''Get on Up'' is told using a nonlinear narrative as if through James Brown's stream of consciousness (narrative mode), including wikt:asynchronous events and frequent breaks in the fourth wall. The film opens in 1993 with James Brown walking through a darkened hallway as an audience chants his name. He hears the voices of people he knew throughout his life. The film then cuts to 1988 in Augusta, Georgia; James learns that his private bathroom in a strip mall he owns was used without his consent. As James confronts and then forgives the trespasser, James accidentally fires a shotgun, attracting the police.