The Edinburgh International Film Festival is a great opportunity for first-time filmmakers to debut their projects and have it appreciated. One of these films comes from Andrew Renzi: Franny. Ingenious and absolutely crazy. this is the kind of film that makes the festival so great. Here's my review.

The film follows Richard Gere as our titular billionaire. When his best friends die in a car crash, right in front of his eyes, Franny recedes into himself and becomes a bit of a recluse for several years. However, when the daughter of his friends Olivia (Dakota Fanning) has gotten married and is moving back to her home town, she reappears in his life and starts reeling him back into the world.
 
The ever distraught Franny, still latching on to his past, is overjoyed at the return of his "Poodles" - his pet name for Olivia. Buying her and her new husband Luke (Theo James) a house and offering the latter a job at his hospital, Franny keeps on giving and giving to try to get into their lives, in an attempt to relive his past. However, as his mental health begins to deteriorate more and more, his actions begin to have furthermore devastating consequences - for himself, as well as his new-found acquaintances.
 
I loved this film. Fresh, fun and just so superbly crafted, this is the kind of film you want to see play at Edinburgh Film Festival. It was great. With his first feature-length film, director Andrew Renzi did a stunning job. The film was stylish and sleek; the cinematography was phenomenal and the landscape shots were a marvel to watch. The classy, alternating tone of the picture worked so well too. There was a lot of suspense and drama but it was never predictable. Renzi always kept the audience second guessing with his little tricks. It was such a brilliantly directed film.
Renzi also penned the script for Franny too and he did just as good a job there. The story was fresh, unique and the dialogue between the characters was compelling and had a nice wit to it. Each and every character was so well-written and fleshed out; cherry-picked and polished up to give some real purpose and drama to the proceedings. In retrospect, the film was a character study - not just of Franny but of Luke and Olivia too.
 
As far as the acting goes, the whole cast was on remarkable form. Gere was a revelation as our lead. He inhibited the skin of Franny and brought this lost, outdated billionaire to life perfectly: so believable and enthralling. You really empathised with him and felt for him and his struggle. Fanning and James were also tremendous, as Olivia and Luke respectively. They made such a great couple and there was some seriously veritable chemistry between the pair, elevating their relationship that little bit further and engrossing the audience into the story even more. James was excellent: so serious and composed and intimidating. Fanning was more so the opposite and sold her gentle, sweet, vulnerable character so brilliantly. 
 
My one complaint with the film is that the ending felt a little rushed. The way Franny concluded was fine and poignant but it was the 20 minute build-up to get to that bit that felt a little under developed and rushed - as we saw Franny totally lose it. There were the occasional jokes that just didn't hit either. Really, it's all just minor complaints but with a film so laden with greatness, it's useless to nit-pick. Aside from those tiny inconsistencies, this is a stunning project. It's funny, feel-good and the emotion was pretty resonating too.

VERDICT:
Profound and unusual but truly magnificent, Franny is engrossing cinema. A stunning directed piece with a powerhouse trio of leads, this is a fine showcase of what makes the art of film so beautiful.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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