Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Feb 24 2009Set partly in modern London and partly in the retro-futuristic metropolis of Meanwhile City, where church and state are one, British writer/director Gerald McMorrow’s urban fairy tale requires an act of faith from its audience.
Wearing a hollow-eyed mask to conceal his identity, atheist vigilante Preest (Ryan Phillippe) roams the decaying streets of Meanwhile City in search of his nemesis, The Individual.
In the parallel reality of London, jilted groom Milo (Sam Riley) tries to regain his faith in pure love through a tentative relationship with his childhood sweetheart, flame-haired teacher Sally (Eva Green). Adrift in the alien city, a lonely father (Bernard Hill) searches for his estranged, war-damaged son in the capital’s homeless shelters. Tortured goth artist Emilia (Eva Green again) stages her suicidal cries for help as disturbing video installations that are more twisted therapy than expressive art. Comic-book myth, everyday life and deranged dreams coalesce, as fantasy violence spills over into the real world. Finally, we see that the characters’ disturbed fantasies of love and death are born of genuine psychological damage.
A vivid and emotionally charged denouement, which draws together the numerous characters’ individual fates, was McMorrow’s starting point. He then worked backwards to create a series of interwoven story threads. Sadly, for much of the film, these threads feel more like loose ends than part of a developing narrative pattern. Still, ‘Franklyn’ has conceptual boldness and visual imagination that set it apart from the pack.
Author: Nigel Floyd