Frank: Review

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Okay, so this is weird but so funny. I had read a number of great things about it so I jumped at the chance of a screening. I couldn’t resist watching Michael Fassbender spend the entire movie with a paper mache head and after About Time, I had a slight crush on Domhnall Gleeson.

This is loosely based on the comedic character Frank Sidebottom. I say loosely – the paper mache looks identical but his characterisation is different. Domhnall plays Jon, a keyboardist who dreams of being a musician but is creatively stunted. One day he meets the “Soronprfbs”, a very bizarre electro band whose keyboardist has just tried to kill himself. He is recruited for one gig and then they call him up for another gig in Ireland – which turns out to be recording their new album. We basically see the band’s relationship evolve while they stay holed up in their retreat for over a year perfecting the record before they head to South by Southwest Festival.

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I knew this was going to be funny in a ‘what the fuck’ kind of way but it was actually genuinely funny and not always from Frank being constantly with the head – Gleeson’s character is really funny, especially his attempts to write songs. Each member of the band is bloody weird, especially Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Clara, who is in love with Frank. I found the whole thing incredibly funny and I laughed out loud on a number of occasions.

I did feel like it lost its momentum when they reached SXSW because by this point, the tensions in the band had reached critical level and it was no longer funny – it started to get deep. I loved how it transformed from Jon being the newcomer to trying to take over the band but it started to get sentimental when he realises his mistake. Although you want to see Fassbender just to prove it’s him under there, it loses its mystery when he does and you wish that he had just kept it on the entire way through.

I liked that the music was all performed live as it just adds the authenticity to it. I loved Fassbender’s singing voice and Gyllenhaal’s character was complex and dark and she played her so well. The script was brilliant – witty and sharp and very contemporary – I just wished the pacing and tone didn’t ebb away towards the end. Very odd, extremely funny. Go see.

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  1. […] to roll with it. Domhnall Gleeson is also brilliant as the newcomer to the band. Read my review here. Released: […]

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