In 1814, Regency-era London, Mary Wollstonecraft-Godwin is a 16 years old aspiring writer who works in the bookshop of her renowned father writer William Godwin, married in second terms after the passing of his first wife, philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft, with the too married by second time Mary Jane Clairmont, where Mary Jane's daughter of her first marriage Claire turns in a close and lovely stepsister for Mary. When Mary and Claire travel at the house of one of William's friends in Scotland, Mary meets the 21 years old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, rising instantly a love interest between them. Returning to London little time later, Mary unexpectedly meets Percy again when he appears at her house in order to ask William to take him on as an apprentice. Fascinated by Percy, Mary begins a bohemian and torrid relationship with him despite the opposition of her father and her stepmother, especially after they discover that Percy is married with a little daughter whom he supports but he ...Written by
In 2014, it was announced Sophie Turner and Elle Fanning would be competing to play Mary Shelley. Turner's will focus on Shelley between the ages of 18 and 21 as she writes her classic novel and struggles to deal with its monstrous aftermath. Fanning's focuses on 17-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft's first love, in the form of the older Percy Bysshe Shelley. It was when producer Rose Ganguzza pointed out that the movie "is not a period drama," but "a gothic romance" that they went with Fanning. See more »
While at Lord Byron's villa, Percy receives word that his wife, Harriet, has died. However, this gathering at the villa occurred in the summer of 1816 while Harriet's body wasn't found drowned until December of that year. See more »
Even though the movie is clearly based on real people, including of course Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Claire Clairmont and many others, the end titles include the ridiculous disclaimer that "The characters depicted in this motion picture are fictitious, and any similarity to the history of any person is entirely coincidental." See more »
Over the Hills and Far Away
Traditional English ballad
Sung as a lullaby by Elle Fanning See more »
Conjecture and taking of liberties
Frankenstein is one of the greatest novels ever written. It was brilliantly conceived and executed and significantly ahead of its time. The Hollywood-ization of this novel is usually lacking all merit of the work, missing the novel's primary question: who was the greater monster-- the creature or the doctor?
This movie takes great liberties in dramatizing the life of the author prior to her writing the book. It does so fairly well-- to the point of discomfort in how women were viewed and treated in those intellectually stimulating but socially dark times. The climate of England and surrounding areas was one of bigotry, inequality and extreme prejudice. This film presents the despair of such times quite well, drawing the viewer into the potential feelings of the author when writing the book.
That is the weakness of the film: it is largely conjecture. As a work of fiction it does reasonably well. Lovers of gothic romance may be entranced (if unsettled) by the presentation and emotional darkness of the film. For what the writers and directors were attempting, they achieved to an extent. However the storytelling is somewhat interrupted and set back by unwarranted flashbacks and other film gimmicks that detracted from the reality of the story. One such gimmick is nowhere more obvious than at the very end of the film where they present a spoken line quite important to the movie-- AFTER text blurbs discussing the lives of the main characters. Such was poorly done and interrupted the flow of the movie right at the end-- in my opinion an unforgivable sin in movie making. (I might have given this another star were it not for that significant flaw in directing.)
As to the accuracy, that is likely irrelevant. This is a dramatization, and that's the simple truth of it. Whether the story is accurate or not is secondary to achieving its purpose. It tells the intended story decently-- just not well enough to draw in the viewer and make itself believable. It focused too greatly on inconsequential things of no matter to the story, and too little on issues of potential greatness. As such it was worth watching, but viewers might not expect storytelling anywhere near the expertise of the original novel.
To the viewer who wrote of hating the novel and enjoying the Hollywood monster movies much more-- everyone has personal opinions, but it is a sad situation when a novel the quality and impact of Frankenstein is not understood and appreciated, more so when publicly boasted.
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