*The last paragraph expresses short analysis* Let's be honest for a second. In fact, let's be frank. I don't often review “bad” movies. You, reader, probably have realized this if you have seen much of my work. There is a reason for the madness. One, and probably most importantly, I have found that it is generally important in life and whatever you do to have a positive outlook. I know I might sound like your well-meaning Grandma or a stuck up organizational leader who spouts things like this out as if it is a command, but don't really grasp what they are talking about; but I'm being genuinely honest. Positivity is important. The latter is also important, but only. . . (well, that is a discussion for another time). What I'm trying to say is that this positivity is so important to me, that I want you as a reader to experience that too. So, after watching butt-loads of movies, many of which don't qualify as “good”, I want to only bring you what is best out there.
This brings us to Frank. Is it the best out there? No. Is it worth talking about though? Yes.
Frank begins unlike anything I have quite ever seen. It is for all intents and purposes the quirkiest film I've seen this year. It is about a man who meets a man who doesn't have a face (Well, he does have a face, but he chooses to conceal it). This brings us to the ultimate character Frank. Why does he wear the head to conceal his head? I guess we won't know as the film suggest “what is going inside the head inside the head”. This character, genius creation, is a musician. Our main character Jon played sweetly by red-headed Domhnall Gleeson meets him one day, and being a “starving musician” himself immediately wants to be part of the band that Frank spearheads. This is where our crazy and slow as heck journey begins.
Not much more needs to be said, because the style of Frank does the talking. It does this through the films incredibly quirky style, and somber mood. Many of you, I can tell you right now, will hate this film. As I have said time and time again with prior entries, “this film isn't for everybody”. Possibly none more so than here. It is shown through the commandingly quirky performance of our lead Jon played by Domhnall Gleeson. He is a masterclass at playing charmingly quirky, and “adorkable”. All the rest of the characters in the film for that matter have that going for them, just to a lesser degree.
The only other one showing the same level of eccentricity is Frank, played brilliantly by Michael Fassbender. If you don't remember the name, he is the one who plays the sly, and commanding young Magneto in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past. He provides the anchor for the film, that grounds it in its off-beat style. Dialogue along the lines of 'we could make an entire album off of this' when describing the noise of doorknob moving, color his personality perfectly. Frank is a bumbling ball of contagious energy and enthusiasm. He sees the world as an endless stream of possibilities and he is blind to how he acts must make others feel. At least, it seems that way. Though, there really could be more going on inside the head inside the head. Stick to the end of the film and you might just find out.
Herein lies probably the film's biggest issue. By the end, do we really care what is going inside the head inside the head? It never quite commands your attention, to actually really built enough of a deeper connection to the underlying philosophical quirks and beliefs of most of the characters. For the most, we are swept up in what should be a b-plot line, of them creating the music in their remote location, but that really swallows up most of the film. During this time we should develop a deep and meaningful connection with our characters. Instead, it pretty much is all quirk and no bite. Maybe I watched it on the wrong day, and maybe the slow pace is everything the creators of the film were going for, to portray the longevity and burdening duration of their work. To me though, it drags on without character development to supplement later events. That right there, makes for a hard viewing experience.
Don't get me wrong though, what we have here is the making of something that could most definitely have a cult following. The quirkiness is tuned to pinpoint perfection, which of course is off-putting and frustrating to many, but a rewarding to others. The humour is clever and offbeat and it strongly touches on an immeasurable important issue: mental illness (even if I think they could handled it stronger). When it comes down to it, Frank is quite a good film, but it
frankly honestly doesn't make the cut for being an absolutely great one.
Personal Preference: 3.5/5
Critical Analysis: 4.25/5