Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Frank - Movie Review

Welcome back to another edition of Baatezuu Reviews.  Tonight we have watched, for your entertainment and mine, the movie Frank.  What can I say about the movie Frank?

It is quite hard to sum up this film in a couple of paragraphs.  The basic premise revolves around a band and their creative process, but it gets much more interesting by the time it is all over.

General Comments

I wasn't sure what to think of this film when I first saw it.  I saw the picture of the guy with a giant silly head and thought, "This might be an interesting film.  Is this supposed to be funny?  Is it a film about a crazy ax murderer?  Is it a live action South Park?"

Well I can say this much, it is not a film about a crazy ax murderer.  It is a film about a band and the music they make together.  It centers around Jon Burroughs; a guy who is desperate to be an actual musician.  When Jon gets invited to play keyboard with an established band, he jumps at the opportunity.  Little does he know what he is getting himself into.  Lets get to the categories and delve deeper into this crazy little film.


This is one of those films that are not quite known for its costumes, but I always mention this is my reviews regardless.  The costumes always felt spot on for the characters in this movie.  They were crazy, but not so over the top you thought any of them had serious mental issues, even though some of them did. I suppose in some ways it is a nod to the costume designer, that their work does not stand out in a film like this.  I think the one shinning gem of costuming in this film is Frank's giant head.  It is actually very well made.  I noticed watching it that it had several well placed vent holes, latches, hinges, and fans.  Being a tech geek I can pick out things like that.

Special Effects 

I am going to list music under this category as it is such a large part of this film.  The music, while certainly not mainstream, is rather unique and is actually the heart of the movie.  The music is interesting and diverse sort of an electronic cacophony of sounds all mashed together in a very creative way.  I can imagine this being the way some Greatful Dead, or Phish songs were composed. The music reminds me of some of the later Doors live tracks. Looking back on the film, the special effects they used were very subtle.  In my experience most Indie films use very few special effect and this one is no different in that regard.


This film does do some fairly creative things with the camera.  You are always seeing the events of the film as if you are a spectator.  A fly on the wall so to speak.  They make you feel like you are right there with Jon and Frank as they go through their journey in this film.  You can certainly appreciate a well thought out scene and you can tell the director and cinematographer certainly were thinking when they filmed this movie.


The actors in this film were top notch and this film has a few unexpected gems of acting in it.  is amazing as Frank.  Michael brings an intensity to Frank that is gentle yet appropriate for the character.  Frank is awkward, and yet at the same time you get a sense that he really has the universe figured out.  has long been one of my favorite actors.  Maggie can be loving, gentle, kind, and absolutely freaking nuts all in the same scene.  Her performance as Clara in this film is certainly another outstanding piece of her work.

Last mention but not the least is who plays Jon.  Honestly the whole time I was watching this film I kept thinking to myself, "Is that the kid who played Ron Weasley in Harry Potter?"  I guess the reason that I kept thinking this is because he actually played Bill Weasley in the films.  Domhnall brought a certain sort of naive yet eager energy to this part.  This energy is important for the role of Jon who is quite enthusiastic, yet desperate to find his place in the band.


The film is really good at showing you a window into a journey of growth and self discovery.  It is real, believable and yet exciting enough to keep you interested in the what is going to happen to the characters next.  I am not typically good at guessing the outcome of most films, but I can definitely say I had no idea where this film was going until the very end.  This movie was also very good at creating a clear path for the characters when it was over.  I love it when a film allows you to continue the story in your head after the credits roll.

Closing Thoughts

I really enjoyed this film on many levels.  It was a look into the psyche, and what makes us human through the enjoyable mediums of music and film.  While the film is kind of a heavy with its themes of humanity and what makes us tick, it also has its fun moments to keep the overall tone from getting to dark.

The characters are all pretty likable and you will certainly be wrapped up in what is going to happen to the band.  Like many other Indie titles this one is a character films.  If you cannot connect with the characters then it is probably not going to hold your interest.  Overall I liked it and I would probably watch it again, but not right away.

Magic Math Machine tells us what our score is.  So we put some trash in the Mr. Fusion, scrape some lead paint off the wall, put a sock in the blender and carry a tune then you get 5.8.  So rounding up, I rate this film 6 out of 7 smiley Mike heads.

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