“Frank” is a 2014 comedy drama directed by Lenny Abrahamson. This movie only grossed $16,000 opening weekend and $644,906 domestically, despite starring big name stars such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender and Scoot McNairy.
The plot follows the story of Jon Burroughs (Domhnall Gleeson) as he joins an alternative pop band and meets Frank, the strangely secretive and nearly inscrutable masked leader of the Soronprfbs, the band that Jon has recently become involved with. The other members of the musical collection include: Nana the drummer (Carla Azar), Baraque the French bassist (François Civil), Clara, Frank’s lover (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and a sassy synthesizer and etherphone player. The story truly begins when the band decides to spend 18 months recording a historically epic album and brings Jon along for the ride.
This movie is loosely based on the real life English musician stage-named Frank Sidebottom, really named Christopher Mark Seivey. He is a 1980’s British musical comedian who led the band known as The Freshies and also did a lot of solo work. He is a British historical icon and is deeply connected to the culture of England, especially London. He died at age 54 of cancer in 2010. There is a memorial statue of him on a street of Timperly.
The true entertainment in this film almost exclusively derives from Frank’s character. Michael Fassbender masterfully portrays a spectrum of emotions whilst wearing the mask you see in the cover image of this article. Frank is a perfectionist who is striving to create an art that hasn’t been conceived until his conception of it. You get to see him try and fail, all the while experiencing his emotions via his verbal explanation of them (since you can’t see his facial expressions), such as his “flattered grin followed by a bashful half-smile.”
Frank’s mask is seen as anti-celebrity and going against the common drive of fame and recognition, similar to how Sia’s hair is seen; his mask is more than just a fashion statement, it’s an icon, a symbol of authenticity, unique creativity and utter devotion to his art. Only the closest members of his inner circle know what his true face looks like (and any audience members who have seen any of the immensely popular movies Fassbender stars in).
Personally, this is one of the few music-themed movies I enjoy. I recommend this movie to any and all; it is rated R, but is still relatively acceptable for any age group. You can watch this film alone or with a group of friends, or for your family movie night. This film is entertaining in a totally new way and there really isn’t anything I can compare it to nor is there any way I can fully prepare you for it. Please, just watch it and see for yourself what I’m talking about.