Four souls bound by fate, romance and tragedy collide in the parallel worlds of London and the futuristic Meanwhile City, where a single bullet will alter the course of their lives forever. A masked detective, a self-destr... more »uctive art student, a desperate father, and a lovelorn romantic are just a few of the unforgettable characters in this visually stunning fantasy thriller starring Eva Green (Casino Royale), Sam Riley (Control), Ryan Phillippe (Crash), Richard Coyle (Coupling), Bernard Hill (The Lord of the Rings), Art Malik (The Wolf Man), and Susannah York (Superman).« less
Brian Lueth | Chicago, IL United States | 11/02/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What a wonderfully original and unique viewing experience! Not only was Franklyn visually stunning but it was quite thought-provoking as well. After kicking back to watch the film, the wife and I chattered on about it for another good hour trying to sort through what we'd seen. And who we felt the characters represented.
If you're wondering what Franklyn is, a drama or fantasy, well its pretty much both in equal parts. It moves back and forth between Meanwhile City and modern-day London. Admittedly the London sequences, for me anyhow, really seemed to drag on as not one single character was remotely warm or likable. After each Meanwhile City segment ended, I found myself impatiently waiting for the next visit back to check on the progress of the faceless Preest, the hilarious religions and the amazing steampunk environment. Thankfully both London and Meanwhile City do end up converging but that's inevitable, the real question the film leaves you with is whether Meanwhile City was real and who brought the worlds, and characters, together.
Visually, this blew my mind. It was a little Blade Runner, The Crow, From Hell and The City of Lost Children, in other words it was absolutely beautiful; I can't even begin to imagine what writer/director McMorrow could do with a bigger budget. It's a shame none of the characters really popped but I found it still riveting how their lives all slowly began crossing paths from the first few minutes of the film down to the last. This was definitely weaved together with careful thought; let's just hope next time around McMorrow gives his characters a bit more soul."
Unique film, very good Blu
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 11/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of those films where even as the credits roll, you almost want to say WTF just happened mixed with knowing you just watched a great little movie.
Story descriptions that I have read here and elsewhere can confuse more often than help, but a quick summary could include two "parallel" worlds in London converging over the course of the story, culminating in a final climactic event that ties all of the stories (real and imagined) together. Meanwhile, the visuals and sounds are conveyed eloquently and with outstanding Blu clarity. The picture is tested in every single Meanwhile City panoramic, and each time I would pause it to look for flaws and holes - but couldn't really find any. There are very few scenes with bright colors, but when they show up the saturation/contrast is just right. The DTS was ideal. Reference the scene with Ryan's character surrounding the snake guy, or any of the off-camera sounds being moved around the channels perfectly (answering machine shots, hospital sounds, etc.) Phillippe's voice does not the have the ideal inflections for a film-length narration, but you get through it because it is usually over the fantasy world sequences where you might spend more time looking at all they are putting before you.
The supplements include:
* A brief ad-plug style making of that should definitely be watched after the movie (gives away all of the twists). * Interviews. They all last 32 minutes total, and can be watched individually or as a play all. Main cast and crew are dryly interviewed on set, but they give some vital info on the inspiration, logistics and (appropriately) some of the confusion people have in trying to describe everything that is Franklyn. * Deleted scenes. Less than 10 minutes but I enjoyed seeing more of the red haired lady and her wonderful role.
A very obscure and darkly anti-religious/faith film, but worth the watch if you would like a mix of Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] meets a masked man noir narrative. Blu quality is superb - not the best I have seen but great overall for what this was."
What can I say?
Music Is The Best | Pretendland | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the trailer you might be expecting a lot of action, a brilliant vigilante movie taking place between altering universes, and a unique twist like that of Dark City. But alas it doesn't live up to what you, a viewer, might expect based on the trailer.
Instead you get a drama with an unsatisfying twist you might or might not see coming. Personally, I saw the twist, but was hoping the twist that was there wouldn't be the twist.
I still enjoyed the film, it had some really nice cinematography, and very good acting, but it left me wanting for something more. I wanted it to be a scifi superhero film, and it did have a fair amount of action, the movie just wasn't executed the way I wanted it to be.
I know it sounds like I didn't really like the film, but I did. What it lacked for at the end it made up for with good dialogue, a fantastic score, some amazing shots, and really nice visual effects. I have a feeling this will become a cult classic, in the way that Donnie Darko did. Perhaps it will be the reverse of what happened with Donnie Darko, instead of this movie doing incredibly well in England, it will do incredibly well here.
I'll admit that I forgot to mention there was one twist that was rather unexpected, but I'll share that in the comments section.
edit: upon a few watches the movie gets better imo because the score really lifts up and really adds to the beauty."
Frank Miller Meets The Dark Knight Meets Brazil
B. Merritt | WWW.FILMREVIEWSTEW.COM, Pacific Grove, California | 03/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once in a blue moon, a film comes along that defies genre identification ...and so goes FRANKLYN, a movie that transcends anything you think you've ever seen. A hybrid in terms of style, Franklyn might best be described as Frank Miller (the artist) meets The Dark Knight (Batman) in Brazil (the movie). I say this because none of these items alone help explain the convoluted-ness that is this story, and none should. It goes beyond them. Way beyond them.
Visually appealing on almost every level, Franklyn has two divergent stories that seem to have nothing to do with each other. In one we're privy to a kind of superhero trying to avenge the death of a young girl whom we know nothing about. He chases after "The Individual" in a city known as Meanwhile. Looking, as stated earlier, somewhere along the lines of a Frank Miller graphic mixed with a kind of Dark Knight quality, the story intrigues and makes us cheer on the main character, Jonathan Preest (Ryan Philleppe, Flags of Our Fathers). I mean, trying to avenge the death of an innocent girl is noble, right? Equally intriguing within the city of Meanwhile are the many religions that flourish, including the Seventh Day Manicurists. Everyone is required to have a religious affiliation ...except our "hero" who is subsequently tracked by highly skilled fighting monks.
In the second story, a woman named Emilia (Eva Green, The Golden Compass) tries to come to terms with her life and her art. She consistently tries to kill herself for the sake of it only to learn that her art just isn't inspiring enough. Also, a man in search of his missing son comes to the psychiatrist who'd been treating him only to learn that his son escaped and is out in the world with a rifle slung over his shoulder.
As the two storylines begin to mesh, reality skews, men and women we thought we knew either don't exist, exist as something else, or are strictly symbols (including a janitor who plays a vital role). The fascination the viewer will feel at the realizations of what is coming will shock, delight and sink their heart. Yes, it's THAT good.
The visuals are what will initially draw you in. You'll be asking yourself "Why?" many times: Why is the city so muted? Why is he wearing a mask? Why are these religious fanatics chasing him? If you pay close attention, everything is answered in one final scene which, in itself, reveals amazing storytelling.
I can't stress enough how closely everything is linked in the film and how paying attention reaps great benefits in the end. Even the names of the characters (Preest, The Individual, Wormsnakes, Pastor Bone) all have relevance.
Made on a paltry $12 million budget, the movie feels much more expensive and expansive. Sadly, it did not get a wide release and suffered because of it. Not many people have ever heard of it. I know I never had until a friend I work with mentioned it. But I'm glad he pointed me in the right direction. This one's a hidden gem. And it's so original that you'll wonder which genre you're watching. I'm still wondering!"
A pleasant surprise!
Joe S. | Chicago | 11/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This one was a bit of a surprise for me. I decided to see this movie on dvd based on its cover art and the actors who were in it, which is a terrible way of choosing a movie to see. But this turned out to be a really great, and enjoyable film, excellently crafted and executed from start to finish. The story of the film follows four different characters and their intertwining paths, Milo the emotionally shattered lover, Emilia who is turning her self destruction into an art form, and the middle aged Peter who is looking for his estranged son. All of these previous characters stories take place in a modern day London, the fourth one, Jonathan Preest, takes place in the surreal Meanwhile City. Preest is a vigilante/criminal in a city of absurd faiths and is haunted by his failure to protect a young a girl.
Its an all around solid movie, with great acting performances, interesting characters, a good story that does a good job of contrasting the Dark Fantasy elements with a cold hard reality, good costumes, sets, etc. Another thing I liked about this movie was that it borrows some themes from Terry Gilliam's work in the 80s with the power of imagination, fantasy, and escapism but it still cutting its own way with the main focus on the sadness and personal misery that ultimately leads these characters to cross paths with each other in one form or another. Its not a happy movie, but not as depressing as I might be making it out to be. Its certainly entertaining, interesting, and visually put together serenely. Highly recommended."