Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and the birth of modern science First published: Wednesday 14 January Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster. Unlike various modern incarnations, Mary Shelley's original novel tells us much about 19th century attitudes to science Universal Studios Mary Shelley wrote 'Frankenstein' when she was just 18, and it is often read as a gothic horror story and prophetic warning about the dangers of taking science too far.
Yep, despite the generally negative critical reviews of this film, I like this version of Shelley's immortal classic a lot. What sold me on "Frankenstein" was the relative faithfulness to the spirit of the book.
I say relative, because bringing a novel to the screen involves some necessary alteration. The two media are different. Shelley's hastily-written tale pits Man and Science against God and Nature.
Surprise, surprise, Man loses. Branagh is believable as the obsessed and arrogant Frankenstein who stops at nothing, risks everything to beat Death. Robert DiNiro is absolutely the most true Frankenstein's monster ever depicted on screen.
The scene where Frankenstein brings the monster to life is thrilling. The set looks right, the scheme of reanimation is brilliant. It's my favorite scene in the film. There is a lot that is excessive and frankly over the top in the film, but to me that added to the Nineteenth Century feel and pacing.
Romantic literature can be huge--because Romanticism exaggerates and dramatizes the heroic and tragic. This film captures that sensibility. If you look at any of the other attempts to film Shelley's novel, you might agree with me that they don't come close to doing justice to the novel for example, the old black and white film, which is not one of my favorites, and the more recent flop "The Bride".
This version comes very close, perhaps as close as a film can come to Shelley's masterpiece. While it does take a few liberties with Shelley's classic novel, it does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the original story, specifically the humanity of the creature.
While a little over-the-top at times and surprisingly gory, this film forcefully echoes Shelley's philosophical, moral, and ethical questions, and by so doing redefines the creature in its original image. What I have always found to be the most crucial scenes in the story are here displayed in all of their troubling glory, and perhaps it is the heightened intellectual nature of this film that explains why a surprisingly large number of people find disappointment where I find stimulating triumph.
There are enough horror-laden scenes to capture the attention of the general horror lover, but the real substance of this story, for those who prefer their monster to serve as a complicated, amoral representation of man himself, is ambrosia for those who are more fascinated by the questions Frankenstein raises than by the horrors he unleashes.
The inspiration for young Victor Frankenstein's obsession with conquering death is delineated pretty clearly, given its most intense emotional charge by the death of his doting mother while giving birth to his little brother.
His time at university is a little rushed, however, strangely incorporating the influence of a mentor whose work Victor vows to complete; where the older doctor halted his studies out of fear, Victor will push over the brink without hesitation. Victor's lab is a bit overdone, featuring all manner of miscellaneous gizmos, vials, and wossnames that look impressive with blue bolts of electricity not generated by lightning, by the way pulsing through them.
The monster, as we first meet him, is less than impressive, and a prolonged scene of Victor water-wrestling a guy wearing a patently fake body suit inserts a little unfortunate levity into what should be a most serious scene. Victor's reaction to his creation is probably the weakest spot in an otherwise powerful film, as his sudden repudiation of everything he has ever worked for rings patently false.
It is with the entrance of the monster, however, that this film truly begins to shine. Mary Shelley's monster is not evil, nor is he a monster in the stereotypical sense by which he has come to be viewed by modern audiences.
He is most definitely a victim and a creature deserving of much sympathy. Abandoned by his creator, his first interaction with mankind finds him fleeing a mob intent on hurting him for no reason apart from his ugliness.
He takes shelter in a pigsty adjoined to a simple house in the country, and through a crack in the wall he not only learns to read and write, he gets to experience vicariously the joys and travails of family life. He becomes a guardian angel of sorts, secretly helping the family survive and prosper.
At Christmas, in a truly touching scene, he finds a gift the family has left outside for their secret helper.
One day, he gets a chance to actually interact with the blind old man of the house, sitting and conversing with another human for the first time in his wretched life, but all too quickly the family he had come to think of as his own, chases him away with blows and curses.
If your heart does not break at the sight of the creature sobbing in the forest after this ultimate betrayal by mankind, you are the true monster. This whole scene is absolutely critical in terms of explaining who the monster is and why he does what he goes on to do, yet most film adaptations skip this scene entirely.
Only now does the creature vow to seek revenge on the creator who abandoned him; only now has this ultimate victim become a monster in the form of amoral man. The rest of the film is handled quite well, and Helena Bonham Carter is simply wonderful in her role as Victor's significant other.
The ending goes beyond the scope of the original novel, and it does so in a strikingly grisly way, but the overall effect of this film is true to Shelley's original vision. Robert De Niro gives a particularly compelling performance as Frankenstein's monster, the look and feel of the late eighteenth-century setting is spot on, and the musical soundtrack complements the plot extraordinarily well.What would you consider the better written book: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or Bram Stoker's Dracula?
Update Cancel. ad by Grammarly. I thoroughly enjoyed both books. Mary Shelley was perhaps more creative in that her monster was "born" with her novel and Stoker had legends about Dracula to draw from.
Stoker's novel is more expansive . Crafted by Kenneth Branagh and produced by Francis Ford Coppola Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is the timeless and original gothic tale of torment and terror, starring Oscar winner Robert De Niro as the ill-conceived and terminally confused monster lost in a heartless world of darkness and schwenkreis.com: Blu-ray.
Mary was hard at work on Frankenstein in October of when Fanny Imlay (Mary's half-sister) committed suicide, and Godwin, dreading unfavorable publicity, refused to claim the body or acknowledge kinship and allowed the girl to be buried anonymously in a pauper's grave.
Greg Buzwell describes the bizarre circumstances that gave rise to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and the other works that emerged from the ‘ghost story challenge’ at the Villa Diodati in the summer of The weather in the summer of was memorable for all the wrong reasons.
The eruption. I saw MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN opening weekend after being enthralled by the trailers and the companion “movie monster” link it had to Coppola’s BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, which I loved.
Frankenstein´s Monster, a little example of what the society can do for you. love this book is a master piece Find this Pin and more on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Elizabeth Ayala. Robert De Niro in Frankenstein by Kenneth Branagh.