Franklyn (2008)

franklyn_ver6This is a strange, ambitious little film with intersecting plot lines that don’t seem to have anything to do with each other until the second half of the film. One about a suicidal girl who films her attempts of self-expression as art, another about a guy whose had his marriage engagement recently broken, and another about a man who apparently lives in some sort of Del Toro-esque (well not really), sepia-colored alternate/future theocratic world; An interesting, though perhaps ultimately unsuccessful meditation on the nature of fate/coincidence and those who could benefit from such a perspective. Again, it’s just too bad you aren’t given many clues to figure this out until way too late into the picture (where most people would probably have given up on it already). Though, if you actually do watch the whole film (as one should do in most situations), it does play better a second time, knowing the purpose of it all.

Ryan Phillipe spends the majority of the film in a mask (and I could swear doesn’t actually don a British accent until the last 10 minutes, though perhaps intentional). Sam Riley‘s part is either too understated or horribly underwritten (I’d vote the latter). Eva Green is, as always, nice to look at, despite her character’s best faux-Siouxsie Sioux histrionics that don’t seem to have a purpose until, again, almost the end of the film.


Much needed backstory to the characters is left out for the sake of of the audience to puzzle “why” the whole film. The problem with this is that the three character stories are uneven and not equally interesting. Ultimately its build-up to relevation doesn’t quite satisfy. Predictable unpredictability, I’d say. Interesting visuals and ambition make this a decent watch (and perhaps the first-time feature filmmaker, Gerald McMorrow, is someone to watch), but barely. It is entirely possible that I will change my mind on this one, though.

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