Monday, 7 December 2015

Victor Frankenstein (4½ Stars)

Before going to see this film I was warned that it wasn't very good, according to the reviews of the clever film critics who know everything. This is probably the reason why hardly anyone from my film club went to see it. There were just two of us sitting together. And guess what? We both loved it! I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again: don't trust the critics! Go to see films yourself and make up your own mind.

The film is an exciting adventure story that deviates strongly from Mary Shelley's novel and the previous Frankenstein films, but it's close enough to remind us of what's gone before, especially the 1930's films made in America by Universal Studios. It's carried by the magnificent acting of the main characters, James McAvoy as Victor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as Igor.

The biggest difference from previous stories is that Igor isn't a dim-witted hunchback, he's an equal partner in the creation of the monster. Despite the name of the film, Igor is the main character, and the whole film is told from his perspective.

The film is set in London in the late 19th Century. Igor is a clown who has grown up in a circus. When he's not performing he reads medical books. Victor Frankenstein, who is an undergraduate student, not a doctor or a baron, recognises Igor's brilliance and takes him away from the circus. Together they work to create a living human being from dead tissue. Of the two, Igor is the cool-thinking sane person who sees and understands the consequences of their actions. Victor is the madman who wants to create life as if he were God. "There is no Satan, no God, only humanity, only me".

It's difficult for me to understand why the reviews are so bad. Maybe it's because "Victor Frankenstein" is so unlike the films that have gone before. This is a very enjoyable film that I'm sure I shall watch again and again.

There was some excitement going on at the cinema away from the screen. The film finished at five past six. As we were walking out a member of the cinema staff rushed in and told us that we should leave the building quickly because there was a fire next door. It wasn't just us who had been watching "Victor Frankenstein", everyone had to leave, even those who were in the middle of their films. Cineworld has 12 screens. When I got outside the fire was already under control. The fire brigade was extinguishing the last few flames. The fire wasn't next door, it was the same building, but the fire was above ground. One of the signs on the outside of the building had burst into flames, causing the metal above it to buckle and fall to the ground. The fire wasn't as bad as the photo makes it look. Nobody was harmed, and there was never any danger to anyone who wasn't standing directly below the sign.

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