Where is Frank? Has anyone seen him?
Frank is a film released in September of 2014. It stars a quirky cast of people who are (another other things) all attempting to elevate a band they play in to stardom. I watched the film last night and it’s still resonating with me today – that’s definitely a good thing. Our favourite Internet Movie Database cites the movie as being a comedy, drama, and musical. I’d go a step further with the first by suggesting that it’s actually a comedy of the absurd. The movie is certainly “out there” as the main character wears a big head. Amazingly, there is a large dramatic turn in the final acts of the film that doesn’t ever feel forced or silly to match tone with the rest of the film. There are random bits of “music” spattered throughout but I use the term in quotations because any attempt at “music” throughout most of the film is either noise or deemed “pure shit”. The denouement wraps up the film nicely in a way that would genuinely bring the film into the category of music while maintaining the absurdity.
I have to firstly speak of Frank. What an interesting character. In case someone reading this hasn’t seen the film, I won’t be divulging which famous actor lies under the big head of Frank. Just know that they get it- they understand the role completely. They don’t have facial expressions to rely on and need to convince the audience to take a man wearing a big head seriously and I feel that is achieved in spades. Both the emotional and literal journey we follow Frank on is an interesting one. Certainly, there are moments that are laugh-out-loud silly but seriously, I feel that Frank is a literal manifestation of the psychological idea that we all wear a mask. As the film moves forward, it’s apparent that the mask is a part of Frank in that it keeps him safe and protected while at the same time free and whimsical. Watching Frank traverse through the film is a worthy journey. Definitely notable is how Frank eventually comes to convey his facial expressions.
The rest of the cast really suits their roles well. As the film progresses, their ulterior motivations become apparent. I don’t think any character was wasted in the film and that’s a rarity. In such a weirdly arthouse indie film, I saw how everything had a purpose. The emotional beats were well-timed. The interaction between characters was slightly exaggerated but in a way that didn’t detract from the film. I felt it really gave an idea of who they characters were. Watching them all attempt to navigate with the main character while he wears a big head was great. By film’s end, it all makes sense. One might say superbly so.
Frank is weird, there can be no doubt about it. However, the character development and underlying motivation of all the characters make this a film worth watching. In a minor spoiler alert, the song at the end of the film is bloody catchy. I recommend this not for the music (although their creative process is definitely worth watching) but to steal a glimpse into the life of a man in a big head mask.