Saturday, August 15, 2009

Movie Review: Franklyn


Welcome back!

This movie is predictable, pseudo-psychological sort of fare.

It is set in two places, one is the sprawling, sickly, sci fi metropolis of "Meanwhile City" and the other is familiar London.

In Meanwhile city, a masked vigilante who is the sole non-religious person in the world, tries to save the life of a girl who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organisation and its leader, known only as "The Individual".

Back in the prosaic world, a man's wedding is cancelled and he begins to see glimpses of his childhood sweetheart around the place, while Bernard Hill's divorced father is informed that his son is finally allowed a home visit after a long time away.

And while this is going on we also meet Eva Green's selfish, damaged artist whose latest art project is a series of suicide attempts (after calling the ambulance first, of course) either as a punishment for herself or to punish her mother, or both.

As the film goes on... well... actually about five minutes later, you begin to realise that things really are as simple to explain as they appear - the way to reconcile the two worlds becomes apparent within the first half an hour, and once that's out of the way, the question becomes what the film is trying to say.

And unfortunately this question is never really answered. It's a fable of a sort about the risks of self destruction and self deception and their consequences for your life, even that life you haven't experienced yet. But beyond that rather simple thought, it doesn't really justify its pretensions - the world invented for Meanwhile City is probably interesting enough to have justified a story on its own without the anchoring in reality, and the vigilante is reather too obviously based on Rorschach from Watchmen.

All in all it was an enjoyable enough way to spend a surprisingly reasonable amount of time (90 minutes) but it misses a few key opportunities to expand upon an interesting mythology of its own in the real world (Sally and the hospital janitor for instance) that may have given it a bit more meatiness.

But I enjoyed it.

It's good to be back - see you very soon!


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