Frank - 2.5 Stars
The movie Frank is loosely based on true events about bout a band whose lead singer wears a giant cartoon head. After loosing their pianist they call on somebody from a small town who is a tri-hard musician and helped them during a gig when they visited his town. The movie then follows this quirky band as they try to record an album and reach fame.
The problem with Frank is that like the band it was based on, it didn’t quite know what is was doing or where it was going. Also the leading character was not Frank, but the pianist played by Domhnall Gleeson. Gleeson’s character wasn’t easy to relate to or overly interesting. He also didn’t create a very strong character. Initially it seemed all he wanted to do was create music, then he wanted fame and then he left the band. So while the character’s motives changed significantly three different times Gleeson didn’t ever change his portrayal. However, Michael Fassbender as Frank stole your attention whenever he was on screen. What kept the movie afloat was the intrigue of understanding why Frank wore the head and if the band was ever going to succeed. Perhaps the movie should have focused more on Frank.
Michael Fassbender had the most difficult role to play in the film. For the majority of the film he wore the giant head and while you could never see his face you could hear his emotions and expressions through his voice. I don’t think that many actors could have successfully played this role. The supporting cast was strong and the band’s manager (Scoot McNairy) was the stand out among them.
The director (Lenny Abrahamson) cleverly used social media figures to document the band’s progress online from the rest of the world’s perspective. This was a very clever and subtle technique. James Mather was the cinematographer and did not do anything unique with the filming, but nor did he have a great deal of opportunity to experiment with the film.
Overall this is a quirky, eccentric film that fans of the original band may be curious to see, but is unlikely to attract a mainstream audience.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Movie screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas