Film review: Victor Frankenstein (7 out of 10)

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in Victor Frankenstein

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in Victor Frankenstein

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I’ve lost count of the number of Frankenstein movies I’ve seen over the years - black and white versions, parodies, sequels, super hero type films.

So making another was rather a bold move.

Victor Frankenstein is a worthy effort, though.

The angle is that the story is told through the eyes of Igor, a circus clown and ‘hunchback’, who remarkably is something of a prodigy.

Bullied and reviled by most of his fellow performers, he seems to have gained an amazing knowledge of the physical form.

After an accident to his trapeze artist friend Lorelei he meets up with and is helped to escape by enthusiastic scientist Victor Frankenstein, and the two embark on a project to restore life.

Another change from the normal plot is that we have a very religious policeman, Inspector Turpin, intent on discovering what Frankenstein is up to.

However, this is really a film about the relationship between Igor and Victor. Daniel Radcliffe plays the former circus performer with James McAvoy getting the scientist role.

They certainly seem to work off each other well and we see a good development of character, with Igor gaining in confidence and Frankenstein losing the plot.

Andrew Scott is an excellent actor and his role as the inspector perhaps could have been given more depth.

In fact a number of the other characters would have benefited from more screen time.

Jessica Brown Findlay as Lorelei flits in and out of the story, while Charles Dance and Mark Gatiss just have fleeting appearances.

The film builds up to a dramatic final scene with plenty of action, but overall one of Igor’s early comments that ‘We know the story’ is all too true, even if this is more about the creators than the monster.

Film details: Victor Frankenstein (12A) 110mins

Director: Paul McGuigan

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol

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