Frank (2014)

My brother saw this screenshot and asked, quite seriously, if this was "a cartoon". No. No it is not.

From left: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson.

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INTRODUCTION. There is some substantial background to the story behind Frank. I did a little research after watching the movie, out of curiousity – but at present I am writing this review as someone who had never seen so much as a trailer before popping into the cinema. This is just a note to say that you don’t have to know much at all about Jon Ronson’s true story to enjoy Frank.

STORY. The film follows aspiring-musician/office-deadbeat John (Domhnall Gleeson) as he is swooped away by an anachronistic hipster band to record a new album. Here he meets our title character: an unusually charismatic, genius musician who unfailingly wears a large papier-mâché head. It’s easy to be startled by Frank. Almost  as easy as it is to be drawn into his ridiculous aura of innovation. The movie has some heavy things to say about creativity vs enterprise, talent, passions and social media – but it manages to do so through a lighthearted and meandering plot progression, give or take the occasional instant of serious consequence.

CHARACTERS. It would be difficult for me to explain the cleverness of Domhnall Gleeson’s character development without utterly spoiling the story. And I’m certainly not going to ruin your potentially diverting introduction to Frank himself, so I’ll say this much about the cast: they have chemistry. Watching them interact is a huge part of the film; they’ve got a handle on musicians. Ironic detachment, creative snobbery, earnest lust, artistic integrity, winsome pretentiousness. It’s all here, folks.

CONCLUSION.  If Frank is playing at a theater near you, go see it for some lovely laugh-out-loud moments. Americans have a late release but you can still find it playing in cinemas across the UK (with DVD release coming up in the Autumm). 

N

STORY: 7/10
CHARACTERS: 7.5/10
REWATCH FACTOR: 7/10
OVERALL: 7.5/10
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