Written and directed by Joe Parham and Ben Target, Frank is the tale of a young man who sets out to win the heart of a woman he often sees at his local park. After a few feeble attempts at catching her attention, he eventually resorts to something a little more inventive; meticulously building a humanoid model for her.
Although a totally mute film, Frank manages to say a lot about love in it’s 8 minute running time. Without uttering a word, Frank and his prospective love wield a story which is touching, clever and funny. The silence is used to great effect, utilising the noises of the surroundings to convey the emotions and actions of the characters, strangely linking the squeaking wheels of the made-up man to the vigourous craftsmanship of Frank. Collectively, a mute cast and a minimalist soundscape with a prominent presence, ironically create an auditory pleasure.
Frank is a satirical look at love, and how it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a fool’s game, there are no winners, just people who got lucky. You could try your hardest to find someone special, and no matter what you do, you might never succeed. This message is a far cry from the sickly sweet romantic comedies that everyone seems to enjoy, it’s certainly not a positive view, but it does seem more likely. And that’s the clever bit; on the one hand Frank is an absurdist farce, but it also rings true, just enough to stay with you after the film has ended.
Frank does exactly what it says on the tin: it is frank. There are no frills, no real drama and no dialogue. It’s a simple tale that manages to condense an A-Z of heartbreaking love into a neat little short. Silent. Simple. Superb.