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

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

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.