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Examine the complex story of Mary Shelleys novel Frankenstein.

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Frankenstein This essay will examine the complex story of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein as it has been portrayed in the 1931 James Whale movie version called Frankenstein and in the 1994 Kenneth Brannagh . In this essay I will compare the two Frankenstein movies and cover some important points like describing Doctor Frankenstein and the monster he has created, the use of lighting, symbolism, music and sound, emotions and genre. I will also compare in what ways do these two movies have different settings and why. I thought it would be interesting to also include a short analysis on the problem's involved in making the movie adaptation that have been based on Mary Shelley's original novel. There have been many movie adaptations to the Frankenstein novel by Mary Shelley throughout the years. However James Whale's 1931 movie Frankenstein and Kenneth Brannagh's 1994 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are the most well-known. Comparing these two movies reveals many similarities but also many differences in the way the two directors try and stir up their audiences emotions such as fear, horror, shock, tension, compassion and empathy. The directors have used some different techniques such as, the use of lighting, camera angles and shots, sound effects, music and mise-en-scene (settings). ...read more.


As red is a very powerful colour often used to symbolise evil, the red wall may represent hell and evil and make the audience imagine that whatever happens next will be scary. Whale also uses symbolism in his movie. This is shown in the creation scene when Doctor Frankenstein is wearing a white coat. White is a colour that often represents purity and cleanliness and so maybe trying to show that Doctor Frankenstein is good, pure and maybe even god like. This is in contrast to Brannagh's portrayal of Doctor Frankenstein that is shown to be more casual in an open shirt, messy hair and even sweating. This shows that Brannagh's Doctor Frankenstein is more relaxed and that he may even think of the monster he created as a son not an experiment. For the most part Doctor Frankenstein is portrayed very differently by both directors throughout there films. Whale's Doctor Frankenstein as we have seen has been portrayed as pure, clean, in control, very meticulous, scientific and also very cold. In contrast, Brannagh's Frankenstein has been portrayed as more relaxed, physically strong and more compassionate. However, in some of the scenes, both directors chose to show Doctor Frankenstein as large and powerful by using certain camera angles and shooting techniques such as tracking shots and using shots from below. ...read more.


Another point that is important to mention is how difficult it must have been for both directors and writers to have tried to make their movies based on the original book. As with any book there is no time limit so the author can give the reader a lot of detailed information. This gives the reader enough information to wake up his imagination. When making a movie it is basically impossible, because of a time limit, to include all these important details. Directors have to find a way of stirring up the audiences imagination but also making it straight forward. In conclusion, James Whale and Kenneth Brannagh created two very different movies bassed on the legendary story of Frankenstein. In 1931 Whale made his movie to scare and horrify his audience staying true to the gothic genre where as Brannagh in 1994 made his movie as more of an action film, staying close to the original novel as possible. Because of this all the techniques such as lighting, sound, character portrayals and settings were different. I find that the 1994 version was more affective at creating tension and holding the audience's attention better. Although the 1931 movie was a more traditional horror movie it was new for the time period it was made and probably did scare the audience as it was suppose to. I still prefer Brannagh's version as it uses more modern effects and technology. ...read more.

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