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A movie review on kenneth brannaghs frankenstein essay

There's no definitive interpretation of it - it's certainly more than just a monster story. During the course of more than thirty adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, rip-offs, and spoofs, the name of "Frankenstein" has become associated with one of the world's most recognizable movie monsters.

  • The film has a striking visual look, which owes as much to the set design and special effects as to the soaring cinematography of Roger Pratt;
  • He has chosen to view Frankenstein as a tragedy of Greek or, given his background, Shakespearean proportions;
  • Waldeman, Frankenstein's mentor, being a chief example , and there is a significant alteration in the last act;
  • Of the two - Robert De Niro's creature and Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein - the former is, perhaps surprisingly, the more sympathetic;
  • Can a man create life, then abandon his creation because its appearance horrifies him?

The creature, as typified by Boris Karloff with outstretched arms, flat-topped head, and ubiquitous neck bolts, has met the likes of Dracula, the Wolfman, and even Abbott and Costello. Rarely, however, has a cinematic interpretation of "the daemon" approached the level of three-dimensionality with which it is portrayed in the novel.

A Movie review on Kenneth Brannagh's Frankenstein.

As conceived and written by Shelley, Frankenstein was more of a gothic melodrama than a horror story. Considered in its most basic terms, the tale is one of actions and their consequences, and of what happens when man, in his hubris, attempts to usurp the role of God. For the most part, however, motion pictures have chosen to ignore the weightier issues of the book to concentrate instead on the "monster movie" aspects. With this latest cinematic depiction, director and uncredited co-writer Kenneth Branagh has taken a less-traveled path.

He has chosen to view Frankenstein as a tragedy of Greek or, given his background, Shakespearean proportions.

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (United States, 1994)

What Branagh should recognize better than anyone, though, is that tragedy is at its most effective when allowed to cook slowly, basting in its own juices. This version of Frankenstein moves so frantically that far too many subtleties get lost along the way. Patrick Doyle's bombastic score helps only to underline the melodramatic elements of this production, rarely allowing a quiet or reflective moment.

As far as its faithfulness to the source material is concerned, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein frequently differs from the book on plot points, but the two are thematically in synch. Several movie characters bear little resemblance to their book counterparts beyond having the same name Dr.

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein (United States, 1994)

Waldeman, Frankenstein's mentor, being a chief exampleand there is a significant alteration in the last act. Surprisingly enough, although it reflects nothing written by Shelley, this scene is effective in underlining the weaknesses and strengths of both Victor Frankenstein and his creature. Can a man create life, then abandon his creation because its appearance horrifies him? To whom are its actions then attributable: Shelley did not answer these questions, but she certainly posed them.

Following her example, Branagh does the same.

Frankenstein Film Review.

The greatest strength of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is that it illustrates both the good and evil qualities in each of its main characters. Of the two - Robert De Niro's creature and Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein - the former is, perhaps surprisingly, the more sympathetic.

In its own words, it is capable of great love and great rage. Frankenstein, on the other hand, often comes across as petty, self-serving, and ambitious. Only towards the end, when he finally grasps the full consequences of his actions, does the scientist capture a measure of our understanding. Despite the presence of John Cleese - who is excellent in a straight, if somewhat limited, role - there is no comic relief in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or at least none that is intentional - a few scenes here and there are too-obviously overacted, which can lead to a chuckle or two.

  1. Patrick Doyle's bombastic score helps only to underline the melodramatic elements of this production, rarely allowing a quiet or reflective moment. Comparison's with 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula are inevitable, especially since both came from Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope production company.
  2. Can a man create life, then abandon his creation because its appearance horrifies him?
  3. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein United States, 1994.

However, since the screenplay is not relentlessly downbeat, the bursts of action and horror are effective enough in lessening tension that breaks of levity are not needed. In fact, given the tone of this film, humor might easily have seemed an unwelcome intrusion. Shelley was never concerned about the scientific realism of Frankenstein's actions. She describes neither his experiments nor the practical as opposed to the philosophical reasoning that leads to them.

In this film, while Branagh doesn't attempt to fully remedy this lapse something that obviously can't be donehe presents enough pseudo-scientific evidence to suggest how the creation of a life might plausibly be accomplished. Suspension of disbelief is, of course, requisite for the viewer at this point.

  • Considering the merits of both movies, however, there is little doubt which is more effective;
  • Shelley was never concerned about the scientific realism of Frankenstein's actions;
  • Waldeman, Frankenstein's mentor, being a chief example , and there is a significant alteration in the last act.

One area where thisFrankenstein meets expectations is in its cast. The weakest link is Branagh, whose Victor is more than occasionally overwrought.

  1. As conceived and written by Shelley, Frankenstein was more of a gothic melodrama than a horror story.
  2. One area where thisFrankenstein meets expectations is in its cast. Mary Shelly's Frankenstein United States, 1994.
  3. Although Branagh does not opt for straight horror, the gothic element of the tale is very much in evidence as a result of the carefully-crafted atmosphere of several key scenes. Despite the presence of John Cleese - who is excellent in a straight, if somewhat limited, role - there is no comic relief in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or at least none that is intentional - a few scenes here and there are too-obviously overacted, which can lead to a chuckle or two.
  4. During the course of more than thirty adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, rip-offs, and spoofs, the name of "Frankenstein" has become associated with one of the world's most recognizable movie monsters.

De Niro, although buried beneath hours' worth of makeup, is less monstrous here than in films like Cape Fear and The Untouchables. The sequence where the creature befriends a family, anonymously providing them food instead of firewood, as in the book while observing and learning from them through a chink in a wall, is marvelously moving, and possibly the best moment offered by the film.

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Helena Bonham Carter gives a feisty and fiery interpretation of Elizabeth, who eventually becomes much more than merely Frankenstein's love interest.

The film has a striking visual look, which owes as much to the set design and special effects as to the soaring cinematography of Roger Pratt. Although Branagh does not opt for straight horror, the gothic element of the tale is very much in evidence as a result of the carefully-crafted atmosphere of several key scenes. Comparison's with 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula are inevitable, especially since both came from Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope production company.

Considering the merits of both movies, however, there is little doubt which is more effective.

  • One area where thisFrankenstein meets expectations is in its cast;
  • Following her example, Branagh does the same;
  • In fact, given the tone of this film, humor might easily have seemed an unwelcome intrusion;
  • Considered in its most basic terms, the tale is one of actions and their consequences, and of what happens when man, in his hubris, attempts to usurp the role of God;
  • Mary Shelly's Frankenstein United States, 1994.

Mary Shelly's Frankenstein United States, 1994.