I’m ashamed of myself, I really am. I saw over a hundred films last year but Frank was not one of them. I sat through crap like Transformers: Age of Extinction, Left Behind and The Legend of Hercules but never bothered to see Frank even though it was recommended to me by many people.
Frank is probably one of the strangest and most fascinating films I have ever seen and it’s a movie that I just can’t stop thinking about. Rarely do I get to see a film this original and interesting. In this movie, Domhnall Gleeson plays an aspiring musician, Jon Burroughs who finds himself way out of his element when he becomes part of a pop group led by an enigmatic and mysterious leader (Michael Fassbender) who wears a giant fake head and is known simply as ‘Frank’.
The primary theme of the movie seems to be music but really it’s about these great characters brought to the screen by wonderful performances from Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Fassbender. Michael Fassbender, in particular is mesmerizing as Frank even though you can’t even see his face in the movie and he plays such a compelling and intriguing character who you just want to get to know and personally I couldn’t help but feel engrossed by the story and these characters. This is a truly unique movie in every way, it can be extremely funny at one moment while being emotional and heartbreaking the next, and I think it manages to strike this perfect balance between dark comedy and drama to create a genuinely soul-stirring film.
This film flows very well too and for that you have to credit the excellent screenplay penned by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan as well as director Lenny Abrahmson’s superb direction. I’ve already mentioned how well the writing does with the story and the characters but the dialogue is quite terrific as well and the conversations between these characters give a lot of insight into their minds particularly the ones between Jon and Frank because Frank is such a hard character to decipher and the more these two talk the more interesting the film gets. The soundtrack is comprised of songs recorded by the film’s stars, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson and Michael Fassbender and it’s just this weird amalgamation of off-beat and unconventional pop music but I really liked it and there’s this one song at the end, ”I Love You All” sang by Michael Fassbender that I just can’t get out of my head, it’s that good. I do think the film somewhat loses itself in the third act but comes back to deliver such a perfect and beautiful ending that I had to forgive it for this slight misstep.
When I first saw Frank I thought it was good but the more I thought about it the more I started to like it and I will say it’s one of those films that really stays with you. I think it’s an excellent film that succeeds very well thanks to the riveting performances, the memorable characters and a story which is full of comedy, pathos and heart. Give it a try and you will be genuinely surprised.