Thursday, January 29, 2015


I had meant to see Frank in theaters. I settled for watching it the day it came out on Netflix. Frank is a film about an odd underground rocker, Frank, who constantly wears a large head shaped mask.

The movie is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and stars Domnhall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Michael Fassbender in the titular role.  While Frank is the masked face of the band, the story follows that of Gleeson's character Jon Burroughs. Jon is a young artist, working a full time job at an office and struggling creatively. The plot gets under way when Jon goes to a beach and sees a man trying to drown himself. He learns that this was the keyboardist of a band called The Soronprfbs. Jon offers himself up and plays a strange, talented, but ultimately short-lived set with the band.

Frank, who is undoubtedly the band's leader, decides he likes Jon and brings him to Ireland to record their next album. The movie meanders in plot for a bit but sets up large scale themes that continue to pay off throughout the film. Frank is obviously eccentric and a bit insane, but where does this insanity end and the genius begin? Can creating art be fundamentally new and still aesthetically pleasing? The viewer, who sees Frank and the Soronprfbs through Jon's outsider eyes, wonders who Frank is under that mask and why is he always wearing it.

The plot picks up again about halfway through the film as the band gets offered a gig at SXSW due to Jon's guerilla social media campaign. A break down is imminent as Frank tries to get more and more "likeable" and Jon starts alienating band members. 

The movie reflects its titular character; it's strange, it's loosely structured, but all together likable and fun. The character is a pseudo homage to Frank Sidebottom, who has a mighty similar head but more of a popular tv look instead of alternative music sound.

Frank is a fun movie with a mysterious center much like the Michael Fassbender's character. The movie denies to be defined. It is complicated and simple. Fun, yet strikingly serious and sad. We end up routing against Jon who was the one who introduced us to this world. As an artist Frank is important movie showing how difficult it is for creative minds to balance themselves, their friends, and the work they so love. I loved this movie. 

No comments: