In theatres from director Lenny Abrahamson and Magnolia Pictures comes a cover up of a different kind when dealing with FRANK.
So it begins with Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) a young man who wants to be a part of the music scene. One evening he meets Frank (Michael Fassbender), an eccentric musician who happens to cover his face with a – well – big head!
Along with band mates Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Don (Scoot McNairy), Baraque (Francois Civil) and Nana (Carla Azar), they seclude themselves in the woods to create music. Jon learns immediately that Clara has no use for him and treats him with contempt but Frank wants him there.
Months go by as Jon watches and records their experience, the good and the bad. What the band doesn’t know is that he is also posting everything on the internet. He learns that they have a following, albeit a small one, but enough for the band to be asked to South by South West to perform.
Frank is excited but uneasy but Clara again argues that no good will come of it all. Still, they take the trip and on the night they are to perform everything goes haywire. Now Jon must discover who Frank really is and make amends if he can.
Or maybe it’s just all in his head.
FINAL WORD: Gleeson as Jon has turned into a talent to be reckoned with. It took me a moment to realize that he played the role of Bill Weasley in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS (admitted Potter fan here!). It was his role in ABOUT TIME that really caught my attention. He has such a range in character that I will be looking for him again in CALVARY and STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. In FRANK he begins quiet and shy until his character bursts and in that burst he finds what he was looking for all along.
Gyllenhaal as Clara is dark, twisted and a tad bit manipulative if you ask me. Seeing a vision for the bank, her focus is on Frank and keeping him from chaos. Clara definitely has no problem telling it like it is – and using force to make her point. Nothing better than a role where quietly loud craziness totally works!
Fassbender as Frank is tied for best with Gleeson. Spending 98% of the film in that large head gets him kudos out the gate. There is nothing distracting me from learning what Frank as a character is made of. There are not a lot of words here on his part but when he does speak it made me giggle a bit here and there. Especially the scenes with Gleeson where he says things like, “I have a half grin” and it’s believable even with the large head obstructing the view of Fassbender’s face. Love, love, loved it! When Frank becomes emotional it is Fassbender’s voice that cuts through the mask and delivers pain and anguish. Just an amazing role for an equally stellar actor on my top five list.
McNairy, Civil, O’Brien and Azar are the somewhat silent partners to Frank’s craziness. They go along I think to see what Frank will come up with next. There is no doubt they support their musical leader.
Other cast include: Moira Brooker as Jon’s Mother, Paul Butterworth as Jon’s Father, Phil Kingston as the Radio DJ, Shane O’Brien as Lucas, and Mark Huberman as the Management Guru.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FRANK four tubs of popcorn out of five. Seriously, this is a quirky film from beginning to end but like a train wreck that you can’t look away from. It is charming, funny in a dark way, engaging and a little sad. There you have a gambit of emotion that would wear anyone out!
This is truly a film I can watch again, not only for the casts performance but because there is so much to take in. The trio relationship of Gleeson, Gyllenhaal and Fassbender speaks volumes even when words aren’t really in demand. The constant clash for Frank between Jon and Clara is deep, intensely strange and very dark.
FRANK will be on my top ten must see’s for this year simply because it is different, authentic and truly has so many layers to it. That’s not surprising especially if you have seen the 2012 film by director Abrahamson WHAT RICHARD DID. Put that on your query!
In the end – when you think you’ve gone far enough, go farther!</strong>