Critics Consensus: Gerald McMorrow's bold debut is a complex and ambitious film that highlights the director's potential, but its multi-layered story takes time to develop and might be frustrating for some.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Set between the parallel worlds of contemporary London and the futuristic metropolis of Meanwhile City, "Franklyn" weaves a tale of four lost souls, whose lives are intertwined by fate, romance and tragedy. As these worlds collide, a single bullet determines the destiny of these four characters.
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Critic Reviews for Franklyn
'Franklyn' has conceptual boldness and visual imagination that set it apart from the pack.
A clever idea that could have worked as a novella, the urban-fantasy-cum-sci-fier Franklyn doesn't cut it by the bigscreen rulebook.
Ultimately it doesn't quite work, but along the way it is easy to be somewhat sucked in, especially by Eva Green's suicidal artist and Sam Riley's emotionally shattered dreamer
Franklyn is wonky and self-defeating: there are lots of gauche moments. Still, it's entertaining, and commendable for its strangeness.
Franklyn is puzzling in a way some may think tiresome and others intriguing. Gerald McMorrow, whose first feature this is, has talent, but just as he starts tying up the loose ends, the film unravels.
If ambition and flair were the only hallmarks of a five-star film then Franklyn would be top of the class.
Look past the odd shortcoming in the storytelling, and there's a brave movie here, one that's prepared to tackle some weighty issues about religion and obsession.
Marks McMorrow as a director to watch, one unafraid of taking risks and going against the grain of the British film industry. It's not for everyone, but surrender to the limitless ambition and off-kilter tone and it's an engaging 100 minutes.
An admirably non-formulaic drama, which manages to reconcile the opposed British film traditions of contemporary, realistic, low-key character drama with eccentric, flamboyant, Gothic fantasy. It certainly marks out McMorrow as a talent to watch.
McMorrow's ideas may be too damn bold and expansive for Franklyn to succeed on every level, but it's a striking debut from a writer-director unafraid to reach as high as he can.
It's a convoluted piece of storytelling that repays more on a visual level than on a logical one. But you can't fault its ambition and imagination.
He is aiming high. And yet, to use a recondite and specialist critical term, this film is massively up itself.
The spiralling plot lines slowly weave together with real dexterity, resulting in a payoff that's as unexpected as it is satisfying. A cracking sci-fi brainteaser.
The attempts to compress so many themes into such a short space of time end up making Franklyn seem like it's leapt from the imagination of Garth Marenghi. Ultimately, McMorrow's over-ambitious debut is a beautiful mess.
You have to give the debut director his due for an absurdly ambitious attempt to do something genuinely different in an age cursed with tired formula and dollar-obsessed convention.
Frustrating. Not as clever as it thinks it is, but often far better looking than you'd expect. You have to laud McMorrow for a brazen Brit debut that isn't either A) a horror or B) takes place in a gang.
This bold and complex British fantasy-drama is an impressive debut for writerdirector Gerald McMorrow.
Franklyn is an ambitious sci-fi film that squeezes every penny from its 6m budget and throws it onto the screen to create a terrific futuristic cityscape. Kudos for that, yet no amount of good looks can hide the fact it's almost unwatchable.
What is real, what is fiction and why should I care? That is what you will be asking yourself for the first 70 minutes of this strange film.
It takes a quarter of the movie's duration to start detecting its drift, another quarter to start caring. The fantastications have a stronger wallop than the realism.
Audience Reviews for Franklyn
A very strange, surreal film with great visuals for the fantasyland at least. The only problem you have to wait a long time before you get any idea of what is going on as we flick from modern day London to a future metropolis set city with strange looking characters. A solid cast and nice story that comes together....eventually, but it feels like a lot is left unexplained.More
I feel a bit bad for giving this film such a low rating, especially as I thought it was a really clever and original idea. The visualisation of Jonathan Preest's alter-ego in his imagined (exaggerated) world of Meanwhile City is great stuff, touching on the mental issues returning solders have intertwined with religious guilt - possibly heightened by the resent 'War on terror' - I don't know. I had no real problem with the switching from fantasy to reality per se, it's just that many of the sub-plots were pretty pointless and did not amount to anything close to the payoff the build up hinted towards. The end is such an anticlimax you start to wonder why you even bothered, which is such a shame because I still believe the foundations of this film are some of the most ingenious I've seen for quite some time. It would have made one hell of a graphic novel but as far as the film, it's was far too ambitious and I'm sad to say, it fails. I love it and hate it in equal measure but I only hate it so much because I love it so much, that's why I'm right down the middle on this one.More
Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Eva Green, Sam Riley, Bernard Hill, Jay Fuller, Art Malik, Kika Markham, Gary Pillai, Susannah York
Director: Gerald McMorrow
Summary: In the futuristic Meanwhile City, a masked vigilante (Ryan Phillippe) seeks out his nemesis while in contemporary London, an art student (Eva Green) attempts to kill herself, a heartbroken lover (Sam Riley) looks for someone new and a father (Bernard Hill) searches for his son. Writer-director Gerald McMorrow sci-fi drama follows these desperate individuals as their lives become intertwined by fate.
My Thoughts: "Completely through me for a loop, and I felt so lost for the majority of the film. Then by the end comes the AHA moment and all makes since in that world. Very interesting movie. Eva Green is the star of the film though. Her acting was so tormented and beautifully done. I loved the look of the gothic dark city. It was depressingly beautiful. I can't say I loved the film, but it was and is worth the watch."
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