There have been so many versions and retellings of the “Frankenstein” story. This year’s Victor Frankenstein movie may have sprung from Mary Shelley story but it seems more an homage to Mel Brooks’ 1974 film Young Frankenstein where the doctor now has his faithful assistant “Igor” by his side.
Igor the hunchback, of course, is played by comedian Marty Feldman, best known for his big bug-eyed look. It also borrows from the 1931 Frankenstein with Boris Karloff playing the monster with his flat head and screws by his neck.
Victor Frankenstein with its gothic and steampunk visuals instantly reminded me of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock. Both films are trying to do slick a modern take on classic literary figure, both casting a tandem of A-list actors.
James MacAvoy is Victor Frankenstein—rather brilliant but also a raving, obsessed lunatic, hence MacAvoy’s truly over the top performance. I don’t know whether he is taking the character too seriously or if he is going over the top for a comedic effect. Daniel Rad-cliffe is his Igor—trying to be supportive but also trying to reel his friend in. Victor is constantly prone to going overboard.
Joining MacAvoy and Radcliffe in this hodge-podge tale is Jessica Brown Findlay who probably shouldn’t have left Downton Abbey. Her turn in A Winter’s Tale was forgettable and unfortunately, her character here, Lorelei, does little to advance the plot. She basically just sits there and looks pretty and the story could have progressed without her.
Finally, there’s Andrew Scott. The Moriarty to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock seems rather in demand these days. But a few weeks ago, he was just in Specter.