Franklyn

"Weak"

Franklyn Review


Have you ever experienced something that is simultaneously both admirable and annoying? Bono engaging the Pope on contraception, perhaps. Or maybe Ernest Vincent Wright's 'Gadsby' - a book written in its entirety without the letter 'e'? Well, Gerald Mcmorrow's 'Franklyn' very much falls into this category, occasionally even approximating those transcendental nadirs of irritation such as when, in the erstwhile example, John Paul II actually donned Bono's 'fly shades' for that most unholy of photo ops

The film is composed of four story strands each centring on a different character. Sam Riley plays Milo, a heartbroken young rake recently jilted at the altar. Eva Green is the panda-eyed goth-artist, Emilia, an enfant terrible railing against her mother and university course via the production of macabre videos of her various suicide attempts. Bernard 'gizza job' Hill plays Peter Esser, a church warden searching for his missing son and Ryan Phillipe is Preest a sack-masked vigilante battling his way against the state officials of the Meanwhile City theocracy.

This quadruple weave does not necessitate a problem in and of itself, but there is a discernable incongruity between the high-octane, comic book escapades of Preest's Meanwhile City and the rather more grey-filtered shots of the other three characters' contemporary London. Whilst such juxtaposition need not necessarily serve pejoratively, the obvious differences in both tone and production spend on the two backdrops is jarring and the upshot is a film that does not flow particularly well. That said, considering the very modest budget of £6 million, the Meanwhile City scenes are very impressive and somewhat reminiscent of James McTeigue's 'V for Vendetta' - a film with 9 times its budget. No mean feat for a directorial debut.

A larger problem, however, is the script which does not start pulling together on the film's various strands until the final act thus making for a somewhat confused middle section. Furthermore, whilst this final act is undoubtedly the picture's most accomplished piece of movie-making, the denouement is nowhere near equivalent to the duration spent waiting for the plot come together. The action and dialogue also suffer from being somewhat overly stylised. There are only a certain number of times you can take a long, heavy sigh, a slow, 'meaningful' pull on a cigarette or an ennui-ridden crypticism before it begins to become grating cliché.

Having said all this, the ambition and strangeness of the film is laudable and there are uniformly decent performances from the ensemble cast, with Bernard Hill perhaps being the pick of the bunch. Sam Riley and Eva Green are two of our more charismatic young actors and have already made two fine films in Anton Corbijn's 'Control' and Bernardo Bertolucci's 'The Dreamers' respectively. They will surely go on to bigger and better things. Indeed there is enough here to make a case for the same being true of Gerald Mcmorrow, but whilst 'Franklyn' may achieve a small cultish following, it remains a curate's egg of a film attempting to be an arthouse flick about the nature of destiny, a graphic novel blockbuster and a critique of our treatment of military veterans all at the same time. The result is a movie that is very much less than the sum of it parts. Which is annoying in and of itself.



Franklyn

Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th February 2009

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Contender

Production compaines: UK Film Council, Aramid Entertainment Fund, Recorded Picture Company (RPC), Film4

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 59%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 12

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Gerald McMorrow

Producer:

Starring: as Emilia, as Preest, as Esser, as Milo, as Tarrant, as Dan, as Margaret, as Police Officer, as Naomi, as Frank Grant, Gary Pillai as Doctor, Jeanie Gold as Patient, Jay Fuller as Monk

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.