Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Robert De Niro
MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN (1994). Director: Kenneth Branagh.

Kenneth Branagh [Wallander; Sidetracked] both directed and plays Victor Frankenstein in this version of the venerable story, that -- as expected, regardless of the title -- plays as fast and loose with Mary Shelley as any other Frankenstein movie. Unlike the novel, the film shows us the man who became the basis of the monster, and in a ridiculous scene that borders on travesty, Victor tries to bring Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter of Dark Shadows) back to life! Tom Hulce plays Henry Clerval, with Aidan Quinn as Captain Walton and Ian Holm [Another Woman] as the elder Baron Frankenstein. When I first saw this I was rather appalled by Robert De Niro's performance as the monster, but he seemed a bit better this time around. The actors are all good, but none are great, and the time frame is all wrong. This has a handsome production, but Patrick Doyle's score, while good, is frequently over-dramatic.

Verdict: "Mary Shelley's" Frankenstein this isn't! **1/2.


angelman66 said...

Funny, I have never seen this. I remember being so displeased with the 1992 reboot of Dracula that I thought this Frankenstein was going to be a letdown, too, so I skipped it. But maybe I should check it out after all...for DeNiro if nothing else.

William said...

It will be interesting to see what you think of De Niro's risky performance, which I believe divided critics at the time.