‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’
‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ is the 1994 film adaptation of the gothic novel ‘Frankenstein’ directed by Kenneth Branagh. It is about Victor Frankenstein - an eccentric scientist who believes that the way to cheat death is to create life. ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ undoubtedly conveys and warns us of the dangers of obsession through a number of characters, which engages the audience in the story. Characters such as Victor, the creature and the captain inspire such behaviour through different situations. Victor is obsessed with creating life, the creature is obsessed with seeking revenge and the captain is obsessed with wanting to find a way to the North Pole- all in which result in very grave situations.
The first example in the film is the protagonist in the film, Victor Frankenstein. Victor believes that the only way to create life is to cheat death, which is seen as a recurring scenario in this film and as a result, many people, those particularly close to him have died. There are many examples in which this is shown; after experiencing and mourning over the death of his mother through childbirth, he visited her grave and swore to his mother that he’d find a way to ‘fix it’ because she had never deserved to die. A few years on, when Victor had begun attending university he spent a majority of his days working with the professor on various experiments when one day he suggested to the professor his idea of bringing the dead back to life. The professor had warned him off, but then one day he was stabbed and killed. Victor, absolutely infuriated, decides to search for the professor’s diaries only to find that he was on the right track. He creates the creature using body parts from a number of people, namely the professor’s brain. During the project, he was so absorbed in completing his project that he never wrote back to Elizabeth once, and when she paid him a visit, he shut her out though he vowed to stay by her side at all times. As the story progresses and Victor finally creates the creature and brings it to life, he realises what he has done and abandons the creature to die. The creature is infuriated and seeks revenge on Frankenstein which results numerous problems for both Victor and his family. The ignorant and obsessive behaviour of Victor warns the audience off of the dangers of obsession and the endless feeling of guilt and regret one will receive when acting upon thinking. The creature, the ‘life’ that Frankenstein created is obsessed with seeking revenge with Frankenstein himself. This is because after he was created by Frankenstein, he was abandoned and left to die. Instead, the creature survived and went off to the countryside away from the city. He finds a shed belonging to a poor family and resides there for a few days. There, he watches over the family and develops the emotions of love, care and family and also the ability to speak, read and write. Eventually, he discovers Victor’s diary and through reading finds out that he was an ‘unsuccessful experiment’ and that Frankenstein left him to die. The creature is obviously aggravated by this and swears that he’ll bid revenge on Frankenstein for leaving him to be isolated in a world he is not familiar with. He then takes measures to make his way back to Geneva and kills William, Victor’s younger brother and gets Justine hanged by making it seem as if she killed William herself. Throughout the film, we believe that the creature wants to kill Frankenstein although in fact he reveals that he wants Frankenstein to create him a female companion so that he wouldn’t be ‘ugly’ and alone. Little did he know that the creature planned to take Elizabeth’s heart out on their wedding night so that Frankenstein had no other choice but to create a second creature using Elizabeth’s organs. However, Frankenstein refuses bluntly and selfishly recreates Elizabeth for