Title – Frank (2014)
Director – Lenny Abrahamson (What Richard Did)
Cast – Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy
Plot – Wannabe musician Jon (Gleeson) finds himself becoming the newest member of the band, Soronprfbs who are led by the mask wearing mysterious Frank (Fassbender). Recording the band’s new album out in the forest allows Jon to find out more about Frank, the bands “manager” Don (McNairy) and also the feisty Clara (Gyllenhaal).
“You play C, F and G?”
Review by Eddie on 6/02/2015
Much like our main head gear waring protagonist, the movie Frank has a slight problem, something you see is just not quite right, even though at moments there is a lot of good going on. Lenny Abrahamson’s follow up to his very astute and confronting What Richard Did is a hugely dark comedy that concerns itself at every available turn to be as downright weird as possible and therefore alienate its audience at every given opportunity despite some A grade acting turns by its cast.
To say Frank is a strange film is a humongous understatement but to say Frank is a bad film would be a disservice to a story that in its brightest flickering’s provides some of the funniest and most whimsical moments captured on screen this year. From Frank dancing with a tourist in the meadows to Frank jigging up a storm in a CD recording, there are great moments here that somehow continue to be lost in a procession of strangely uninteresting titbits, not least the films fascination with its forest placed setting. Frank’s flow seems to constantly run into roadblocks and a cast of originally interesting characters grow to become non-interesting and mismanaged to a point where our centrepiece Jon Burroughs played by the always decent Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sour Clara and Scott McNairy’s not given enough to do Don all fail to give us much with the film falling back onto the ever reliable shoulders of Michael Fassbender to once more bring it back.
Fassbender is a real joy as Frank (based on real life musician Chris Sievey) which is no mean feat considering his recognisable face is hidden behind a gigantic plastic head. Under Fassbender’s talents which here include singing and as mentioned dancing, Frank becomes the reason to watch. While Frank somewhat transpires into a bit of a letdown of a character arc there is little to deny the entertainment watching him get to where he ends up and if the film focussed less on side elements of the tale the film would of benefited greatly. The cast also shine most when there well and truly rocking out to the jam of their musical crescendos and more loud utterly bonkers jam sessions would’ve been welcomed.
Crossing the line too much into the states of being weird for the sake of being weird, Frank is a disappointment when all is considered, from the talented cast, the promising director and ripe story line potential all does not feel fully developed here. While it may touch upon that zany creative madness/greatness that many bands and musicians no doubt go through in their quest for musical glories, Frank feels like an album full of listenable tracks but no stand out singles. If your heading into Frank for some more proof Fassbender is one of the most powerful performers in the industry you’re in luck, everything else here is only passable at best. A real letdown.
2 and a half mannequins out of 5