I had some real reservations about this one. Whilst the head and the name were the same, the movie had little to connect to itself to the real Frank Sidebottom that you might remember from late night Northern UK TV shows. Instead the film tells a story penned by one of his former bandmates, pitching itself as a fantasy as to what might have happened had they ‘made it’. The real Frank Sidebottom was never mainstream and the idea of a fantasy which only retained his name and his head, seemed a bit of a slim prospect to me but I needn’t have worried.
...a sublime, unassuming comedy that sweeps over you in a tidal wave of wit.
‘Frank’ is a fantastic film. It’s a sublime, unassuming comedy that sweeps over you in a tidal wave of wit, pathos and charm with some bizarrely great tunes. The performances across the board are brilliant with titular man-in-the-head Michael Fassbender and psycho, girlfriend-in-the-band Maggie Gyllenhaal adding two more screen-quotable characters to their already prestigious acting tableaux.
In the end, maybe I was waiting for the hype to die down. Maybe I was scared of being disappointed, which thinking back was probably the case. You see ‘Frank’ isn’t a film that is going to fill out multiplexes for weeks on end or lead to huge surges in popcorn sales. It will be the film that a friend recommends to you one night with a knowing smile. ‘Frank’ is a film to be shared not sold. Maybe one day it will find its mainstream audience, but then again maybe not – but like your favourite undiscovered band, once seen it will forever hold a particular place in your heart.