Frank starts off as a wry-eyed, witty satire on the lure of fame (no matter how leftfield), with Jon seduced by Soronprfbs and their bizarre commander-in-chief. Eager to please - despite his obvious creative shortcomings - Ronson's cipher ingratiates himself with the wild-eyed Don in particular, so it's a shame when the exceptional McNairy is unceremoniously dumped roughly halfway through. As Jon's regularly updated YouTube diary of the band's surreal recording sessions goes viral, Soronprfbs find themselves thrust into the industry limelight after the promise of a showcase slot at the annual SXSW festival. At this juncture, Abrahamson noticeably changes tack, diluting his film into a more formulaic - and less interesting - morality tale about selling out and forgetting your roots, along with the great unmasking of the fragile Frank.
The last half-hour sees our broken, emotionally drained keyboardist unearthing the source of both Frank's intoxicating ingenuity and mood-killing malaise, with the mercurial Fassbender revealed at last to his expectant audience. Such a grand climax should feel cathartic given the teasing that's come before, but there's a sense that both Abrahamson and Ronson have bottled it right at the death, reducing an out-there British dramedy into an 'issue film' with a social conscience. It's a somewhat unwelcome dénouement given the subtlety of Abrahamson's past endeavours (granted, swansong I Love You All may lift the spirits of most), and perhaps a sign that it's the filmmakers, rather than Frank and his Soronprfbs brethren, that have compromised their original creative vision in the hunt for mainstream acceptance.