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Dear Frankie Review

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: June 18, 2004 | Publication: MovieFreak.Com | Author: Christopher T. Bryan
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Dear Frankie is like vanilla ice cream, an enjoyable treat but with no real surprises; Iíve had it before and Iíll have it again.

The film centers on Frankie, a deaf child who, along with his mother and grandmother, has been on the move for as long as he can remember, often packing up in a dayís notice without knowing where he is going next. One of the few constants in his life has been the letters he receives from his father who is at sea on the HMS Accra. Unbeknownst to Frankie the letters are actually being written by Frankieís mother who is attempting to protect her son from the truth of his father.

The film whips along at a nice pace and has the beautiful backdrop of Scotland in its favor, but the true magic here is in the relationship that develops between Frankie and a stranger. Through a jumble of events, Frankie discovers that his fatherís ship is coming to port in his town. His mother, in an act of desperation or possibly out of loneliness, hires a stranger to act as if he is Frankieís father. The stranger turns out to be a better father figure than anyone could have imagined and begins to win a place in both Frankie and his motherís hearts.

Jack McElhone (Frankie) and Gerard Butler (The Stranger) are the two standouts here. They have real chemistry that transfers beautifully to the setting of the story. McElhone exudes pure joy when a man is finally present in his life. His face beams with pride when The Stranger comes to watch him play soccer, and the two share touching moments when Frankie learns to skip stones. Butler for his part switches easily between the role of a gruff sailor and a father figure. The trio is rounded out well by Emily Mortimer (Lizzie, Frankieís Mother). She is convincing as a woman who sacrifices for her son while ignoring her own needs.

Dear Frankie will offer a welcome reprieve from the summer blockbusters, its strengths lay in subtle acting, gorgeous cinematography, and simple storytelling. What keeps this from being a memorable movie, or one that will keep you talking is that it doesnít let the viewer think. All the loose ends are tied up, and any questions or doubts that arise are answered. I was particularly disappointed that the film revealed just exactly how intuitive the deaf Frankie is.

See Dear Frankie for a nice story, however, while it is pleasant to view, it lacks the ability to inspire.

 


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