Frank is an independent movie from 2014 by Lenny Abrahamson who recently drew attention with his latest movie Room. Being a big fan Room I was excited to dive into his back log and I was not disappointed. That doesn’t mean that I liked Frank all the way through but it kept me interested in its entirety.
At its heart Frank is a movie about creativity with the first half being focused on the creative process and the later half exploring the relationship between popularity and true creativity. Because of this split the movie has the ability to hit creators at different point upon re-watching it. As someone who is currently creating with no expectation that anyone will view my creation I was drawn more to the first half, but there is another reason I enjoyed the first half more. The second half is a dark comedy where the first half is more of a satire of creation. There is a very well done transition period that eases us into the the second half but it still hit me as odd and unpleasant after being acclimated to the first half’s tone.
The film’s strong suit is the acting, with Domhnall Gleeson leading the film and Micheal Fassbender playing the title character. These two are fantastic together with Fassbender driving the quirky tone and Gleeson grounded the film. Fassbender is the clear standout, conveying a lot of emotion solely through his voice. While watching I was really drawn to Scott McNairy as the depressed band leader Don. McNairy is the middle ground between our two leads showing more personality then Gleeson (who occasionally falls into the pit fall of being a blank slate) and being a more realistic character than Fassbender.
The movie has a unique tone that shifts a bit but always keeps the viewers interest. Despite the tone shift in the second half I’d willing recommend his to anyone who wants a well crafted movie about creativity.