quirky_thoughts: (Audrey sunglasses)
[personal profile] quirky_thoughts
I watched this last night. It's taken a whole year to be able to see it! It was the the filmed version of the stage play now showing in a few cinemas via NTL and was so popular that it's been given an encore run.

A little bit of background on it for those that don't know:

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is adapted for the stage by Nick Dear and realised by Danny Boyle in his return to the theatre after winning the Academy Award for best director for Slumdog Millionaire.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature.

I followed nature into her lair, and stripped her of her secrets! I brought torrents of light to a darkening world! Is that wrong?

Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.

All I ask is the possibility of love!

Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.

Slowly I learnt the ways of humans: how to ruin, how to hate, how to debase, how to humiliate. And at the feet of my master I learnt the highest of human skills, the skill no other creature owns: I finally learnt how to lie.


So, what did I think of it?

In this version Benedict was playing the creature and what a performance!  It was spellbinding. From the moment of his 'birth' to the final scenes, you felt his frustrations, his fears and anger as he discovered what and who he was. 

Frankenstein, played by Johnny Lee Miller, was an interesting character in this. He had his own defects which, unlike his creation,  couldn't be seen but lead him down a path to his own personal hell.

Such an interesting contrast between the two characters. The physically repulsive creature who was desperate for love and the attractive scientist  who was incapable of it.  Both destined to end up with each other. 

Before it started there was a nice little 15 minute prologue of movie clips from old Frankestein movies and some behind the scenes of the stage production and  a little bit on Mary Shelley.  That was a really nice way of getting us in the mood. 

I suppose it's fairly obvious that watching a stage production is going to be a totally different experience to seeing a movie,  but here you got a blurring of the two. It's something I've never seen before and it was fascinating. For one thing, watching a play you are viewing it from one place throughout which is restricitive but you get the incredible atmosphere that goes with it.  Here you get to see closeups and all the usual camera angles you'd expect, which draws you in but you can't forget that it's still on the stage and that what you're seeing is not a movie.

The sound effects were pretty incredible and the sets ran smoothly from one scene to another.

Also, some of the other characters were there to provide a bit of light relief and at times that was desparately needed because there weren't too many laughs to be had otherwise. Although the Creature had a few funny lines here and there, Frankenstein said a sexist remark that had the whole cinema laughing.  Me too.

The whole thing lasted a bit under 2 and half hours with no breaks. It was an intense experience and I loved it.

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