Jon is a young musician with great ambitions, but rather dreamy and lonely. He gets the opportunity to replace a keyboard player for a concert with a strange band, whose leader, Frank ( Michael Fassbender ) , permanently wears a paper-maché cartoon head. The hero finds himself dragged into a house in the middle of Ireland to record an album with the group of which he knows almost nothing.
After that, youe always think you know what is going to happen next, and you are always wrong. Frank is a different kind of movie. The director switches the tone of the movie several times ; it is sometimes beautiful, sometimes very funny, & quite often confusing. But the originality has its price, and it is certain that this story will put off many of the audience. First, let us focus on what works.
One of the constant things in the movie is the quality of the music; original and catchy without falling into the easy mainstream soundtrack to please as many people as possible (all the songs have been written for the film and were played by the actors). We can greet this effort, it would have been so obvious and lazy to put some English pop- rock hits in a film that deals with this topic.
Almost all the characters are really interesting , funny and sought , except “Nana” , the girl who brings nothing to the story. Jon ( Domhnall Gleeson ) is the only member of the band to be about normal, he is the one the audience can understand. Youe constantly ask yourself if the others are geniuses or lunatics , except for Frank, who is both in an obvious way. Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal ) is unbearable and great at the same time. Her role is quite extreme but very successful. The bass player , Booth , is played by a French guy ( François Civil ), who speaks only in French, although none of the characters understand a word of what he says. It further adds to the offbeat side the film, whose humor sometimes makes you think of the great tv show” Flight Of The Conchord”.
Frank’s character is obviously heavily inspired by Frank Sidebottom , a character created by Christopher Mark Sievey , an English musician as crazy and genius as misunderstood, who actually wore a mask similar to Frank’s one. But the film does not claim to be a biopic, and this character is almost a pretext for a series of wacky stories and creating a weird universe.
The second part of the film is more difficult to watch. Above all, do not expect a traditional ending, or the story to go in a direction you predict. The comic part turns into pathetic , you no longer enjoy watching those characters, who are kind of destroying themselves. In the end, it seems that, as Frank’s band , the film never tries to satisfiy the audience, but mainly want to stay authentic and non-conformist , leaving some traces of genius. An imperfect thing you want to love just as it is.