Generally favorable reviews- based on 131 Ratings
Jan 5, 2016A young man’s mundane life in small-town Ireland is transformed when he joins a bizarre underground experimental pop band fronted by anA young man’s mundane life in small-town Ireland is transformed when he joins a bizarre underground experimental pop band fronted by an enigmatic singer who never removes his oversized cartoon costume head, as success beckons, band dynamics and personality clashes come to a head in this unique comedy/drama from director Lenny Abrahamson.
Eccentric is probably the most appropriate adjective to describe ‘Frank’ and everything that surrounds this film. The story and titular character are loosely based on “Frank Sidebottom”, the alter ego of 80/90’s British alternative comedian/musician Chris Sievey who wore suits and a large Max Fleischer cartoon-styled costume head whilst performing music, comedy and hosting a talk show, all in his surrealist pastiche style.
This “Frank”, played by the irresistible and ever convincing Michael Fassbender, is a talented and enigmatic young man who suffers from mental illness and uses the head as a shield from society, around him is gathered his cult-like and equally eccentric band with their own psychological issues and together they wander around Britain & Ireland creating their unique brand of “avant-garde” underground psychedelic music.
The story is told from the perspective of Domhnall Gleeson as “Jon”, the everyman who joins the band and goes from outsider to the driving force for popularity as he uses his promotional skills to reach a larger audience, and in the process disrupts the group dynamics which surfaces one of the main themes in ‘Frank’, the notion of artistic integrity vs. success. Even though the film is an ode to the outsider and artistic freedom, it does a great job at exposing the often pompous and pretentious nature of “experimental” artists.
Indeed ‘Frank’ is a curious mix of themes and elements which include, belonging, isolation, mental illness and the question of trauma & suffering as an essential element for inspiration and “real” art. Frank himself is not only inspired by “Frank Sidebottom” but also some of the pioneers of “art-rock” and alternative music, such as Captain Beefheart, Daniel Johnston and Ian Dury.
Although ‘Frank’ is very much a quirky comedy which sometimes descends into slapstick but is always surreal, the tone and pace changes drastically towards the end and becomes a drama that deals with mental illness. Although it does a commendable job of not treating the psychologically troubled as victims, there is no space to faithfully depict the intricacies of mental illness here and the conclusion of the film is rather sentimental and slightly out of place.
The Bottom Line…
Although quirky to a fault and despite only skimming the surface of some profound subject matter, ‘Frank’ is a wonderfully weird and cinematically unique blend of elements that makes for an artistry comedy/drama that you won’t soon forget.… Full Review »
Jun 1, 2015This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The extra ordinary movie, Frank is the story about the group sound. John is the amatuer keyboard player who want to be a great song writer, but he even can't merge a single lyric with the melody. One day, he met the band 'The Soronprfbs', had a chance to play with. But unlike his expection, the soronprfbs plays mysterious music which was written by Frank. The band became fame for the new keyboard player's youtube video, they got a chance to play at the music festival. However, the comflict between memebers was getting toughed, Frank and John faced critical situation. Although rest of the members didn't play the show, the weird duo go through the stage.
The people who use SNS me included, want to notify how they feel, how they live, how they do, yes they want to tell everyone about themselves. Like John and Frank, even the band's great leader and song writer want to communicate with the others. It drives Frank in to thirst about the public's attention, finally it ruin everything. Same as Frank, all of us want to be loved one, even the genius, but we still feel lonely, while be loved, because humans are lonely island. We pretend to perfect and normal but we don't, humans are twisted and imperfection, so we should dance, sing, love each other for remedy our shortcoming, just like Frank did with the german lady.… Full Review »
Jan 7, 2015"Frank" is an unapologetically and poetically eccentric creation. It's a movie of many layers, whose offbeat humour and oddball charm belies a"Frank" is an unapologetically and poetically eccentric creation. It's a movie of many layers, whose offbeat humour and oddball charm belies a profound depth of insight and perception into difficult topics.
To begin with, it is an extraordinarily drawn concept that is just as extraordinarily realised. Most films depend on certain elements to be consistent throughout in order for the film to work. Frank is rather the opposite. It chops and changes with relish almost everything - from scenery to genre, characterisation to mood - to deliriously inventive effect, giving the film its own distinctive flavour that's a true pleasure to taste. It spits in the face of convention, taking familiar plot points down routes you would not expect them to go. It is a magnificently layered story and a commentary on such themes of artistry, individuality, talent and one of the most difficult topics to talk about in modern film, mental illness, which is given a superbly nuanced and wholly unexpected treatment here that is sensitive and soberingly heartbreaking.
It is the story of Jon (Domhall Gleeson), an aspiring musician whose passion far outweighs his talent, yet manages to fall in with the avant garde outlet Soronprbs helmed by Frank (Michael Fassbender), an equitably weird and wonderful musical genius who is perpetually clad in a papier-mâché head (I told you it was weird.) The other band members are Don (Scoot McNairy), Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and two others who aren't afforded any real significance, focus or complexity in the plot.
The most stunning accomplishment is that, in spite of all the eccentricity, the characters feel very, very real. There is genuine dimension to the performances by Gleeson, Gyllenhaal (she is particularly good, with a caustically tragicomic and layered turn as Clara) and McNairy. All three embrace their characters' flaws and use them to flesh out their portrayals, taking their most unlikeable qualities and realising them as their most human.
And then there is Fassbender. Not many actors would find being clad in a ridiculously large prosthetic head a liberation rather than a limitation. From behind the mask, Fassbender communicates a wealth of emotions - naivete, ambition, genius, artistry and a desire to be liked and share his gifts, all in the face of a blackness that threatens to overwhelm his soul. It is a seminal portrayal of unprecedented complexity and originality. And this applies to the film as a whole. Anyone looking for a film to watch who desires something different does not need to look much further than Frank. There has not been such an individual work in a long, long time.… Full Review »