Frankie Short Film Review

★★★★

Directed by: James Kautz

Written by: James Kautz

Starring: Morgan Ruaidhri O'Sullivan, Richard Masur, McCaleb Burnett

Film Review by: Vikas Yadav


A men-only 12 step meeting undergoes commotion when a woman enters their room. They ask her to leave, but she is determined to stay. “I am not a woman/You just misgendered me,” she corrects the guys and the audience. This genderqueer person is Frankie (Morgan Ruaidhri O'Sullivan), and zie has a reason to be here. When zie shows no signs of leaving the group, the men continue with their meeting.


Frankie deals with a delicate subject with a much-needed, highly charged energy. We don’t hear much from trans people as their voices echo in the chambers of the minority. In recent years, the LGBTQ community has started getting its due spotlight, but they still have a long way to go to reach the hall of equality. For many human beings, the concept of transgenderism lies in obscurity. They are conditioned to interpret genders in binary - male and female. Unsurprisingly then, many partners fall into stupefaction when one day their spouses or lovers reveal that they identify themselves as members of the opposite sex.


Some folks grow uncomfortable when the LGBTQ group raises their voice like one of the men in the 12 step meeting. He shifts uneasily in his chair when Frankie launches into hir confessions. Perhaps, statements would be a more appropriate word for hir lines as what zie says is not limited to hir personal experience but extends to a larger truth present in our society. Zie narrates about hir ex-boyfriend’s negligence after zie “came out” to him. This ex-boyfriend is a stand-in for the people who fear or refuse to confront the reality of transgenderism.


Once Frankie commences talking, the geezers continually point out that zie is under a time limit. But no one can stop the rage racing inside the room. Frankie bleeds hir heart out while the sound goes ticking like a fast-moving clock and the beats rouse the delivery by thumping with the tick. It’s a fierce sequence that raises the pulse and continues proceeding toward an impassioned zenith. The repeated interjection emphasizing the time is Frankie’s way of showing how impatient the world is that it cannot settle itself down to lend its ears to the trans community. On the other hand, Frankie’s will to continue despite active protests shows that the other party is now strong and confident enough to tackle resistance and that they are more confident of their identity. Trans people have a lot to say, and you better start listening to them.