A young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal).
This terrific and sublime experience, and strikingly original film, is mandatory watching for the adventurous viewer.
A functioning, funny, weirdly touching fable of artistic angst and aspiration, a meditation on fame and its terrors and the metaphoric usefulness of masks and huge fake heads.
Helmer Lenny Abrahamson (“Garage,” “Adam & Paul”) puts the pic’s eccentricity to good use, luring in skeptics with jokey surrealism and delivering them to a profoundly moving place.
Odd, offbeat, somehow endearing, the bleakly comic Frank has its own kind of charm as well as some pointed, poignant things to say about the mysterious nature of creativity, where it comes from and where it might all go.
If Michael Fassbender wears a giant papier-mâché head for most of a film, is he still mesmerizing? Happily, yes.
Fassbender spending nearly an entire movie obscured by a giant fake head is such a had-me-at-hello idea that it’s disappointing that Frank never plumbs the fascinating questions it raises about performance, group dynamics, and mental health.
The mash-up of elements combine with a singularly unpleasant roster of characters to create a work of genuinely off-putting quirkiness.