The most recent incarnation of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” finally made it to the theaters this week. This new twist to the “Frankenstein” saga, ‘Victor Frankenstein’, despite it’s name, is actually more about Igor (played by actor Daniel Radcliffe) and is told from his point of view. The Igor character does not exist in the original Mary Shelly version, or the 1931 movie, but was born in past remakes of the classic movie. In an interview with ‘EW’ Danielle Radcliffe shared, “It’s about creation, and Victor is not only creating this monster but in a sense Igor, who in the beginning of the movie is living in abject conditions and considered less than human.” Victor (played by a very manic James McAvoy) rescues Igor from his abusive life in the circus, seeing that there is more to him than his deformity. But does he do it for Igor or himself? Igor’s ability to understand the anatomy of animals and humans is useful to Frankenstein, but either way, he does make Igor into a new man by curing his abscess (in a gross train-wreck kind of scene), giving him a name, and making him his partner in his secret obsession to resurrect the dead.
Victor and Igor’s world, amid the lightning and thunder, the steampunk sets full of gears, pulleys, explosions, cracking dials and Tesla coils is a stark contrast to the grey Victorian London we see outside the laboratory. The backdrops of London and Scotland are beautiful effects though. McAvoy and Radcliffe have interesting chemistry and the movie is fun and lively, with some humor reminding us of Mel Brook’s “Young Frankenstein”. The scene at the Royal College of Medicine where Frankenstein presents his first Prometheus, a stitched-together homunculus built from multiple creatures, was very effective down to the flys coming out of the body. The ending of the movie falls a bit flat however after a lot of explosions, lightning, the monster, murder and flying spittle from Victor. There was no real solid conclusion, it was just over.
In the end though, after the questions about playing God, immortality, and the limits of science at the time are answered, Igor gets a chance to save his friend from his madness as Victor saved him from the circus. ‘Victor Frankenstein’ is a good movie, but not very deep, full of technology and beauty, some good acting, some overacting, with some characters coming and going without the script building upon who they really were. But I guess with an almost 2 hour run time- it didn’t need to be longer. All in all, a likable movie, worth seeing.
“So come up to the lab, and see whats on the slab”…oops wait, that’s another movie. Sorry.
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