Michael Fassbender is one of my all-time favorite actors. I must say that I don’t think I’ve seen a single movie that he performed badly in. He’s also played a fairly large abundant of unique roles from sadistic slave master in “12 Years a Slave” to superhero gone bad in a few of the X-Men movies. Now, even with all of the interesting roles he’s portrayed on the big screen, I don’t think it was until this movie, “Frank”, that he finally unleashed his full potential and versatility. I’ve never considered Fassbender to be a character actor, but “Frank” may have just proved otherwise.
How to describe “Frank”? Well, it is the story of a struggling songwriter who gets picked up by an unknown band called “Soronprfbs” which is led by the enigmatic and ecstatic musical mastermind Frank. The thing about Frank though, is that he is constantly wearing a large papier-mâché head over his own. When I first heard about his movie, I was instantly intrigued. It’s definitely an interesting premise, but I was a bit worried if it could be pulled off. Even with my doubts, I still awaited the release date with anticipation and when I was finally able to get my hands on it, I was not disappointed.
“Frank” is a funny movie; no, a ‘hilarious’ movie. It has the quirky and energetic wit that you would see in a Wes Anderson movie, the observational humor of a Coen brother’s flick, and the satirical bite that would usually be evident within something from the likes of Mike Judge. It’s the story of a young songwriter (Domhnall Gleeson) who becomes associated with the, at that time, mostly unknown band led by the enigmatic Frank. They then embark on a ludicrous and self-realizing journey towards super stardom.
“Frank” was a very funny movie, but the most impressive aspect to its sense of humor was that it never cracked a smile. Within a movie about a man wearing a large, fake head around, there was a surprising amount of subtlety. None of the characters felt too over-the-top or artificial, but gleefully enthusiastic and, in a way, relatable, especially the character of Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) who we follow throughout the film. While the majority of the characters in this film are mentally unstable, disturbed psych patients, I never felt isolated. As one of the characters says about Frank, “With all his issues, 100% sanest cat I’ve ever met.”
I am going to be honest, when I decided to turn “Frank” on, I wasn’t expecting anything brilliant to come out of the screen. I was expecting to be fully entertained, but not quite immersed. Boy, was I wrong. As I said before, “Frank” has a hilarious script where I laughed much more than I thought I would, but it also had a much more insightful script than I was expecting as well. The antics and problems that arise within “Frank’s” run-time are, surprisingly, thought-provoking and bring up themes of friendship, love, mortality, and morality. A startlingly poignant ending is the most powerful piece of this movie, finishing the film on a heartwarming note. You may even be forced to wipe away a tear or two.
Frank has a very interesting look at life in this movie. He says that you should tell everyone everything. “Why cover anything up, right?” I think that is a very honorable ideal and this movie stood by it with respect. “Frank” never covered anything up; well, besides Fassbender’s face. It was a creative and inventive film that took each of its characters and fully realized them, making each one into a sympathetic and fun persona. There was but one major flaw within this film: With that huge paper-mâché head on, you are unable to see Fassbender’s million dollar smile. What was that about?