8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A Weird, Hilarious and Heartfelt Romp Showcasing Some Outstanding Performances,
This review is from: Frank [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
(this review is a shortened version of the one I have written on my blog, larsandthereelgirl.blogspot.co.uk)
Frank (Michael Fassbender in a Frank Sidebottom head-mask) is one of those magnetic types who people tend to gravitate towards whilst himself lacking his own centre. Just look at how willingly Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) drops everything, including his job, nest egg and secure suburban life, to join Frank and his band as a keyboardist in recording an album.
In fact, despite what the title tell us, this film is really more about Jon that it is about Frank. The film begins and ends with him, and he is undoubtedly the core of this film. We first see him as he tries to piece together random lyrics by observing the world around him, and these scenes set up the film nicely; by turns absolutely hilarious and ruthlessly honest.
A series of unfortunate events gets Jon playing as keyboardist in the band “Soronprfbs” (nobody else in the film knows how to pronounce it either), of which Frank is the lead singer.
But this is no ordinary band, and their first gig consists of half of one song before one of the instruments blows up and the theremin player Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) storms off. We are also introduced to Don (Scoot McNairy), the band's manager, who is the biggest surprise in this film, and gives arguably the best performance in it.
It's a film built on little details, such as the film’s frequently hilarious use of Jon’s Twitter and Youtube feed. As we get to know Jon, we also realise that he is fundamentally a good person, but also a ruthless opportunist. We do delve into the persona of Frank, mask and all, and it comes as no surprise late into the film that he has mental health issues. There is also a fair amount of suicide too, although regarding who and where and why I will not say.
It all adds up to a very funny film; not a masterpiece by any means, but a gleeful, abundant and unhinged work of energy that, among other things, proves that Michael Fassbender is one of the best actors working today; to suggest the lifetime’s worth of struggle that he does, and make it look so effortless, belies a certain rare genius. The dialogue is witty and snappy, with more than a few excellent one-liners, and the musical interludes are by turns charming, hilarious, and actually incredibly good; I can’t find a soundtrack released for this film, but I’d certainly buy it. The film also has a pretty and punchy look about it, with very bright colours which match the tone superbly.
Ultimately, what makes the film is its heart. It’s not an especially serious film, but it does care for it characters and that care shines through. It also understands perfectly the razor-thin line that exists in indie music between the sublime and the ridiculous. It is nearly the match of such films as This Is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous; it certainly warrants mention in the same sentence. I have no doubt that a devoted cult following will ensue, and this film deserves it.
Also, mark my words; Domhnall Gleeson will go on to do some very great things indeed. His performance in this, along with his brief turn in the recent Calvary and last years’ masterpiece About Time, show him to be a versatile and fearless actor with immense range, an expressive face and a certain rare dignity, who fully understands the characters he is portraying. Look out for him.
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Initial post: 14 May 2014 08:22:30 BDT
What are the subtitle options on the Blu Ray release?
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