Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. TriStar Pictures, Japan Satellite Broadcasting, IndieProd Company Productions, American Zoetrope. United Kingdom/Japan/USA, 1994. Screenplay by Steph Lady, Frank Darabont, based on the novel by Mary Shelley. Cinematography by Roger Pratt. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola, James V. Hart, John Veitch. Music by Patrick Doyle. Production Design by Tim Harvey. Costume Design by James Acheson. Film Editing by Andrew Marcus. Academy Awards 1994.
Leaden adaptation of the popular Mary Shelley novel attempts to go the extra mile that James Whale’s 1931 version didn’t go by sticking to the more dramatic elements of the original material. We are given a thorough glimpse into the origins of Dr. Frankenstein’s (Kenneth Branagh) education where he first becomes interested in the science of re-animating human flesh for the purposes of creating his own race of human beings. His first major attempt results in a deformed, deranged creature (Robert De Niro) with a soft heart in search of love. Fear and exclusion is all he finds when he ventures out on his own, though, and the creature resolves to find his maker and exact his revenge upon him for the hellish life he has been condemned to. Helena Bonham Carter is fantastic as Frankenstein’s wife in this stylish horror film that starts off energetic but soon becomes too long and cluttered.