Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Victor Frankenstein

Year: 2015
Director: Paul McGuigan
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, Charles Dance

Plot: The well known story of Victor Frankenstein and how he created his monster, told from Igor's point of view.

Review: The story of Frankenstein and his monster is known to many, but I don't think there has been one that is told from the perspective of Igor, his assistant.

In director Paul McGuigan's version, Igor is a hunchback circus clown badly abused by the ringmaster and his men, who impresses Victor Frankenstein, a man in the audience with his medical knowledge when he saves the circus' star acrobat, Lorelei. The slightly mad doctor rescues Igor from his sad predicament and hires him to assist on bringing the dead back to life. Indebted to the man, who also fixes his posture, Igor agrees. The two men proceed to test and experiment with many dead animal parts to successfully create life out of death. Their efforts attract the unwanted attention of a Scotland Yard inspector who doesn't take too kindly to ungodly activities.

McGuigan, who directed the underrated Push, does a great job in terms of authenticity. The look, feel and mood of the Victorian era is rather accurately displayed here. The script is quite good too, making room for lots of entertaining dialogue and fast paced action sequences, thus the film is rarely dull.

The film however is not without flaws. Daniel Radcliffe, while doing a solid job in portraying Igor, isn't really challenged by the script. He's basically playing a good man who is trying to save his friend from disaster. The fact that they put him in a romantic subplot with Lorelei (acted well by Jessica Brown Findlay but poorly written) shows that McGuigan and company desperately want us to see him as the hero here, added to the fact that Igor is telling the story. James McAvoy is very impressive as Frankenstein, throwing in lots of charm, eccentricity and wit to present a man who is determined, intelligent but dangerous at the same time. Andrew Scott, fresh from playing C in Spectre, is much better as the inspector here, giving an ice cold vibe to his character. The always welcome Charles Dance is superb as Frankenstein's father, despite appearing in only one scene.

The film worked pretty well for the first two thirds, and unfortunately succumbs to a weak ending after a badly choreographed climax, with an opening for a sequel. It would have been better if they just ended it right there.

Overall, Victor Frankenstein is a fun watch, but slightly forgettable. The best reason to go see this is James McAvoy. (7/10)

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