Coincidence in the timing of the outputs VOD this month, spectators can enjoy to compare two adaptations of the myth of Frankenstein. If since the publication of the novel in 1818, the collective unconscious is the Prometheus of Modern in victorian England, in reality, it was imagined by Mary Shelley in the romantic period, prior to the industrial revolution. Recalling the origins of this extraordinary work, one takes not only awareness of its character as a forerunner in the field of science fiction, but also of the terrain of metaphysical questioning it at the time, the ideals of libertarians and the shackles puritans who were battling it out at the time of the author was a teenager.
When Frankenstein has invested the media cinema in the twentieth century, the monstrous look of the creature was more marked in the mind of the spectators that the fate of the creator, and the story now belongs to the folklore of the terror gothic, represented by the Hammer Films that by the Frankenweenie of Tim Burton. But after so many farms in the novel, both adaptations and re-releases, the public is entitled to ask if newer versions can be both innovative and relevant. This probably explains why the spectators have shunned Dr. Frankenstein in Paul McGuigan to its theatrical release last November, and why Frankenstein for Bernard Rose had not even known operating on the big screen. Yet these two approaches to the myth have enough points of divergence to not go for duplicates, starting with their different budgets that determine all their bills visual respective, that the ambition of their scenarios.
Where Bernard Rose has a modest budget, forcing him to a realization of the raw around the edges and a transposition in the today’s world, his fellow brit Paul McGuigan has a comfort output and allowing him to deploy a technical device in narrative and imposing, and to bring to the screen his vision glorious of the England of the nineteenth century. But it is not the fundamental difference between the two films, since they are not two variations on the same theme, one contemporary, the other victorian, one broke, the other wealthy; they each have their own topic : one dedicated to the creature, the other to the creator. This difference of intention is so apparent, that Dr. Frankenstein appears as an “origin story,” genesis of the story repeatedly told, when Frankenstein ships, on the contrary, the experience and its details in a quarter-hour in order to better develop the consequences.
“The films each have their own topic : one dedicated to the creature, the other to the creator.”
Bernard Rose chose to film closer to its main character, played by Xavier Samuel, a young handsome young man disfigured and soiled, to better conform to his point of view and make us feel the violence with which the world receives it. And this world here takes on the aspect of hostile California contemporary, where the horror of the climate, urban will appear at the great day under an oppressive sun. A counter-proposal to the darkness gothic interesting since it allows the director of Candyman, give it to them again in the fantastic social character, in particular by deepening the role of the blind man and the importance of friendship in the story. Alas, the naivety of the film, the image of the creature, denies the whole of the thickness and sub-texts are essential to an adaptation of the book by Mary Shelley. Aligning the assault of the company against a being of which it does not understand the ugliness, or the beauty without dwelling on its origins, the scientific, the filmmaker forgets about the questions raised by the novel. Here, the creature could be Pinocchio, E. T, Chappie or an abandoned child, it wouldn’t change the spirit of the film. It is mainly a film about the breaking of the link of maternal (and not paternal : originality or the opposite direction ?)
During the first hour of Dr. Frankenstein, and Paul McGuigan seems to take into account the matters evacuated by Bernard Rose. It must, however, go beyond the first impression of an entry in the tap-to-eye, because the filmmaker applies his work to the dust of a myth, the same treatment like that of Guy Ritchie for Sherlock Holmes, with a great deal of visual effects and editing effects. But curiously, this treatment fades, little by little, the staging, the narration becomes most agreed and we managed to understand why the point of view chosen is that of the assistant of the doctor, Igor, interpreted by Daniel Radcliffe, full of good intentions but not yet seasoned. The idea of giving more space to this character, usually secondary, would be really useful if the dialogues not underlined with so little subtlety that the public can easily understand by the dramaturgy, to learn that Igor, is also in some way, a creation of Victor Frankenstein. But the concept of origin-the story loses steam in the second hour of the film, because the appearance of the monster is, by definition, constantly delayed; and without the monster, can we really speak of the myth of Frankenstein ?
Here is, therefore, the question that torments me after having seen and compared the two films : Why is it necessary to see two films to understand what is the creator and what is the creature ? The richness of the message of the original work comes from the confrontation between the two characters, a relationship is just as interdependent as that of the wise and candid in a quest story, of the civilized man and the wild in a philosophical fairy tale, the father and the son in our daily lives. Without a creator, no question of existence of the creature, and no creature, no consciousness of mortality and the vanity of the creator. Also if you want to see an adaptation of Frankenstein, I would rather recommend you the film of James Whale and his suite, which, moreover, possess the charm of the old films in black and white. And if you prefer to see what has been done to interesting around the myth recently, so I can recommend the series Penny Dreadful, or at least its first season, which while deviating from the narrative of Mary Shelley, fully understands the issues and the atmosphere.
Frankenstein Available on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD on march 8, 2016.
Dr. Frankenstein Available on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD on march 30, 2016.
AGREE ? NOT AGREE ?
• Achievement : Bernard Rose
• Screenplay : Bernard Rose
• Main actors : Xavier Samuel, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tony Todd
• Country of origin : USA
• Output VOD :march 8, 2016 on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD
• Publisher : Metropolitan FilmExport
• Duration : 1h30min
• Synopsis : When the Monster wakes up in a scientific laboratory, it does not know who he is : he is still a child in an adult body. He is innocent, but the violence that you inflicted upon him during medical tests is going to make him discover the existence of a strange world, dark and cruel. Wounded and left to himself, he criss-crossed the city, raising fear and terror among its inhabitants.
• Achievement : Paul McGuigan
• Screenplay : Max Landis
• Main actors : Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay
• Country of origin : USA
• Output VOD :march 30, 2016 to DVD, Blu-ray and VOD
• Publisher : 20th Century Fox
• Duration : 1h50min
• Synopsis : The scientific methods radical Victor Frankenstein and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman share a vision noble : to help humanity through their innovative research on immortality. But the experiences of Victor go too far, and his obsession leads to terrifying consequences. Only Igor can bring his friend to reason and save him from his creation as monstrous.