Last night I re-watched a film I’d seen sometime last winter called Frank. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson the film depicts the journey of Jon, who desires to create great music and be loved by a large audience for it. He stumbles into a band led by Frank a man who permanently wears a large head mask and has an extreme talent for creating music and being innovative.
*Warning: possible spoilers to come if you haven’t seen the film!*
The film is great regardless of any message you take from it but I found that what I took from it last winter when I watched it has changed since I watched last night. I believe that the difference comes from being more empathetic to Jon than the first time I watched it. The first time I watched I really disliked Jon, albeit for his efforts, I couldn’t help but feel anger towards him for breaking Frank down in such a way. However now I feel much more empathy towards him, his struggle to be creative naturally really resonated with me because of how I have sometimes felt these past few months when I have really set out to be creative and make art more prevalent in my life.
When he visits Frank’s parents he asks them what happened to Frank to make him wear the head and who he is today, he expected a great trauma or illness to have moulded Frank into who he was and in extension why he was able to be so naturally creative. To this point Jon had firmly believed that to be revered artistically and to produce great art you had to have had a defining trauma in your life. I think this resonated with me because when you look at some great artists like Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo they certainly had struggles that Jon would have expected for them to create the art they did. However like Frank who had an average healthy childhood, there is no great trauma in my past that Jon would’ve thought I needed to be interesting enough to capture an audiences attention.
My empathy to Jon has grown and I can empathise with him more for his feeling of being aimless artistically and not having a shocking backstory to fuel his creativity, leaving him feel empty alongside the other band members who he interpreted to all have serious problems that made them as talented as they were. I think one of Jon’s main struggles was his lack of inspiration and he thought that Frank was as good as he was because he had the best inspiration- something so terrible that he wore a mask everyday since he was 14. Of course we find out Jon is wrong and I think thats what I really liked, Frank was good at making music because he was talented and enjoyed it. He was impulsive and found his inspiration everywhere, he really just loved making music and I think that’s something that everyone could learn from.
In my opinion in the end I think what Jon learnt is that you don’t have to have bad experiences to be a great artist or musician, as long as you are true to yourself and produce things personal and special to you then what you are creating is worth it and is good. I am still irritated at him though, I feel like his drive to be popular just blinded him to understanding the band and what their creative intentions were, they didn’t have ambitions other than to create music, Jon’s goals were totally different.
All in all this is such a good film and if you haven’t seen it I would recommend it! I found it really interesting how because of where I am in life at the moment I took a really different view on the film to the initial one I had, really weird.
Anyway, thank you for reading!
(Featured picture image source ).