Victor Frankenstein

by | Nov 30, 2015 | 0 comments

Weak Directing and Writing Bring Down the Cast’s Efforts

Daniel Radcliffe is pretty much set financially for the rest of his life. He made millions of dollars by playing Harry Potter in the Harry Potter franchise. He later moved to theatre, but occasionally came back in front of the camera, choosing his own projects, a luxury not many actors have. Unfortunately, his recent turns in film have been disappointing. Last year we had the gammy Horns and this year we have the scrappy Victor Frankenstein.

Victor Frankenstein is the story of the famous mad scientist, but told through the eyes of Igor. Igor (Daniel Radcliffe) works at the circus; he is beaten and humiliated as the clown. On his spare time he studies anatomy from books and is fascinated by it. One night at a performance, the beautiful trapeze performer Lorelei (Jessica Brown Findlay) has an accident; one of the spectators in the crowd, Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy), is a medical student and attempts to help, but is outwitted by Igor’s quick thinking in saving Lorelei’s life. Victor helps Igor escape the circus and takes him in as his partner in an ambitious scientific project.

The problem with this film was the script and the directing. The script had a good backbone, if one read the outline one would be pleased and almost intrigued, but the actual undertaking and detailing of the story was pathetic. The dialogue and even the crafting of the world and characters was so confusing that you doubted whether the screenwriter had even read Mary Shelly’s novel, or researched one bit of the 19th century. As for the directing, Paul McGuigan, also seems at loss and doesn’t quite know what mood to give his story, he attempts to make it humorous, dramatic, and deep, but he fails miserably at all three. He simply couldn’t agree, much less set, a simple tone for the film.

What end up saving this film from utter nonsense are two things. One is the fabulous set design and costuming, which make you take this film more seriously than you should. And second is the acting. The film had a very notable cast, with brilliant British actors apart from Radcliffe and McAvoy; you also had Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Andrew Scott (who plays an evil detective here), and even a cameo from Charles Dance (as Victor’s father). The actors try so hard to pull the film off that you sometimes forget how goofy the lines they are spurting are. They also give their characters a background and depth that the script and director were completely oblivious to.

However, the cast and art department alone can’t pull a film through if the two leaders in storytelling aren’t up for the task. The film ends up being a disappointment that the great actors don’t deserve to have on their résumé. 

  • OVERALL MOVIE RATING 2% 2%

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What is your favorite Frankenstein movie? Let me know in the comments section.

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