Frank is a British film production, which is set to come to theaters in America on August 22, 2014. The film describes itself as a comedy/drama/mystery and is filled with catchy songs along the way. Frank is about a talentless musician who joins a pop group, lead by the mysterious and masked Frank. The film is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and stars Michael Fassbender as the musical enigma Frank.
Frank follows a young man named Jon, who is played by Domhnal Gleeson. He is asked to join a band called the Soronprfbs right before a gig, and is only asked if he can play a few notes prior to his abduction. He later moves to a remote house in Ireland, where he lives with the band, there they create and record music. Michael Fassbender plays Frank, the leader and talent of the group. Fassbender, who is particularly famous for his more serious roles in 300 (2006), Prometheus (2012) and X-Men: First Class (2011), pulls off a hilarious comedy performance without even using facial expressions.
The peculiar Frank is a musical prodigy, finding inspiration in everything. Little is known about the man except that he wears a mask all the time and never reveals his face. Frank starts to lose his grip on his already questionable mental world as the band rises to fame and prepares to perform at the South by Southwest Music Festival. Other members of the band include Clara played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, Baraque played by Francois and Nana played by Carla Azar. Scoot McNairy plays their manager, Don.
Although American audiences will not be seeing Frank in theaters until August 22, 2014, the British/Irish film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. It was released in the UK on May 9, 2014 with great reviews. The movie received a positive score of 86 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 7.3 on IMDB. Critics commented on the successfully different approach to comedy, while incorporating music and mystery. The Dublin born director of Frank, Lenny Abrahamson, is well known for What Richard Did (2012) and Adam & Paul (2004).
The inspiration for the film comes from Frank Sidebottom, who is the stage persona of English musician and comedian, Chris Slevey, who famously wore his Frank mask to a number of performances from 1984 onward. The expressionless mask became an icon for breaking musical boundaries by incorporating comedy in the routine. He soon left his band, The Freshies, to pursue a solo career, which included a comic strip and variety show.
What makes Frank such a lovable character is his desire to create new and unique music. He does not care at all about money or image, although the image he sports is so memorable. Clashes occur when the new member, Jon, only seems to focus on promoting the band’s name and becoming famous. The film displays Jon’s Twitter posts throughout the movie, as he attempts to build their fan base via social media. With or without Jon’s help, Frank cracks under mounting social pressures in a bizarre comedic display. American audiences can see Frank in theaters on August 22, 2014.
By Morgan Louchen