It may be a facile observation but in many ways, Frownland is proto-Safdie brothers, or at least a precursor to the formal style and veering cadence the Safdies would embody and expand on. Frownland's main character is a socially inept man who struggles to be heard by anyone and everyone around him. He is a endless loop of stopping and starting, he seems incapable of finding the right words. He is a feedback loop of one due to what can only be perceived as severe social anxiety. It is wonderfully performed by Dore Mann, and Frownlamd unfurls with an ever-escalating emotional tenacity that begins merely cringe comedy or quirky mumblecore study of experience rooted in authenticity only to expand into something that feels meatier, more incisive about the collective experience in a specific place and time. Low-fi naturalism with a grating damaged characterization, Frownland is part cringe comedy, part attempt to display the American urban milieu from a ground-up / street-level perspective where individuals navigate the intrinsic anarchic nature of life. A deeply amusing, perversely affecting drama with a strong emotional and thematic core, Frownland exposes how our main character's lack of social currency and his inability to transact with others leaves him on a slow but steady downspin and it is hard to look away. I'd even argue Frownload works on a certain subtextual level as a critique on how transactional our society has become.
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