Danny Boyle's Frankenstein Viewing 1.2

Yes, Danny Boyle's Frankenstein was popular enough in the cinemas the last round that it got re-broadcasts this summer. Hells yeah I watched it again!

This time around, I had purchased a ticket to the showing with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Johnny Lee Miller as Victor. Unfortunately, the showing was still the one with Miller as the Creature and Cumberbatch as the Doctor, an unfortunate mistake on the cinema's part. This coming Saturday they promise they'll be showing the correct screening, but as I'd already paid upwards to twenty dollars for this special event, I was a tad disappointed.


It's still a great show, and really stands up to a second viewing. Having read the script in the space between my first time last year and this one, there were things I was looking for and references that were much clearer this time around. I honestly don't think I noticed the Sistine Chapel imagery the first time, which is hilarious to me now because it's kind of heavy-handed:

  • In their initial discourse, Victor and the Creature make a deal regarding a mate for the Creature. They shake on the deal, and as they withdraw, their fingers linger long enough to recall God and Adam.
  • In the final scene set in the Arctic, Victor is weak and lying on the ground. The Creature pulls him up with one arm. For one moment they look very much like God and Adam, except this time the Creature is on the right side, and Victor on the left. SYMBOLISM.
  • "I should be Adam" - The Creature in Scene 24.
The thing that bothered me the last time around, the casting of Frankenstein's father, hasn't changed one bit. The actor just doesn't fit with the rest of the cast; his line delivery is odd and at times unintentionally funny, and he doesn't command the kind of respect I would have expected from someone who is said to be a magistrate.

I'm anxious to see the alternate casting though, because I want to see how having dual roles affects the overall and complete performance of both. According to Johnny Lee Miller in the short film they show at the beginning, a lot of his Creature has seeped into his Victor. As a performer and a theorist, I really want to see that kind of 'two halves of a whole' thing.

This time around I saw this show with a group of friends who are admitted Cumberbitches. Last time I'd seen it with my father and another friend. The atmosphere was slightly different, way more receptive. There was a lot more emotion coming from our row of the cinema than the last time. It reminded me of that scene in Farinelli where the titular character gives that duchess an orgasm through the pure force of his performance. If they come again this Saturday to see Benny in the actual tortured role, I think that the collective pathos will actually destroy the block.

What was really great was that everyone I saw the show with looked really interested in seeing other live broadcasts from the National Theatre. This was a really positive experience for them, and I hope the NT takes note and programs a lot more of these events in the near future.

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