So, another Frankenstein film. Let’s face it, most of them aren’t good, and the ones that are tend to be alternative takes on the story. Well, here we have a very different look at the story – literally, as it’s one told from the perspective of Igor. Speaking of which, he’s a character famous for being a hunchback, and a generally ugly person, inside and out, yet here he’s presented as a character that’s not just a handsome gentleman with excellent posture, but a very intelligent man. The big question is, do these massive changes make for one of the few good Frankenstein films, or will it simply be another film to add to the I, Frankenstein pile?
As I’ve already mentioned, Victor Frankenstein is an adaptation of the famous Frankenstein story, told from the perspective of his assistant / sidekick, Igor. This version presents the two main characters more as partners in crime than a mad genius and his physically deformed assistant, as they attempt to create life out of death.
This film relies very heavily on not only the acting of the film’s two leads, Victor Frankenstein, played by James McAvoy, and Igor, played by Daniel Radcliffe, but their relationship. Luckily for this film, and for us, both actors excel in their different takes on the characters, and they have the kind of chemistry most actor pairings can only dream of. There are quite a few funny moments, almost entirely thanks to these two, and when the more serious moments start happening, the performances follow. I also want to mention the outstanding physicality that Radliffe brought to the role of Igor, both as a hunchback, and as a man trying to stand straight at all times, but never quite getting it just right.
There are some other great actors in here too, although some of them get very little screen time, and I mean a bizarrely small amount. Charles Dance is in here, and while he’s great (as usual), he’s only in one scene, but that’s nothing compared to Mark Gatiss, who has no lines. That’s as many as me!
It’s not just the acting that’s good here, it’s the writing too. Max Landis has been making a bit of a name for himself in the online community for writing alternative, fan friendly scripts, and this is no exception. Some of the ideas here are wonderfully inventive, and all of the character motivations and plot developments not only make sense, but frequently go to places you wouldn’t expect. The design of the film matches the script almost beat for beat, with the creatures being physically repulsive, and the settings really helping to bring everything to life (pun fully intended).
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