When you think, you’ve gone far enough, go farther.
Director Lenny Abrahamson‘s FRANK (2014) is a delightfully odd film where “Frank” (Michael Fassbender), is the leader of an artsy, twitchy and agitated band of musicians, the Soronprfbs, whom are infiltrated by a rather unconventional pop star wannabe Jon (Domhnall Gleeson). Frank, a surreal persona that exists in a smiling and round paper mâché head. The “head” serves as a buffer for Frank’s realities. While wearing, Frank is confident, genius and approachable. A curiosity. The rest of the band are as equally curious and exists as extensions of each other and unique weirdness. These subtle happenstances that make their story all the more interesting to observe. They belong. Together, the Soronprfbs is an eclectic and very tangible thing. It isn’t long before audiences realize that one of these “things” just doesn’t belong there.
Jon (Gleeson) is an aspiring musician, a keyboardist. One day on his way home from work, he witnesses a man trying to drown himself. While the paramedics struggle with the man in the water; he converses with Don (Scoot McNairy). He learned that the drowning man was a musician, a keyboardist for an experimental band. Since the band is now down one member, Jon volunteers that he also plays the keyboard. After Don confirms that Jon is capable of playing the notes C, F, and G. Thus, Jon begins his uneasy transition as keyboardist for the Soronprfbs. However, despite his amateurish talents, Jon make every effort to subterfuge this otherwise low-key group of musicians’ to rock-star status by tweeting, uploading the group’s practice sessions–and tantrums to YouTube.
Unknowingly, while the band continues to reinvent music, their ignorance begets a series of disconnects. Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), recognizes Jon’s selfish intentions and tries to protect the groups delicate subculture, which depends wholly on Frank’s ability to inspire this group of fundamentally unsound individuals. Himself included. This power is due to the disproportioned mask Frank, refuses to take off. Without it, Frank is otherwise silent, fragile and uninteresting.
Abrahamson’s FRANK (2014) may not be the kind of movie that everyone would enjoy. Its strength is its ability to depict its unconventional characters survive being projected into the mainstream. Viewers are drawn into the narrative emotionally, being able to sense when and where the bonds, which tie the group together, unravels wanting desperately to see it all put right again.
Misfits like to be on their own doing their own thing without influences or opinions from people on the outside. Misfits can thrive where fame and fortune isn’t always the intended outcome.
My kind of film.
Art and supplementary materials courtesy ©2014 of Magnolia Pictures. All rights reserved.