“I was kind of excited about this oddball comedy. The trailer and premise looked so absurd, I just had to get more than the two minute teaser. I needed to see what would happen.
In a Sunday that greatly mirrored my Saturday before, I woke up and wandered to an early yoga class. Came back to take the quickest shower ever, then ran to the movies. I quickly trotted the 1.2 miles to the theater and got there right at starting time. Purchased a ticket from the kiosk, but it only gave me the receipt. Took that to the ticket taker, who redirected me to the box office who took his time calling for authorization and printing me out a pass. Quickly ran upstairs for my OCD pre-movie bathroom run, and on the way noticed the water fountain I’d been counting on for a quick sip after my brisk walk was broken. Ran back down to the ticket taker to go in, and she was puttering around dealing with the broken kiosk. I ripped my own ticket, leaving the stub on her counter and ran to my screening 10 minutes late. This theater usually starts commercials early and 10 min is about as much grace period as you get. I walk in. Lights are on. Screen is dark. Huh? Walk out to check the sign and verify I’m in the right place. Walk back in. Wait a few min until ticket taker chick comes in and says they’re working on it. Movie doesn’t start until about half an hour after it’s start time.
Okay so what exactly is this movie that I just had to see all about? Domhnall Gleeson (previously known as one of the older Weasley boys in HP) is Jon, who suddenly finds himself in this really quirky band whose name no one can pronounce. The style of what they call music isn’t the only thing strange about them. From their guitarist who only speaks French to the Sylvia Plath channeling Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal) they’re an ecclectic mix. But none so mysterious or talented as their lead singer Frank (Michael Fassbender). For unknown but assumed artistic reasons, Frank wears a giant paper mache head. All. The. Time. What a long strange trip this will be.
There were moments that were really funny, in a dark satirical sort of way. Also so much of it was just really clever, in a who could have possibly thought of THAT?! way. Yet on the whole, it was rather uneven. Some of it was meant to be awkward, but the awkward dragged on and on and on. Frank’s antics could only carry the film so far, and truthfully, they weren’t even meant to. We were meant to follow the story thru Jon’s eyes, and he was a rather bland storyteller. Frank’s magic was used sparingly in order to maintain it’s effectiveness. But when a big part of the story is the fact that they havent’ really done anything in a year, well that doesn’t make for exciting cinema.
Fassbender’s performance was fantastic though. Even thru the mask, you could hear the intent and emotion. He made you believe he really was an artistic genius. He also gave an incredibly emotional and vulnerable performance. I’m so used to thinking of him as this towering and stoic guy, that getting to see him be zany and then fragile was a treat. Frank could be one of the greatest characters in a movie this year, I just wish the rest of the movie matched.
Frank – \m/ \m/ \n