Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Frank / The Guest

Frank is a film I first saw inside the Cinedrome tent at the Green Man Festival in August 2014. I’d seen trailers for it earlier in the year that hadn’t done anything to sway me in to buying a ticket sooner. My friend was keen to go and, being open-minded, I joined her, stealing two of the final ‘floor seats’ inside the tent that evening.

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This film follows a young Englishman, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson). Dismayed with the daily grind; hopelessly wrestling with the keyboard in his bedroom to produce his own musical masterpiece… Then one afternoon beside the beach, he encounters The Soronprfbs and shoe-horns his way in to joining the band as their latest keyboard player for a gig in the town, that very evening.

During the show, we have our first encounter with the band’s frontman, Frank – played by Michael Fassbender, adorning the paper-maché visage of Frank Sidebottom only, as we soon learn, this Frank never takes it off.

From there, the film follows the bands migration to Ireland, where the setup to record an album. I wouldn’t know how to describe the bands music but the terms prog and ambitious may be good places to start.

So, this film follows the band and their journey from the moment Jon becomes a member. Along the way, we witness the interactions and ‘quirks’ of the individual band members, their recording techniques and a line of humour runs parallel to this story – for example, Jon’s persistence to finally uncover Frank unmasked.

I’d highly recommend Frank to anyone who enjoys entertainment, a very different-but-real film and yep, it probably has a lot of appeal for anyone who’s ever been in a band. It’s good for an occasional laugh, too.

As for The Guest – I genuinely do not even remember adding this one to my LoveFilm Rental List! :-/

It must’ve been a recommendation from Amazon, either through one of their weekly e-mails or, perhaps I found it via the reviews available on Amazon’s LoveFilm page – where, as I’ve since discovered, lots of underwhelming titles are given over-generous proportion of stars…

In The Guest, our main star is a British actor best-known for his appearances in a period-drama (Dan Stevens), portraying an American solider, who decides to pay a visit to the home of a grieving family, claiming to have known their son. There were only two actors who I recognised in this film – one of whom (Leland Orser) is perhaps best known for playing Sam in the Taken trilogy, alongside Liam Neeson.

He works his way in through the door and the mother of the household extends her invitation to invite him to stay awhile. As the film progresses, we begin to question who this man really is – even though his appearance can clearly be seen on photographs adorning the family’s mantelpiece – and what his intentions for the visit may be.

Looking again at those two paragraphs – yes, I can see how I might be felt inclined to save this one for future viewing…

From here, the film descends in to quite a disappointment, culminating in a rather ridiculous and over-the-top ending that even the writers of Die Hard 5 would toss in the bin. I just felt like this film could’ve been a lot more, with better direction beyond the beginning… To give it a 6/10 (although I don’t like to give scores) would equal the limits of my generosity here. I enjoyed watching it to an extent. Some of the combat scenes were interesting and I did like the ‘twist’ at the end, although somewhat predictable. It went from offering a lot of promise, to degrading itself as a something suitable for a teenage audience, before climaxing in manner that implied they were trying far too hard.

So, don’t watch that one. But, if you do get the chance – do watch Frank! 😉

Thanks for reading.

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