Something to Watch: “Frank” Review

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Sometimes when you’re starting something new, you can’t just play it safe. Sometimes, you have to dive head-first into the land of the crazies. For my first movie review, let’s take a look at Frank: directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

In Frank, we met Jon (played by Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring musician who spends his free time thinking up songs that just don’t quite come out right. Through a series of almost complete accidents, he winds up the newest member of a little-known avant-garde pop band with a nonsense name. A ragtag collection of odd personalities, some slightly-disturbed, others more psychotic and violent. Most notable of all being their leader and musical genius, Frank (played by Michael Fassbender), who hides his face behind a paper mache mask all-day, everyday.

As you can probably already tell, this is a really quirky movie, in the best possible way. Most of the time, the film will have you rolling on the floor laughing. Other times, it will ask you to be dead-serious, even uncomfortable. But through all the tonal shifts that occur in the story, the film never feels disjointed. It remains a single vision, all the way through.

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The performances are all fun to watch. Gleeson plays Jon as a naive and idealistic young artist just looking for a way to become a part of this fascinating world he’s fallen into, and thus acts as the perfect window for the audience, as we can laugh at his reactions as the only sane man in the asylum. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays one of the most prominent band members, Clara, whose entertaining in her sardonic dialog, but unstable enough to make you a little uneasy about just what exactly she’s going to do next.

Most intriguing of all, appropriately enough, is Fassbender’s take on Frank himself. He’s welcoming enough to get you to like him, but distant enough to make you want to know more, mental issues and all. Watching him go through his own creative process is equally entertaining.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie through and through. Off-beat, hilarious and just a teeny-bit disturbing, Frank is one of the most unique movies I’ve seen this year, and one that will probably stick with me for a while.

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