When taking a literary masterpiece and adapting it into a film, the result is typically two works that differ. Although taking a novel and condensing it into a two-hour film results in a film with many gaps or relatively important scenes missing, Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, appears to have all the same elements of the original literary work.
Branagh’s interpretation appears to show more similarities than differences as a result of his efforts in preserving Victor Frankenstein’s true nature, making the creation as eloquent as he is in the novel, depicting the warmth found in both Victor’s family and his love for Elizabeth and finally his attempt at keeping the frame tale throughout the entire film. Victor Frankenstein in Shelley’s novel is not portrayed as the typical mad scientist people put his out to be, but rather a sane man whose intelligence put the lives of others—and his own—in danger.
Branagh agrees with this as he states in his article, “we believe Victor Frankenstein is not a mad scientist but a dangerously sane one. ” Branagh further develops this idea by making Victor appear as a Renaissance man of sorts, a character with whom that the audience shows signs of compassion and can relate. Unlike most film versions of Frankenstein, Branagh actually makes an attempt at making the Frankenstein creation as eloquent as he is set to be in the original work.
Branagh acknowledges that most people only know Frankenstein through comic portrayals and the Addams family. Branagh took the ice cave scene found in the book and made Frankenstein’s creation an articulate being—this not being the case in previous films. Previous film adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein fail to shine light on Victor’s family, something about which the novel goes into detail alongside Victor’s love for Elizabeth. According to Branagh, his film “depicts the Frankenstein household as a warm and loving one. This being an essential factor in Victor’s life is included in Branagh’s interpretation and it is clear he put much time and effort into perfecting the scenes. He also shows a clear demonstration of Victor’s love for Elizabeth. Branagh does not fail to demonstrate that Victor believes his “work will be a finite thing, that he will get over with and then come home. ”
About the most essential factor within the text of Frankenstein is the frame tale. Branagh explicitly states that he “borrowed from Shelley the story-telling device of a tale within a tale. He also includes Walton’s tale—which is also found in the novel. Although yet to experience the film itself, based off the article written by Branagh himself, he shows a clear effort for trying to remain true to the text. Branagh’s interpretation appears to show more similarities than differences as a result of his efforts in preserving Victor Frankenstein’s true nature, making the creation as eloquent as he is in the novel, depicting the warmth found in both Victor’s family and his love for Elizabeth and finally his attempt at keeping the frame tale throughout the entire film.