam War while his stunts with Yoko Ono to promote peace alienate the press. Some months later he disbands the Beatles to the other members' annoyance and, after arguments with Paul McCartney, sees a therapist, who regresses him to the day Freddie left him. He learns that Freddie needs his help to write a biography, leading to one last showdown between father and son.

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