Saturday, January 30, 2010
A Written Review: Frankenstein
The film Frankenstein is probably one of the most iconic films of the 1930’s. The line “It’s alive” is probably one of the most instantly recognizable lines in film history and has been used in countless other films and TV shows such as the recent action figure sketch comedy show Robot Chicken.
The creative aspects of Frankenstein were extremely good (especially for the time). It was great to see a good script finally come about due to the fact that this film was one of the newer “talkies.” The acting was also impeccable. Boris Karloff’s Monster sticks out in my mind as one of the more impressive sections of film acting out of this time period. One of the things that works so well about the time period that Frankenstein was produced was the fact that talking films were still coming into their own so actors like Boris Karloff were still trained on communicating with body language and facial expressions. I believe this was a huge plus to Karloff’s role as The Monster. Except for maybe Peter Boyle’s comic portrayal of The Monster in Young Frankenstein no one has been able to match Karloff’s silent beast.
In the technical aspects Frankenstein also scored high. From the impressive and expansive sets, to the absolutely beautiful cinematography, this film dragged you into the world of the story (even if you were kicking and screaming the whole way). The final scene where the angry mob burns down the barn where The Monster is taking shelter particularly stands out in my mind. Whereas most modern films would simply use a miniature or a digital set, in Frankenstein it’s quite apparent that an actual building was burnt. The way that the camera captured the flames licking high into the sky and being surrounded by the silhouettes of the various members of the mob is a stunning piece of camerawork.
My only issue with the film is that it ends abruptly with many lose ends still hanging in the balance. This is due to the fact that there is a direct sequel: The Bride of Frankenstein which I will be watching very soon.
Frankenstein is a classic and it deserves that title. The film impressed me in both its technical and artistic achievements. This film was yet another great stepping stone in film history.