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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994)
My goodness, Branagh, how did you get through the door with a head that size?
The film was good. But.....
Good points first: It was almost completely faithful to the book until halfway through. Great acting from all involved. Music, costumes and scenery were all great.
Bad points: It strays from the book so much the further into the film you get. Most of the time, it's to make the story more dramatic and 'Hollywood'. For example: Justine is trialled in the book but hanged instantly in the film. Also, Victor meets the creature on a glacier whilst on holiday with his family in the book, whereas in the film the monster purposely comes to find him. Victor does not end up creating the second monster in the book, but in the film there is an awful sequence in which he reanimates Elizabeth, who was violently murdered. She then sets herself on her fire and runs through the house, setting it on fire and jumps from a large height. Many other changes were made, however some were simply to cut time (as movies do).
One major thing is that in the book, Frankenstein is a flawed man (a quality of a Greek Tragedy). This leads to his downfall, and nobody can deny it. However, in the film Ken Branagh obviously could not stand to play a bad character (think of what it would do to his image!), so any flaw of Victor mentioned is transferred to the creature, portraying him as the morally evil one. This completely rules out one of the key points in the book - the nature/nurture argument. If you raise your children properly, they will turn out fine. If you leave them to nature, anything could happen. Victor did not care for the creature, so eventually, after A SERIES OF TERRIBLE EVENTS (not caused by the creature), he has no choice but to turn bad. However, the film shows him as the bad guy (ok, when the monster is with the cottagers he's trying to be kind, but when he tells his tale to Victor, he is portrayed as completely evil - in the book, he's trying to make amends).
So there we go. If you have no intention of reading the book then watch this film. If you like extravagant scenes with explosions and violent deaths, watch this. However, if you love the wonderfully intelligent novel by Mary Shelley, you may want to give this one a miss (at least after watching half of it). I guess we're still waiting for a faithful film...
Very Good - and faithful!
This film is very good! It is well scripted and very funny (especially Willy Wonka!). They are VERY faithful to the book, unlike the first movie. They used squirrels cracking nuts (as it is in the book, no geese laying eggs - what do eggs have to do with chocolate?????) They even included Prince Pondicherry's Chocolate Palace, and the children coming out of the factory at the end - which was a nice surprise! I also liked the fact that all the Oompa Loompa's songs contained the original lyrics from the book, and that Deep Roy played them all! The flash backs were also a very clever idea: a good way to show what was written in the book! They counted out all of the pointless and made-up things that were in the first film: Charlie and Grampa Joe burping, making them fly and that weird man who is Wonka's assistant that makes the children collect the everlasting gob-stoppers! Overall, a FANTASTIC film, I say: GO AND SEE IT!