Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve seen this movie pop up on Netflix a couple times, but I’ve always just passed it by. Today I said, “No more,” and here we are. All I knew about Frank going in was that the story followed a band whose lead singer wears a giant fake head. The weirdness factor of that fact hung around longer than I suspected it would and the questions just started to pile up. I wanted to keep watch for one reason and one reason alone: I wanted to see who was under the mask.
I know exactly what you’re about to do. You’re going to go check and see who plays Frank, but don’t. Netflix doesn’t even tell you who he. That’s a sign. Respect it. Besides, it’s well worth the watch.
Domhnall Gleeson plays Frank. Kidding. Domhnall Gleeson plays Jon, a twenty-something living with his parents, trying to break onto the music scene but he can’t quite write a song. By happenstance, he’s asked to play keyboard for this indie band with an unpronounceable name. Enter Frank. He never takes off the head, but as this magnetic energy about him that he channels… into song. Frank pretty much kidnaps Jon and has him help record an album. Frank seemed kinda like a cult leader to me, not gonna lie-though I didn’t feel that way the more I learned about the character.
The movie functions sorta as a satire on indie music. Frank has the band “do field work” before they record the album. Field work in this case is doing random shit and recording it like pouring water into a bucket or blowing a dandelion. At one point he has them make their own instruments, all the time worrying that it didn’t sound right. Frank is in fact at his core really talented. This shines through when the band stops making random sounds and actually play songs.
All in all, 2014’s Frank, is a not-too-touching comedy that is about the power of song and how it transcends any one singular person and is instead about the whole (audience and band). But yes, the draw of Frank as a character is what really makes this movie. Kinda antithetical when you think about it.