It’s always a pleasure to see a film remind us of what the medium is good at. Film is visual. Writing is important of course (I’ll get to that in a minute) but movies are there to be SEEN. This movie was breathtaking from beginning to end. I’ve noticed a cheat lately on films where the first half hour is gorgeous and the rest could be made for TV. Spectre was bad for this. Not Victor Frankenstein though – this film was every bit as consistently beautiful as Crimson Peak and The Last Witch Hunter. Though cards on the table, I’m a sucker of Victorian England stuff, so Victor Frankenstein going to get a lot more love from me than perhaps it deserves.
Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Victor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.
I’m not sure we needed another Frankenstein movie. It’s only been a year since ‘I Frankenstein’ came out and I didn’t bother to go see it.
Though maybe I will now, I’m really liking this whole Frankenstein thing. Victor Frankenstein seemed fresh. I liked that it didn’t actually focus on the making of the monster or the monster’s struggles like the book did, but on the man that was Dr. Frankenstein – what made him this way, what his relationships and struggles were.
The writing on this one was a bit off in places. The characters were good and the dialogue was good but this movie had weird pacing. I wasn’t able to really pinpoint the moments of transition that I usually like to see, though at no point was it too fast or too slow. I wasn’t bored or confused. Until the third act, that is, which had some problems. I can’t really get into that without spoiling the heck out of it, so you’ll have to just take me at my word. For my money they could have rolled credits at the right at end of the second act (making the movie about pretty close to 100 minutes) and called it a day.
There was a whole homoerotic undertone to the whole relationship between Igor and Frankenstein. I’m not sure if that was intentional or if I was just reading into it. Could very well be the latter; I would do unspeakable things to Daniel Radcliff. But instead, let’s talk about Andrew Scott (who was also in Spectre). I can’t get over how good he is, I wish his part had been larger. He does this Quiet Intelligent Menace thing so well and that lends itself perfectly to villain roles. One day I’d like to see him in a lead role and see what he gives to that. The thing that gets me is his eyes – they can move from that dead predatory shark-like thing to deep and soulful. Charles Dance also deserves some props. He was only in one scene but stole the hell out of it.
Is this Victor Frankenstein worth going to see? Definitely, as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to watch it again, if only to stare at the incredible scenery (take that any way you like, you’ll probably be correct). I think a hallmark of a good film is the appetite it generates for more of the same. What would director Paul McGuigando with a sequel? I’d love to find out.