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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very gothic, very melodramatic
Overall I like this adaption of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein. I know that opinions are very mixed on this film but I think some of the more negative reviews are a bit unfair. Yes it's overblown and over the top in places, but it is a gothic horror story so what else is to be expected?

The performances are very good: Robert De Niro is impressive in a very...
Published on 4 Feb 2010 by Oliver

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gaudy Gothic
Few would argue that Mary Shelley's novel is a great as distinct from a famous and significant novel. There are important ideas raised by her tale of a modern Prometheus but she hasn't the skills to realise them: she was, after all, just nineteen when she wrote it.

Adaptations seize upon the theme but take all sorts of liberties with her plot and...
Published 12 months ago by Enobarbus


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gaudy Gothic, 7 Dec 2013
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Few would argue that Mary Shelley's novel is a great as distinct from a famous and significant novel. There are important ideas raised by her tale of a modern Prometheus but she hasn't the skills to realise them: she was, after all, just nineteen when she wrote it.

Adaptations seize upon the theme but take all sorts of liberties with her plot and characterisation. Brannagh claims this to be the film of Mary Shelley's novel and compared with a Hammer Horror, it is remarkably faithful to the outline of the plot and contains some intelligent restructuring of events. Unfortunately, Brannagh, infatuated by Helena Bonham Carter, turns the film into a vehicle for her trademark battiness (just as he did in Hamlet); she likes nothing more than dressing up in old clothes and setting fire to herself (vide her apotheosis as a travesty of Miss Havisham) : she doesn't really do ethereal chastity or plausibly nineteenth century womanhood along the lines of Shelley's untouchable Elizabeth. So the film becomes just another melodramatic romp, based on Shelley's novel but faithful neither to its tone nor its procedures. Even the message is confused: here the Monster has a murderer's genes whereas the whole point is that we should see him as a noble savage, corrupted by a prejudiced and flawed society. It's a pity: Robert de Nero is potentially as engaging a character as Frankenstein's creation is in the novel: he really deserves far more screen time. Unfortunately, his part is curtailed just so Brannagh can spend precious minutes showing off his body, groping Miss Bonham Carter and resurrecting her, absurdly, so she can do her party piece as a Monster Bride. Auditioning for Tim Burton, in effect.

Film people amusing themselves at huge expense. I wonder if anyone will ever film Mary Shelley's novel as written? We can only hope Danny Boyle's intelligent adaptation for the National Theatre will find its way to the screen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very gothic, very melodramatic, 4 Feb 2010
By 
Oliver "papyrus11" (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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Overall I like this adaption of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein. I know that opinions are very mixed on this film but I think some of the more negative reviews are a bit unfair. Yes it's overblown and over the top in places, but it is a gothic horror story so what else is to be expected?

The performances are very good: Robert De Niro is impressive in a very different role for him (the monster). Kenneth Brannagh (who also directs the film) is perfect as Frankenstein, a young man whose frenzied ambition clouds his judgement. But it's the look and style of the film that makes it: huge, ornate and looming sets that really make the scenes come alive.

Although there have been a few liberties taken with the plot, overall it is the same. More importantly the original themes and ideas still come through (science altering humanity too much, for example).

Yes, the film is a bit overbaked, and at times can feel a bit hammy, but that doesn't stop it from being a very enjoyable film, especially if you like the book. I think Mary Shelley's novel is one of the greatest of all time and this film is a very worthy adaption. Recommended!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feel the emotion, let yourself go. This is amazing, 9 Nov 2003
By 
M. D. Hart "Boz Phiz @ DVD" (London) - See all my reviews
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Neopolitan ice cream; chocolate, straberry and vanilla. Which do you take first? People can often spend ridiculous amounts of time choosing things which seem trivial at best. Movies are not ice cream, this is serious business.....
.....the difficulty in writing a review is that everybody watches movies in different ways. Some are attracted to cast, some are attracted to plot, some to action, some to setting. Frankenstein is packed full of absolutely everything that a movie needs to be successful, so ask yourselves; what am I looking for here? Are you looking just to see the scar make-up on the monster? Are you watching to enjoy fantastic performances by a delightful British cast? Are you watching to enjoy the most modern screen-adaptation of a story that you read when you were young?.....
....whatever your purpose, I suggest you BUY this DVD. Branagh has given this movie everything; his cast is first-class, and the story is not only very powerful, but very moving as well. It is the single, only and last adaptation to ever capture the true torment and anguish of the Frankenstein 'Monster'. As a fellow reviewer has said, De-Niro captures the need for sympathy in the Monster very well. He shows us the need for acceptance and the desire to learn......frankly, this movie teaches us all something about our own existance. Do you remember all the times you have seen people be treated as outsiders because they do not fit the description of 'normal'? It happens every day.
If you have not seen this movie; if you have not considered it, consider it now because this movie is more than just another Frankenstein flick. This is companionship, friendship, a great love story and extrememly glamorous and well designed sets rolled into one huge cinematic offering, and it needs to be enjoyed by all. Just wait until you see the power of the ending.....it will bring tears to your eyes.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent adaptation true to the vision of the novel, 21 Feb 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a masterful motion picture. While it does take a few liberties with Shelley's classic novel, it does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the original story, specifically the humanity of the creature. While a little over-the-top at times and surprisingly gory, this film forcefully echoes Shelley's philosophical, moral, and ethical questions, and by so doing redefines the creature in its original image. What I have always found to be the most crucial scenes in the story are here displayed in all of their troubling glory, and perhaps it is the heightened intellectual nature of this film that explains why a surprisingly large number of people find disappointment where I find stimulating triumph. There are enough horror-laden scenes to capture the attention of the general horror lover, but the real substance of this story, for those who prefer their monster to serve as a complicated, amoral representation of man himself, is ambrosia for those who are more fascinated by the questions Frankenstein raises than by the horrors he unleashes.
The inspiration for young Victor Frankenstein's obsession with conquering death is delineated pretty clearly, given its most intense emotional charge by the death of his doting mother while giving birth to his little brother. His time at university is a little rushed, however, strangely incorporating the influence of a mentor whose work Victor vows to complete; where the older doctor halted his studies out of fear, Victor will push over the brink without hesitation. Victor's lab is a bit overdone, featuring all manner of miscellaneous gizmos, vials, and wossnames that look impressive with blue bolts of electricity (not generated by lightning, by the way) pulsing through them. The monster, as we first meet him, is less than impressive, and a prolonged scene of Victor water-wrestling a guy wearing a patently fake body suit inserts a little unfortunate levity into what should be a most serious scene. Victor's reaction to his creation is probably the weakest spot in an otherwise powerful film, as his sudden repudiation of everything he has ever worked for rings patently false.
It is with the entrance of the monster, however, that this film truly begins to shine. Mary Shelley's monster is not evil, nor is he a monster in the stereotypical sense by which he has come to be viewed by modern audiences. He is most definitely a victim and a creature deserving of much sympathy. Abandoned by his creator, his first interaction with mankind finds him fleeing a mob intent on hurting him for no reason apart from his ugliness. He takes shelter in a pigsty adjoined to a simple house in the country, and through a crack in the wall he not only learns to read and write, he gets to experience vicariously the joys and travails of family life. He becomes a guardian angel of sorts, secretly helping the family survive and prosper. At Christmas, in a truly touching scene, he finds a gift the family has left outside for their secret helper. One day, he gets a chance to actually interact with the blind old man of the house, sitting and conversing with another human for the first time in his wretched life, but all too quickly the family he had come to think of as his own, chases him away with blows and curses. If your heart does not break at the sight of the creature sobbing in the forest after this ultimate betrayal by mankind, you are the true monster. This whole scene is absolutely critical in terms of explaining who the monster is and why he does what he goes on to do, yet most film adaptations skip this scene entirely. Only now does the creature vow to seek revenge on the creator who abandoned him; only now has this ultimate victim become a monster in the form of amoral man.
The rest of the film is handled quite well, and Helena Bonham Carter is simply wonderful in her role as Victor's significant other. The ending goes beyond the scope of the original novel, and it does so in a strikingly grisly way, but the overall effect of this film is true to Shelley's original vision. Robert De Niro gives a particularly compelling performance as Frankenstein's monster, the look and feel of the late eighteenth-century setting is spot on, and the musical soundtrack complements the plot extraordinarily well. While I would prefer to see a movie strictly faithful to Shelley's novel, this exemplary albeit somewhat effusive adaptation hits the core messages of the story dead on and stands, in my opinion, as a truly impressive cinematic accomplishment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Verison, 30 Mar 2014
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My only qualm with this, is that after they find the lil kid that was killed by the monster...the rain is coming down heavy, they rush to cover his corpse in a blanket...and for a split second you see the child's hand pull the blanket over himself. Great movie thought. Helen L B Carter - Perfect and beautiful as always.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant adaptation., 19 Jan 2014
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S. Reason - See all my reviews
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This is such a stunning film, very well scripted, acted and set. I cannot fault this film and at the price I paid for it, amazing value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 16 Jan 2014
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I have always loved this adaption of Frankenstein, even moreso because it stars Helena Bonham Carter. This is a fantastic watch and I would recommend to any fan of the supernatural.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reviewed by an old fantasist!, 9 Nov 2013
By 
Mr. Alan Crawley "414alanc" (Bradford UK) - See all my reviews
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An absolute classic, re-told in a more believable form.
Great effects, brilliant acting. Will watch it again and again.
Terrific!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, 19 Aug 2013
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I love this film. I first saw it on TV and it took me a while to realise the Robert De Niro was actually playing the monster as I didn't se it from the start.! He was really good and makes a change from the usual characters he plays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good value for a film that is very gothic!, 21 July 2013
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many complained about Branagh's film being over the top- but it perfectly captures the Gothic ,over the top nature of the novel- so it's well worth a watch!
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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein [DVD] [1994] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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