Sunday, 7 March 2010

Film Review: FRANKLYN (2008)

Director: Gerald McMorrow
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

UK Release Date: 27th February 2009

Watched on Sky+ Sunday 7th March 2010.


This film tells a very complex, and at times, very confusing story. But if you stick with it until the end it all ties together quite neatly. It is a very ambitious film with some very clever plot twists and, what some may consider, quite disturbing imagery. It’s not one you can put on as moving wallpaper; you actually have to watch it to have a chance of understanding it.

The fates of four individuals are intertwined between the London of today and the futuristic world of Meanwhile City. In Meanwhile City, Jonathan Preest is preparing to commit a murder. We are told through flashback that he had tried and failed to save a girl from a mysterious character known as ‘The Individual’, and now he is about to exact retribution. To live in Meanwhile City you have to follow a religion, the problem for Jonathan Preest is that he does not have one. This puts him outside the law and is hence wanted by the police and their commander, Pastor Bone. Preest is captured and, after four years of imprisonment is released and commissioned to find ‘The Individual’ and kill him. Meanwhile, in present day London, Milo, whose engagement has ended not long before the wedding, is heartbroken and is trying to rekindle an old flame. Peter Esser is a broken man, searching for his son who has gone missing from a military hospital. Emilia Bryant is an art student who has a suicidal streak and her art projects are becoming more and more dangerous. All of them are linked to Preest and he holds the key to all of their problems. I think that’s enough of a synopsis, I don’t want to give too much away!

Although it’s a very complicated plot, I found this film quite enjoyable to watch. As I mentioned at the beginning, there are some quite disturbing scenes, and these are to do with Emilia’s story (sorry if that gives anything away). Some decent performances, particularly form Eva Green as Emilia Bryant, she had some great scenes and carried them off very convincingly. Honourable mentions also go to Ryan Phillippe as Jonathan Preest, Sam Riley as Milo, Bernard Hill as Peter Esser, James Faulkner as Pastor Bone and Stephen Walters as Wormsnakes.

This film seems to have borrowed from quite a few other films; I found some of the imagery from Meanwhile City reminiscent of the 1985 Terry Gilliam film Brazil. There were also hints of the 2001 Richard Kelly film Donnie Darko. But for all that, I found it quite enthralling, although I did wonder at times how it could possibly all tie together. Over all, it’s a film you have to concentrate on, but one that pays off in the end, personally I quite enjoyed it and I recommend it to you.

My score: 7.1/10

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