This, to me, looked like a garish nightmare – some guy in a creepy head mask who used to be on TV sometimes (he was then Frank Sidebottom, comic persona of Chris Sievey, who sadly passed away a few years ago) – I never knew what the show was about, but I absolutely knew I didn’t want to watch it. However, the fact that Michael Fassbender was playing said guy in mask made me wonder … and actually it’s pretty good. The titular masked Frank is a mysterious, reclusive musician who never takes off the head – even when he’s in the shower. Him and his band, which includes Maggie Gyllenhaal and Scoot McNairy, are in need of a new keyboardist, which central character Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) sees as his big break, when he happens upon the event of their previous keyboardist trying to drown himself in the sea.
Gleeson was the perfect person for the role as his character begins as the sort of maudlin standard slightly posh ‘nice guy’, with a penchant for social media, that often populates British London centric films (this is a British-Irish film incidentally, directed by Irishman Lenny Abrahamson and largely set in Ireland), much as his character was in ‘About Time‘, but then it turns out he’s a total creep, which is not only a satisfying arc to follow, but it puts into wonderful perspective the other much more diverse and interesting characters, none more so than the delicate and passionate Frank.
An original film exploring the value of individualism and the old adage of not to judge a book by its cover, or in this case a person by their head. Some of the music they make is actually pretty good too.