I have been aware of this film for a while, not because of the Frank Sidebottom face that has adorned the marketing (I am unaware of the character as I sadly was born in the arse end of the 80’s) but because of the stars Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I expected something based in the 70’s about a band that is striving for fame in a world of touring and probably some hits from the era, what I got was a whole different movie but that is in no way a bad thing.
Yellow willies, how whimsical!
Our film follows a young man named Jon Borroughs (Domhill Gleeson) who dreams of writing songs and playing in a band, sadly he does not have the talent to write anything of note. A chance encounter at the beach one day puts him in contact with the band Soronprfbs and the enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender). Soon enough Jon is part of Soronprfbs playing keyboard next to existing members Manager Don (Scott McNairy), Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Baraque (Francois Civil) and Nana (Carla Azar). Together they play a single show before going separate ways, that is until Jon gets a call from Don asking him to join them in Ireland for a one off gig. Eventually it dawns on Jon that the gig has become an extended stay as the band attempts to record a new album.
Not going to spoil how it happens but here is a sasquatch using a MacBook.
One of the strangest aspects of the film is the use of Twitter and it’s integration into the story, It feels out of place but it maybe intentional as the only person to use any technology is Jon the outsider of the group looking in. The script is excellent, with many of the questions the audience may have being asked by Jon and others staying a mystery until the correct time to reveal the information. It seems everything is thought out, considered in the natural progression of time and events, it is nice to see a film like this have a cohesive timeline that we can see unfold on screen.
The band in a rare moment of cooperation.
Frank is a refreshing film that evokes a sense of a simpler time, the inclusion of social media seems jarring but it gives us a comparison to the more honest interactions that occur between the band members.
I maybe a little in love with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
I give the film a Tom Atkins (2nd best score), it is enjoyable without feeling too fluffy and avoids pandering to an audience that it is not intended for.