Review: Frank

"Okay enough chatter. Here it is, my most likeable song ever!"

October 11 2014

By Matt Whitesides


Frank is what all, for lack of a better word "indie" movies strive to be. It's clever, odd, unexpected and actually has a nice message without beating you over the head with it. (Get it Head...)

Frank is a strange movie, and at the same time not very strange at all. Looking back on it the film is actually very grounded and real, with characters that seem like wackos the entire time until eventually it clicks and you get their entire story. Without spoiling anything the movie very much starts off in one place and you expect it to stay there but ends in one of the most satisfying endings I have seen in a film in some time. 

Ah, again Michael Fassbender being typecast.

Frank is viewed through the perspective of a new member of the band. The beginning of the film is a typical setup of a British kid who dreams of being a musician but isn't as creative as he thinks and likely will end up at his desk job the rest of his life. This is of course until he gets the chance to join a lesser known band who's keyboardist had to leave. This all starts off very typical indie fair but then you actually see the band. The band led by Michael Fassbender as Frank as you probably know is the one in the giant head mask, is a somewhat stereotypical eccentric musician. He ends up inviting Jon (the lead character) to join them in recording their album. 

From here the film has the bandmates recording an album in the woods for months on end and again you probably expect that to be the direction of the film. The band members get into a bunch of fights and problems recording and the main character doesn't feel accepted, and so on. As told through the eyes of Jon, we see how the band probably has gotten along up until this point. Frank being a creative genius in the eyes of his band has never gotten an actual accepting audience he always secretly wanted. Jon ends up helping them find a way to get larger gigs and we finally see Frank get his wish. 

Where the film truly succeeds is not in it's story of a band that triumphs because thats not the point. It's a story about character whether it's Jon realising he's not the most sane one in the room, Clara's (Maggie Gyllenhaal)  toughness, or Frank's wanting to please everyone. Each character before you know it grows and has a nice story to them. Frank the film has a genius way of not letting you know what you have until it's gone, with each act being very unique but fitting together perfectly. 

I'm not gonna name names but some people he don't think Maggie G is awesome. If that's you, she's actually pretty great in this.

Everyone is going to watch the whole movie just waiting for Frank to take off his mask and I'll spoil it just to ease the tension. The movie doesn't cop out he does take it off and it's worth the wait. I say this because the mask ends up not being the point but rather the character and movie itself would be just as strong if you saw his face the entire time.