How to Describe Frank……..
After I finished this movie on Netflix, I had no idea what to say. I was speechless. I’m actually still trying to piece together what I want to say. I guess I could start by explaining what Frank is. Frank is a comedy directed by Leonard Abrahamson about a man (Jon) who is plucked out of his dull life, and dropped into a band that is fueled by pure inspiration and insanity. The band looks to Frank as their leader (even the manager). Frank is an interesting character, to say the least. He looks after his band mates like a guardian angel, even though he has issues himself (wearing a paper-mache mask is just one of the few). He seems to find inspiration in everything, and applies it to his music. The movie itself is filled with dark comedy, and touching moments, that leave you satisfied at the end.
The movie opens with our main protagonist, Jon (no, not Frank), who is trying to write songs in his head, and failing miserably. You can immediately tell that Jon is a wannabe songwriter. He does in fact however provide you some laughs throughout the movie, with his horribly written lyrics. Jon, throughout the movie, uses social media to talk about his boring life. It was funny to see his fame grow from the beginning, when he had just a few followers, to the end, when he had thousands of followers. When Jon is introduced to the rest of the band, you are introduced to a wide range of characters. You have the suicidal manager, Don (played by Scoot McNairy), who wishes he was Frank. You also have the extremely hostile Clara (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) who butts heads with Jon throughout the movie, when it comes to Frank. The drummer, Nana (played by Carla Azar) and the bass player Baraque (played by Francois Civil) are very drawn back, but also very hostile towards Jon throughout the movie. Then there is Frank (played by Michael Fassbender). The mysterious yet visionary songwriter with a mask around his head. Michael uses movements, and dialogue to express his character, which makes you laugh throughout the movie. All together the characters make for an interesting band. They always seem to be mad at each other during practice, and their gigs never end well. The first gig of the movie, they play for thirty seconds, before the characters end up storming off the stage. They never can seem to get their act together, and it is funny to watch them break down and yell at each other. Frank seems to be the glue holding the band together.
The story only adds to the bizarre nature of the movie. Jon was picked to fill in for the band, at a gig that night, after the original keyboard player tries to drown himself. After playing a failed gig, Frank decided he liked Jon, so they decided to make Jon their permanent keyboard player. The band picked Jon up in their van, and then they drove out to the middle of nowhere, to a cabin in the forest. This is the cabin where they would spend over a year, writing and recording their album. Besides Frank and Don, none of the band mates like Jon, because they think he is bad for Frank, and he is going to try and change him. Jon does in fact try to change the band, and the sound. He urges Frank to make “more likeable” music, which kind of made him the bad guy. Jon is not really the bad guy though, he just likes different music. He still wants to fit in though, so he continues to try and push his way into the band, which makes the band dislike him more. The band practices that are held, are full of hilarity and randomness. You will find yourself laughing through the entire movie, whether it be at the hostility of the band mates towards each other, or the way Frank says his facial expressions out loud. You are also touched by moments of feeling, like in the end when the band performs “I Love You all”. You will be delighted by the story, which only paints the characters on a canvas for you. If I had one complaint about the story, it would be that I wish I had more time to know Frank and learn about him. We learn quite a bit about the other band members like Don, but I wanted to know about Frank more. We just didn’t get that.
The Verdict: 4.5 out of 5
- very original story with original characters
- superb actors
- hilarity at its best
- filled with touching moments
There is honestly nothing I can say about this movie without spoiling it. It is simply a movie you just have to experience for yourself. I’m still wondering if I wrote all of the right things for it. All I can tell you is that this is definitely a movie worth watching. You can find this movie on Netflix if you’re interested in watching it!
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Photo is courtesy of http://www.imdb.com/media/rm234409216/tt1605717?ref_=tt_ov_i#