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

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

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.