Victor Frankenstein

Posted in Reviews, Top Stories by - November 25, 2015
Victor Frankenstein

Frankenstein isn’t a new movie idea. Including TV versions, there have been at least a dozen in the last ten years. Each time a new one comes out, it has a slightly different twist, playing more on humor, fear, or humanity. Victor Frankenstein, though, made the idea its own, hitting a weird combination of “My Fair Lady,” the question of humanity, and the fears of an upcoming World War II.

The action begins at the circus where an unnamed hunchback, played by ever-popular Daniel Radcliffe, declares his lack of knowledge for anything but the circus, but balances this buffoonery by his talent at drawing and medicine. His love for the beautiful trapeze artist, Lorelei, played by Jessica Brown Findlay, shows that even within a circus, there are still class distinctions. This Quasimodo will never be loved by this Esmeralda if they remain where they are. The only solution to this problem is to let them both be rescued from their current stations.

Victor Frankenstein, James McAvoy, comes along to save the hunchback, and cures the hunch in perhaps one of the grossest and funniest scenes in the movie. He christens him Igor after his missing roommate, a question that hangs in the air for most of the movie but does get an amusing but expected answer at the end. The shift from clowning buffoon to society man made me think of Eliza Doolittle being taken in and “fixed” so she could get on in polite society. Meanwhile, after Lorelei is recued, she goes on to become the public consort to a buffoon of a different sort who hopes to hide his private preference for men. Meanwhile, Frankenstein’s experimentations have not gone unnoticed, and police inspector Barnaby, Daniel Mays, is out to right the moral wrongs that he imagines are going on behind closed doors.

The movie bumbles along a bit, but it manages a fair amount of humor and some well-done backdrops. England is dirty, and the views are not meant to bring hope – they are dark and dreary, but purposely and wonderfully. One of the most enjoyable bits of eye candy is when the drawings of human bodies are overlaid on top of the characters, showing off the bones and muscles with a style reminiscent of old medical texts.

The problems are minor, but they damage what could be an otherwise memorable addition to the pantheon of Frankensteins of the past. Igor knowing how to cut his hair, use a razor to shave, and swim seem rather improbable skills for an otherwise abused and mistreated clown who is often kept in a cage. The fact that Lorelei is allowed into the school of medicine for a lecture when Victor is showing off an experiment was, to me, one of the least believable scenes in the movie. I can’t speak to the science of the film, but I have an inkling that no one is actually meant to examine it too closely or it would fall apart.

While it’s fun, the heavy handed handling of humanity with repeated arguments about life and death, morality, moral duty, and overcoming nature and God take up a bit too much time that could have been spent on action or more exciting Frankenstein experiments. Humanity and owning others is also overly present, with both Igor and Lorelei “owned” by others, having to try to carve out time to see each other, with constant and annoying reminders that Igor owes Frankenstein for his creation of him. Finally, the addition of a not so anonymous benefactor who fits the perfect Aryan stereotype who is willing to pay for Victor’s experiments in hopes of owning the ability to build perfect men plays into the fears of the upcoming World War II in their world. The saddest part of this movie, though, is that Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor never gets the opportunity to show off his ass. No matter the flaws, the movie is a solid watch and worth the 109 minutes.

Official Trailer:

Please follow and like us:
This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *