On DVD: 
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Running Time: 
95 Minutes

Everyday is a challenge to come up with a song for aspiring songwriter Jon (played by Domhnall Gleeson). Trying to use anything he can to be inspired to write a song that will be his song, Jon discovers that it's not as easy as he would like it to be. With each attempt he starts to get an idea for a song but when he gets home to play what he has worked out, it always falls flat. While out one day trying to get some new ideas, Jon comes across a scene where a man is trying to drown himself. Asking one of the onlookers what's going on, Don (played by Scoot McNairy) informs Jon that the man who is currently trying to kill himself is the keyboardist for the band Soronprfbs. It coulnd't come at a worse time as the band has a gig later that night but Jon takes his chance by telling Don he plays the keyboards. A few hours later Jon gets a call telling him that he's in and that he will have to be at the bar that night ready to play the keyboards.

That night Jon meets the rest of the band and the lead singer, Frank (played by Michael Fassbender). To say that Frank is an odd man would be like saying that the sun is a little bit hot on it's surface. Frank wears a paper-mache head that covers his whole head and he never takes it off, for any reason at any time. From eating to sleeping, Frank always has the mask on, the rest of the band members has never seen what he looks like without the mask, and has no idea what Frank even looks like or why he wears the mask. All that they do know is that Frank is a musical genius that is going to create the perfect album. What they don't know however is why Frank has invited Jon to join their band and to come along with them to a remote cabin to record their album. Clara (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) is outraged with the addition of Jon and with every chance she can she lets Jon that he is not welcome. However nothing will deter Jon from what he knows the band can become, a world wide sensation where everyone loves them and their music. Working for a year in the cabin on the album and live tweeting everything they do, Jon is able to book the band a gig that is their big break or it will be the gig that breaks the band. They won't know until Jon can get past Clara and convince Frank and the rest of the band that it's in their best interest to play this gig.

This was a movie that when I read the description I liked what the plot sounded like. A movie about a band that's going to make their big break while the lead singer always wears a big mask. Upon reading the description I figured that the movie was going to focus primarily on why Frank wears the mask and maybe unveiling who he is. However, that's not what this movie is really about, though it does have a part to play in the plot, it's not one that drives the movie.

 At the start this movie really is about, is the story of Jon trying to found his own inspiration to create his own songs with his own sound. Just when I start to think it's about him being able to write his own song, the story becomes about Jon using the band and Frank's talent to create music from anything so that he can also become a musician. Then it becomes about Jon just fitting in with the band as he grows with the band by accepting that they don't accept him yet will still play music with him. As time goes by the story turns into being about Jon making the band famous by playing in America even though the rest of the members don't think they are ready. If you are seeing a pattern here that has Jon at the center of it all, then you would be right at spotting that because Frank is really about Jon.

Frank is an ok movie, I enjoyed it, the actors are good, especially Domhnall Gleeson in his role as Jon, but what this movie don't have is a point. I don't mind that the story progressively grows and changes, that's actually good. Yes there are multiple story plots going on but it's not ones that are stepping on each other, these plots grow from the last one. Jon wants to write songs, he finds a band that needs a keyboardist which he is, he plays, he then gets pulled into a year long recording session in a secluded house in the woods while trying to deal with people that don't want him there, and all the while he is wondering about Frank who is this odd guy in a mask. That's basically Franks role in this movie, an odd guy who can play music and inspire others but wears this mask and is a mystery to everyone.

While I did enjoy watching this movie there are still some problems with it. One being the ending, without giving it away, for me there was no real point to the rest of the movie with the way the movie ends. What I mean is that once it ends, the ending didn't suit how the story led up to it. Some might like it, might think there is some closure to it, but all I got from the ending is that the story of Jon was over. I also didn't understand how the band was supposed to be popular before Jon joins them. Sure having Frank leading them would get people talking, but when we first get to see the band play, they play for about 30 seconds before everyone but Frank and Jon storm off. The rest of the time they are in a shack not letting anyone hear their music so how are they popular? Also, with Jon always tweeting his progress and everything he and the band does, how does he not know what it means by how many viewers are watching his videos? Frank is a movie that has a point, what it is I'm not sure other than you can find inspiration in the oddest places and though you might want something really bad, that don't mean you will get it or that it will be what you think it is.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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