In 1794, in the Arctic Sea, Captain Robert Walton is a man obsessed to reach the North Pole, pushing his crew to exhaustion. When his ship hits an iceberg, it is stranded in the ice. Out of the blue, Captain Walton and his men overhear a dreadful cry and they see a stranger coming to the ship. He introduces himself as Victor Frankenstein and he tells the Captain the story of his life since he was a little boy in Geneva. Victor is a barilliant student, and in love with his stepsister Elizabeth, an orphan that was raised by his father Baron Victor von Frankenstein. In 1793, Victor moves to Ingolstadt to study at the university, and he promises to get married to Elizabeth. At the university, Victor befriends Henry Clerval, who becomes his best friend. Victor gets close to Professor Waldman and decides to create life to cheat death, but Waldman advises him that he should not try this experiment, since the result would be an abomination. When Waldman dies, Victor steals his notes and tries...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The producers were hesitant about casting John Cleese as Professor Waldman since he was considered a comic actor with the looks to match. To make Cleese appear more serious, they fitted him with a prosthetic chin and teeth that made his looks more sharp and grave. See more »
When Professor Waldman is administering cholera vaccinations, and they are struggling with the townsperson, the man is saying, "You're not sticking that in me," but his mouth remains tightly closed. See more »
Good but a bit too worthy and full of it's own self importance
Victor Frankenstein is the son of a famous doctor who watches his mother die in labour with his younger brother. As an idealistic young man he travels to university to study to become a great doctor. However he brings with him non-scientific teachings he has researched into life and the influence of electric currents. His belief is supported by shadowy lecturer Dr Waldeman and Frankenstein continues his work and brings a man back to life using parts of other men. Realising what he has done, Frankenstein leaves his monster to die but the creature learns fast and wants revenge for his creation.
I have seen far too many monster movies that all blur together and share the same focus on effects and gore than story or character. So when this was promoted as being close to the original material, dark and more of a story than a horror I was looking forward to watching it. For the most part it sort of works but it's main flaw runs all the way through it like a stick of rock it's far too worthy. Or at least it thinks it is. The film has a constant swell of dramatic music that is only ever seconds away and it really makes the film feel grander and more serious than it really is. The film isn't scary but that wasn't a problem to me it just has all these big worthy dialogue scenes with sudden pauses (up comes the music) and then lines. It doesn't work and the film feels heavy and even dull as a result.
This is never more evident than in Branagh's own performance. He is far too dashing and too much of a young man gone wrong to be believed. If he'd played it a little less worthy he would have been more of a human and less a cardboard type. De Niro really tries hard and did well for me. He may be stuck with a creature but it has been developed past the cliché (but not far enough perhaps). I did feel for him and it was all De Niro's doing. Carter is miscast both before and after far to light and modern for the role, Briers is OK but Cleese is way to miscast. First of all the fact that he only appears half in shadows and when he opens his mouth the music comes up doesn't help, but it didn't feel like him. Quinn is a good cameo but the majority of the cast seem to have bought into the whole `worthy' thing and are dulled as a result.
Overall the film is worth watching because it is a good telling of the classic tale and De Niro does a good job of showing us the basic human behind the combined dead body parts. If only Branagh hadn't been overwhelmed by the sheer importance of what he thought he was doing and had let the film flow and bit more and given in less to worthy music, acting and directing.
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