Frank  follows Jon Burroughs, a wannabe musician on a quest to put behind his humdrum office job to become the new keyboard player to an eccentric and downright crazy (literally) music band. Jon (played by Domhnall Gleeson) attempts to find musical inspiration, failing to find some within we see him resorting to walking down the street and writing crap lyrics about women holding grocery bags. His life is boring, and he believes himself to be unremarkable.
We've seen it done before. The protagonist meets a person(s) with unconventional world views or eccentric characteristics, who impact their lives in some meaningful way. Jon Ronson (one of the co-screenplay writers) loosely based the film's story on the musician Chris Sevey's comic persona, Frank Sidebottom. With the ingenuity of the director (Lenny Abrahamson), it carefully avoids the trite convention by providing genuine dialogue, dimensional characters, and real-world consequences.
Superb. The title character, Frank (Michael Fassbender) whose unrelenting need to wear a disproportionately large cartoon head is both intriguing and worrisome. Michael Fassbender shines as Frank. Limited to talking wearing that gigantic head, stating his facial expressions and communicating through body movements, he is the star (and rightly so). Honourable mention to Maggie Gyllenhaal (who portrays Clara, he feisty and quirky antagonist). The film preaches, without being preachy. Musical talent is hindered by mental illness, not the cause of it. Social media popularity does not equate to real life popularity. Some people will put their self-interests ahead of your health. It somewhat spouts Lars Von Trier’s mantra, that people are selfish and shit, while giving them redeeming qualities. This film is more than what it seems.
It's not a feel-good flick but is a guaranteed must-see.
Related: The film Frank is featured on Borrowing Tape's "Best Films of 2014" list.