Sweeping the independent film circuit this year, Frank is befittingly many levels of nutty.
The titular character, Frank, is the lead singer in a below underground experimental music group and always wears a papier-mâchéd head sculpture the size of a watermelon.
Jon is a hopelessly average and unimpressive aspiring musical artist who might as well not even exist, except to his 14 twitter and tumblr followers. Jon joins Frank’s eccentric band Soronprfbs when their keyboardist tries to drown himself. He joins the band at the pivotal moment when they decide to record their album in solitude in the woods of Ireland.
The capricious plot unfolds while Jon is chronicling his various endeavors on social media and the quirky creative process of the artists/bandmates around him.
The bandmates are whimsically bizarre and captivating. Clare is Frank’s creative and emotional soul mate and facilitating translator. She is also threatening, combative and violent. Scoot McNairy plays Don, a creatively insecure man, to the point of inadequacy, stifled by Frank’s genius. Then there is the prodigiously and lyrically brilliant lead singer Frank whose eccentricity is unparalleled and whose actor is marvelous.
At first Frank seems like an examination of the character and its development through life’s banalities typical of an indie film. Quickly Frank morphs into an exceedingly weird and dark comedy reminiscent of a conceptual art piece. The type of art that if one attempts to analyze the resulting description is contrived, superficial and inexact.
Frank is a ludicrous journey without reason. I am not sure what I experienced besides the detailed events I watched and don’t particularly know what the director Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriters Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan were going for. But I am glad I watched this aberrant film and indie film fans especially should take a look.