Frank is an endearing, unusual piece of cinema that makes you feel good and shitty at the same time. The movie’s a story about young aspiring musician who’s struggling to find his ‘inspiration’.
Amidst his daily boring routine he sees a man trying to drown himself and the police coming to his rescue, when he checks with a group of apathetic people to know more, he finds out that he’s the keyboardist in their band named Soronprfbs. That’s not a typo. In fact the original band-mates never really pronounce the name for us to know what this means.
In the middle of a suicidal man being rescued and his apathetic band he sees the opportunity of disclosing that he too, plays the keyboard. Now, this is no twist of fate, there’s no alignment of the universe. The manager asked him if he could play certain chords and told him to show up straight at showtime. The band simply didn’t care enough.
At the stage he meets Frank, the lead vocalist of the band for the first time. Frank wears a paper-mâché mask. All the time. No one knows how he really looks like. He eats food through a straw. How does he shave his beard, brush his teeth? Those questions are shrugged off by the band’s manager Dan.
Throughout this absurd journey, there are the absurd band-mates that make everything so absurd, it balances out to normal.
This movie has a lot of ‘the details aren’t important’, like the name of the band, why the guitarist goes untranslated most of the time (bless the subtitles), Clara’s agenda, what made the keyboardist suicidal? Heck, even the songs composed by the band make you wonder whether that’s some cool, deep music that you don’t understand, or just some stoned ramblings questioning the intelligence of the viewer. And that point precisely is what makes the movie brilliant. With the amount of frivolity and ambiguity floating around in the movie, the viewer is in a dilemma in what to take seriously and what to laugh off.
The band goes through several drills that are hilarious and entertaining (chinchilla), but only true musicians can shed light and tell us if that’s the madness that leads to inspiring music.
Jon’s self-discovery (at the price of his nest egg) is a good natural transition. His character evolves to surprising extents. Is there any method concealed in the madness? And what’s the deal with Frank, the enigmatic mad genius that everyone looks up to. What’s he hiding behind that mask? You find out everything in the crisp span of 95 minutes.
Unfortunately, we can’t currently watch Frank on OTT in India. But some folk keep uploading it on YouTube. So, keep an eye out for it. I’ll update this article once some OTT platform adds it to their library.