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If you want to view a movie that has at its core Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, this is the one for you. Don't try to compare it to other film versions! Better yet, re-read the novel, then view this film. 100% what Shelley intended. From the opening scene to the reminder that the viewer is hearing Victor tell his story to Captain Walton, you are in the novel. The scenery is authentic, the dialog superb. No, it's not a blockbuster, but it is a truer adaptation of the novel. I have long been a fan of science fiction, and it is refreshing to see a movie that does not so depart from the original story as to be almost unrecognizable.
I read the book years ago, and loved it. I also saw the Kenneth Brannagh version and was pleased. So I was wondering what new things this version would bring me. I bought the DVD because of Sutherland and Harris. And when I watched it, I recognized the story, of course. But yet, I was really entertained. it was new, it was above all beautiful. The cinematography was very good, sharp en sinister. A real new movie. This was good stuff. And I will see this once again. 176 minutes is a long way to watch. I planned it over two evenings but went straight to the end and midnight. This means something. I recommend it for an entertaining night.
If you have actually read Frankenstein and despaired of ever seeing a good portrayal of the Creature on screen, then you MUST see this version of Mary Shelley's work. Finally, Hallmark has produced a relatively faithful version (changes, such as increased time for the love-story between Victor and Elizabeth, are reasonable and do not alter the original tenor of the work) with an excellent cast. Luke Goss' Creature is eloquent and highly sympathetic, with a beautiful, plaintive voice that is utterly convincing--as is proper. To demonstrate: my father has never read the story and is a big fan of Branagh's wretched film (don't get me wrong, I like Ken, just not that film), but he watched this version with me and exclaimed about halfway through: ''Wow, I never thought of the Monster's problem like that. Frankenstein is really horrible! Why doesn't he just do what the Creature asks? I mean, his life sucks and he just wants some happiness. Frankenstein is such a jerk!'' If the original message of the story can reach my father, then anyone who loves the original will enjoy this film all the more. William Hurt is very enjoyable as always, and Alec Newman does a fine job making himself less and less appealing (and yet more and more interesting) as the story progresses. (It's interesting how his unusual facial features appear as distorted as the Creature's on certain occasions.) All-in-all, a comprehensive and beautiful adaptation, almost sure to please anyone with a love of the book.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is the story of Frankenstein the way Mary Shelley wrote it. A
running time of nearly 3 hours gives the story time to develop. Use of
less well-known actors allows you to see the characters (although a
good actor should allow that anyway). Luke Goss was good as the
monster, better than I expected from an ex-rock star. He really made me
feel sympathy for the Creature. Only two things grated a little:
William Hurt's German accent was corny, and they insisted on using
electricity to reanimate the Creature (Mary Shelley doesn't say how it
Other than that, it's the best adaptation I've ever seen. In fact, at the end my husband said, "I never realised that 'Frankenstein' isn't a horror story. It's a tragedy." So well done to the film-makers for breaking the mould.
This version of Frankenstein is by far the best and truest version of the classic book written by Mary Shelley; both in content and intent. A true feeling for the period that this book was written in can be felt in this film. This is not the "Hollywood-let's re-write the story-Kennith Brannagh, DeNero-version" and it is not overacted. It is the story as it was meant to be told; with all the pathos, depth and empathy that it was intended to inspire, as well as horror. I am impressed by Alec Newman,(dune) once again, and Luke Goss gives an outstanding performance. Sutherland and Hurt, as always, shine. Finally, there is a more-than-watchable version of the first true science fiction story ever written.
Having seen all of the "old" versions of Frankenstein, I was somewhat surprised to have yet another version of this film arrive in my mail, a gift from my daughter. "See what you think," she challenged. Although it seemed to take a long time to actually get into the story, once there, I was captivated. Apart from the fantastic scenery, great cast and literary accuracy, one more thing held my interest. As a researcher of human psychology and abnormal psychiatry, this film (hands down) is one to provoke serious contemplation of what makes people do what they do or don't do. I have watched it twice already and have plans on doing so again in the near future; it's that good.
When I first stumbled upon this film while channel-surfing, I thought
it was a bad vampire movie. After listening closely to the dialogue, I
realized that this was Frankenstein. Not only was it Frankenstein, but
it was the most true-to-the-novel Frankenstein I'd ever seen.
Generally made for TV movies aren't a double thumbs up, but this was actually very enjoyable. The acting was well and the scenery was gorgeous. I was very satisfied at how superb a job Hallmark did on Mary Shelly's classic.
If one wishes to see a more Universal-type Frankenstein, look no further than Boris Karloff's version. If, however, one is tired of Frankenstein remakes after Frankenstein remakes, all modeled after the Hollywood tellings and not Shelley's piece, then one will be pleased with Hallmark's version.
I give this an eight out of ten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Having grown up seeing the 'bolts in the neck', flat-headed
Frankenstein's monster that has been filmed, screened, parodied, etc
since time immemorial (or at least 1931), I finally was able to sit
down and actually read Shelley's Frankenstein one August evening
several years ago. I was unable to put it down. Shelley's story of
Gothic hubris, love and tragedy--note, not much horror, really--totally
captivated me. I was driven to read the novella in one night. So
naturally when I found out Kenneth Branagh did a version of the tale in
the 90s I was excited. Then, unfortunately for me, I watched it. What
an over-the-top, overblown mess! The pacing hurtled us forward at such
speed I thought I was watching the RD version of the story, taking
pause only long enough for Branagh to wrestle naked with The Creature
for 5 minutes in a vat of slime, causing me to utter an involuntary
'what the ****?' The acting was ridiculous as well, with otherwise fine
actors all cranking up the volume to 11 and doing nothing but either
shouting uncontrollably or whispering menacingly and nothing in
The only saving grace of that whole affair was Deniro's monster--but he still wasn't quite right...ugly, bald, and short. Not what Shelley described. Shelley didn't describe a flat-headed bolt-necked mumbling hulk either, but I have yet to see the Boris Karloff version so I withhold judgment on that film until I see it. This probably puts me in the minority of Frankenstein viewers (people who read the novel before seeing any film adaptations, except maybe 'Abbot and Costello meet Frankenstein').
Which brings me to this Hallmark adaptation. Finally, I feel, Hollywood has gotten it right. Go figure--it's because this version actually stays close to the source material, and it is excellent because of it. The Creature, for one, looks exactly as I pictured him in the novel, probably because...he looks the way he is described! Is this so difficult to accomplish? It must have been, because nowhere has it been done right before. Other commentators have complained that the Creature in this version is too sympathetic, too well spoken, too well read, etc. My comment to this is--read the book! The Creature was not a hulking horror or a twisted goblin, he was tall, gaunt and creepy (like he is here), but also tormented emotionally and highly self-educated, and it is easy to sympathize with him, just as in the novel.
To anyone unfamiliar with the source material it may be a surprise: Frankenstein is not a horror story. It is a Gothic melodrama, a Greek tragedy, an early science fiction story (that has been mimicked a zillion times, Jurassic Park is a good example). In fact, the subtitle for Shelley's classic is 'Frankenstein, or, A Modern Day Prometheus'. But Hollywood has taken the atmosphere of the novel and insisted that this be a horror story (for a horror story, read Poe, or perhaps Bram Stoker's Dracula, another novel that has been poorly interpreted dozens of times).
Everything is done well, from the excessively beautiful home of the Frankensteins to the smoky, brooding laboratory. The acting is fine throughout, with no missteps, if no brilliant performances, although the lead has several good moments of madness. But overall, the spirit of the book shines through everywhere in this adaptation--it isn't perfect, but it is the best so far to capture the moral ambiguity, the tragic darkness and the psychological horror (secondarily). And the Creature looks just right, with his flowing rags, scarred and moribund presence, and his tortured soul.
My only quibble is the 'science' of the story. Shelley made a point that Frankenstein would not reveal how he accomplished reanimation. Here it is explained that simply shocking a dead body will reverse death. This would have been more effective had much less been explained about how he did it. But that is a minor point. 8/10 from me.
Since I was a kid, I am fascinated for the romantic and dramatic tale
of Frankenstein, and I have probably seen all the adaptations released
in Brazil. This television version was a nice surprise for me: although
unnecessary, I liked very much since it is not a simple remake. The
locations are wonderful, and the film is very well produced. I liked
also the dramatic performance of the unknown Luke Goss in the role of
the needy creature; his character clearly expresses the need to be
loved and to love. Donald Sutherland is great as usual, and Alec Newman
does not disappoint in the role of the scientist Viktor Frankenstein.
The DVD released in Brazil has 154 minutes running time, and when I see
in IMDb that in USA the DVD has 204 min and in UK, 268 min, I dare to
say that the edition in Brazil was perfect, with a fluent continuity. I
really do not know which parts were cut, but certainly they were not
important. But I noted the minor participation of Julie Delpy in very
few scenes. Last but not the least, it is very weird that many
favorable reviews are made by users with only one review issued in
IMDb. This movie is good and does not need this type of apparently fake
promotion. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Frankenstein"
I liked this version. Sutherland and Hurt were good in this. In the beginning the acting seemed kind of bad but Alex Newman did a great job in this. For me, he really saved the beginning. I never saw the DeNero version so I can't say anything about it but I did see the Boris version and I did read the book and I have to say that it did impress me.Hurt was good, Goss was good, Sutherland was good,but Newman really made this movie I think. As for people saying that the dialog was annoying, it was annoying in the book too. Slow scenes were the same in the book. All in all, it was a good screening of the book. I liked having an articulate creature, it was how I pictured in while reading it. If the other actors had better acting in it, It would have raised the 'out of 10' rating for me.
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