Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Written by Jon Ronson and Peter Straughan
Starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson, Scoot McNairy
Like Richard Ayoade’s Submarine and Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe before it, Abrahamson’s Frank nails the mundane British everytown existence of its protagonist Jon (Gleeson) in the opening minutes.
With the exception of the integration of Jon’s social media exploits, as Frank continues it’s often far from achieving the sharply-observed comedy of the early scenes. Despite some impeccably timed uproarious comic moments it plays like an overextended sitcom episode.
There are fewer moments of barbed greatness from Maggie Gyllenhaal than the trailer suggests, though thankfully her character is better developed than most; one band member is characterised only by his nationality.
More wasted opportunity than weird and wonderful, with Frank the writers have gifted Michael Fassbender with a complex and intriguing character but forgotten to do the same for his cast members. The lasting impression is not the comedy, but the film’s disturbingly blasé attitude towards mental illness.