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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(SPOILERS herein) I really looked forward to seeing this film, as I had
heard it followed the book more closely than anything previously. I
suppose it did, but for Pete's sake, why can't Hollywood just tell a
story? What the hell was the deal with the
ripping-the-heart-out-and-reanimation crap? I didn't mind that they
didn't kill off Henry, and I didn't mind how they shortcut Justine's
death -- it made it slightly less tragic, a little less painful. There
were 2 or 3 "Huh??!!" moments throughout the film, but nothing too
awfully distracting. But then I guess KB decided Mrs. Shelley's ending
wasn't quite Hollywood enough, and needed a little more flash and gore.
Overall, the film is very patchy. There are some very good moments, probably even the majority, but they are jarringly interspersed with moments ranging from mediocre to appalling. Too bad. Hopefully some day someone will really tell this story properly on film.
Here's some advice to future filmmakers: it's a *tragedy*. Don't try to gloss it over. If you want to make a film of this story, ignore everything that's been done before, just read the book and keep that in mind. I was quite impressed with De Niro's portrayal of the creature. That was the one point I was most dubious about going into it, but I should have known better. If you can get someone like him, you're good in that department. Don't cast your girlfriend as Elizabeth, unless she truly can portray the grace and elegance of Shelley's Elizabeth, rather than the edgy, grating portrayal here. Be sure you hire a good editor; this film could have been greatly helped with one. And above, all *tell the story*! Don't fiddle with it. I know you can't cover every little detail, but you can keep the integrity.
This film starts off with a potential to be very good and I was rather looking forward to watching it. However the film is very cheesy and as a result I cringed at some points as it was just too ridiculous (I.e when the monster is rolling around on the floor with Victor)The special effects were embarrassingly poor and the acting didn't involve the viewer in the story at all. At times the story was confusing. The scene in the film which made me laugh out loud (as it was so poorly directed and thought out) was when the re-living woman drops a lantern with a small amount of oil and the whole house goes up in flames instantly as if 20 tonnes of C4 had been put into the rooms. This is ridiculous as a small lantern fire would not grow this quickly and carry on exploding all of the rooms as quickly as it did. The explosion wouldn't even reach the main hall of that house. I was rather disappointed and would have to be generous to even give the film 5/10
Sometimes Branagh's pretty good. Sometimes he's a hack. Which is what he did in the editing in this thing, sometimes called Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It should be called Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein. Just look at the creation scene. He could have slime wrestled with a naked Helena Bonham-Carter . . . but NooooooOOOOOOOooooo! (I guess he got enough of that at home) He has to do it with Bobby De Niro! Well, he is English. As for H B-C, I guess she'd had enough as well, since she moved on to another director, Burton, who also is sometimes good, sometimes a hack. I guess those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And as many period pictures as she's been in, you would think she'd have learned that by now.
Kenneth Branagh does a superb job acting and directing this film about
a grisly consequence that was born from the industrial age of science.
The young and unconventional Dr. Frankenstein (Branagh) challenges
passe teachings of medicine in the hopes to uncover new and exciting
methods to assist patients. But in his unsated struggle to discover and
help lead a medical renaissance, he starts up the abandoned work of one
of his professors who gave it up years ago because it lead to
abomination. But Dr. Frankenstein refuses to listen to the cautions of
his associates. He equips a laboratory and prepares himself to do the
unimaginable - piece together a human being a bring it to life.
Meanwhile Frankenstein is carrying on a relationship with his adopted sister, Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter), which I must admit was a bit disgusting, despite the accepted incestuous relationships during that time. When his experiment threatens his relationship with Elizabeth and threatens his own health, Frankenstein abandons the work, all but convinced that the abomination he created would perish on its own.
But some horrible acts just never go away and soon come back to darken your door. And this is exactly what happens when "The Monster" (Robert De Niro) pays a visit to his maker. He demands to have a bride of his own, created just a he was, imperfect and grotesque so that he would not feel physically inferior or horrendous. When Frankenstein refuses, The Monster takes matters into his own hands in a gruesome act of vengeance.
In the end, we see how some things once done, can never be undone. And how the consequences of what we do can disastrous effects. This film adds a bit of poetic justice to the quite believable acts of "noble" doctors who acted in the name of science without considering the morality and humane repercussions of their work. Mary Shelley created an immortally gripping work of horror spawned from a summer night at Lord Byron's. 8/10
Read works of literature; watch cinematic representations of the same:
compare the vision. Compare the purity of content from film to film and
recognize those works rendered films by Kenneth Branagh, are unequaled.
Read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein. Do not review this film simply as a member of the jaded field of films devoted to the allure of "Frankenstein" - rather find the explicit nature of the work represented in Branagh's film.
Further explanation is available per individual requirements, as for the required length of this article, my compliance is in protest.
Not as good as James Whale's attempts, but thoroughly enjoyable, thanks largely to the performances of the three leads. Branagh is naïve, and borderline mental, De Niro adds a unique human touch to The Monster, whilst remaining deeply threatening, and Carter is her usual over the top, eye-shadowy self. The first on my top 150 list of the odd resurgence of literal horror movies', which occurred in the nineties, this is an interestingly emotional film. We feel pity, and hatred for both Frankenstein and The Monster, and the end leaves us with little hope or happiness. Different from the novel in many respects, Branagh keeps the Gothic feel of the text intact, via the authentic sets and costumes.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THIS FILM?
Was Kenneth Branagh smoking some crack or something when he got towards the end of film,deciding that he didn't like the book anymore, to screw it over completely.
This movie has potential, it was good up until the death of Elizabeth which Branagh screwed up, she doesn't get her heart ripped out in the novel, she gets her neck broken just like in the TNT version.
Elizabeth is not resurrected as a monster in the novel, she is buried and that is it, Victor goes mad and goes on to pursue the monster just like in the TNT version.
This very bad segment killed this entire film, the end was exactly like the book but still could not save this film.
Can you say try again Mr. Branagh, can you say failure.
I smell a very terrific remake coming up.
Tell me if Mr. Branagh can make a 4 hour word for word version of Hamlet, why the hell can't he stick to the book for a simple story like Frankenstein.
I rest my case.
This movie recieves the harshest rating I can give!
An utter mess that wastes the talents of many performers and makes a classic novel look like a common Stephen King-based horror film adaptation. The title says it all as the mad doctor (played by director Kenneth Branagh) has a real problem with death. Thus he makes science run amok with the creation of a monster (Robert DeNiro) with shortcomings a mile long. Naturally the monster is discarded of, but the monster vows revenge and will stop at nothing until his creator feels the pain and degradation he has felt. "Mary Shelley's Frankestein" is somewhat true to the novel, but Branagh's unique take on the classic is more annoying than interesting. He takes depth away from an amazingly deep novel that poses many questions about life, death and the role that God plays with human beings. Branagh used high-class actors (Helena Bonham Carter, John Cleese, Ian Holm, Tom Hulce and Aidan Quinn) and gave them time-wasting cameos and dialogue that bored more than interested. DeNiro does what he can to salvage the ugly emptiness, but he too becomes lost in the shuffle as his screen-time fails to fill the dead spots the film has. Branagh's own self-indulgence hurts DeNiro's part immensely as well. Overall a fair film, but honestly a huge disappointment that never comes close to anything remotely impressive. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Yes, I do apologize, Boris Karloff is the master of the macabre as he was
the original FRANKENSTEIN. But, I feel that this 1994 updated version of
Mary Shelley's classic tale of horror is far better.
I love the way the story is developed and the way it actually holds your interest (like how the 1931 film did not). I love the gloomy art direction and the great performances from the well-known cast. Robert De Niro gives an astonishing performance as the monster.
The costume design and script were both done beautifully. 18th century Geneva is re-created almost so beautifully, I would almost want to live there. The sky is very gloomy and grey and it has that sudden ring that made a lot of people love SLEEPY HOLLOW. So, yes in my opinion, this film is far better than the 1931 version. I know many people consider it to be the greatest horror film ever made, but it just does not hold my interest, and this movie does. It takes Mary Shelley's classic novel and throws in some new twists and some thrills that may lead to some actual, genuine shocks. I left this film thinking only one thing: "WOW!"
FRANKENSTEIN (1994) gets 5/5.
If you saw the former Monster of Frankenstein played by Boris Karloff compared to this new one played by Robert De Niro, you will see enormous differences between both. Karloff's one is more horror while De Niro's is more literate, he is able to listen, to think, to read and to discover who is the bad doer. In any case, everyone is free to choose any of them. If you are looking for pure horror, then take Karloff, but if you want to see more reasonable film then De Niro is the choice. This film gives the opportunity to reason, in fact the bad is not the monster but his creator, and the film came at the time when some scientists are looking for human cloning not paying enough attention to the problems of ethics of this issue.
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