Now this is an independent comedy that is worthy of positive press. You may be surprised by how the film is satirical, but “Frank” is as heartfelt as it can be with the quirky characters that are in this comedy by Magnolia Pictures. Michael Fassbender (as “Frank”) remains, serious, outspoken, and demanding as he was in “Shame” (2011). For Fassbender, this is a comedy that fits him, because he can incorporate his serious sense of humor and make it funny at moments that are so unexpected.
If filmmakers care about making comedies in the future, “Frank” is a good example of how comedies should be. The director Leonard Abrahamson (“What Richard Did,” “Adam and Paul”), one of the newest directors from Dublin, Ireland made this comedy based off the British comedian Frank Sievey and Sievey’s character “Frank Sidebottom” (1955-2010). “Frank” is an adaptation off someone who was well-known for being funny and shows the struggles of what it takes to be popular in the entertainment industry of music.
We meet Jon (Domnhall Gleeson),a young wanna-be musician who wants to be in the music industry. All of a sudden, he realizes there is more in life that has to offer for him once he becomes part of an eccentric pop band. The funny thing about this pop-band is everyone has something that bothers them. Three of the band members have something against Jon. These rude members are Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Nana (Carla Azar), and Baraque (Francois Civil). The only two members cool with Jon and like that he is aboard the band is the masked-leader “Frank” and Don (Scott McNairy).
“Frank” sees Jon as someone who is a talented keyboard player and songwriter, so he wants Jon to be in the band because he is familiar with what it takes for a band to receive popularity. Now I am sure we all have an idea of the face of Fassbender. What is an issue though, is that “Frank” always denies removing his mask. This agitation of “Frank” leaves Jon in frustration numerous times since he is never aware of the facial expressions or how “Frank” actually feels about him as a band member. “Frank” feels explaining his facial expressions helps but that is where people get annoyed (and that is what is hysterical about this movie).
The movie has the funniest moments at the weirdest moments but gets serious later on. “Frank” feels that with no one getting along with the band is making them not do as well and “Frank” is such a perfectionist. He wants every little element to be crystal clear perfect. My only question is how can it be perfect without an idea of how “Frank” feels? We cannot tell if he has the overrated face-mask on the whole time.
This movie is not amazing, but it stands as one of the best comedies I have seen. I liked its sense of seriousness because the slapstick comedies are getting kind of old. It has moments of dragging, but those moments tend to get better as the film progresses. Generally it is dragging, something is about to happen, and bam…something humorous just took place. It is a comedy with the funny moments that will make you laugh at very unexpected times.
Two and a half stars.