Frank is a bizarre-o indie film that features an unhinged motley crew of aspiring musicians. A chance encounter brings our narrator and antihero Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) into the fold of a band to fill in after their previous keyboardist suffers a meltdown. Jon steps in for a disastrous gig with the band with an intentionally unpronounceable name, Soronprfbs, and a frontman, Frank, who never takes off a giant head (Michael Fassbender). This opportunity comes as a very welcomed break to his otherwise dreary life, and a chance to live out his inner superstar dreams. Later, Jon receives a surprising call when the band’s manager rings him with an invite to join them for something exciting in Ireland. What Jon assumed was another show turns out to be a much longer indefinite stay in a secluded compound to record an album. Varied goals, ambitions, trust and sanity creates friction all the way from the compound to SXSW in Austen, Texas. It’s there where conflicts culminate and everything falls apart. Jon goes from zero to sixty to a hundred and back down with breaks screeching to a halt.
So is Frank a look at the desire for fame? Is it a question of contentment? A glimpse into the unhinged? Or just a story? Check it out and answer for yourself (or come up with questions of your own) when Frank hits theatres on Friday, August 15.
The story, though no less odd throughout, begins to grow on you. While uncertain through the beginning, I felt more comfortable with the film and its eccentric characters as it strummed along. The avant-garde band’s hipster-Broken-Social-Scene-esque music aided in endearing me to Frank.
Sidenote: The shame, though, (and I recognize this is a superbly superficial and girly comment) is that Fassbender’s beautiful face is covered under a paper-mache-like mask for the majority of the film.