After he is artificially created, then left for dead by a husband-and-wife team of eccentric scientists, Adam is confronted with nothing but aggression and violence from the world around him.
There have been countless movie adaptations of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” including comedic variations of the character in such films as “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein,” “Young Frankenstein,” and the two (so far) animated features, “Hotel Transylvania” and “Hotel Transylvania 2,” where the character mingles with an assortment of other famous monsters such as Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Mummy. This iteration of the famous classic, starring Xavier Samuel, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Danny Huston, is very serious in tone, as told by writer/director Bernard Rose.
As the movie begins, we are introduced to Marie and Viktor Frankenstein (Carrie-Anne Moss and Danny Huston), two unconventional scientists who are married and who have just created a living, breathing human being. They name him Adam (Xavier Samuel), and as he opens his eyes for the very first time, astonished at his surroundings, the first thing he sees is the face of Marie, and immediately, he bonds with her. As time progresses, they continue to run tests on him but gradually, his skin begins to deteriorate, a sign of his cells unsuccessfully replicating and he is quickly discarded by his creators and left for dead.
As Adam is thrust into the real world, he must quickly learn to adapt in order to survive. He meets Eddie (Tony Todd), a blind homeless man who teaches him the ways of the street and even though Eddie’s eyesight is gone, he is able to explain to Adam, that he must cherish every day as if it were his last. Through an old acquaintance of Eddie’s, Adam is able to locate the residence if his creators and makes the long trek home so that he can confront them and ask them the age-old question: why did they create him?
“Frankenstein” takes on Shelley’s famous story but from the perspective of the monster himself. Viktor and Marie are secondary characters that appear sporadically but this is Adam’s story. Xavier Samuel as Adam is a revelation. The characteristics he portrays, especially in the early stages of the movie, are comparable to that of a young child being rejected by his parents, you can’t help but feel empathy and sympathy for him all at once. His discovery of water, the sunshine, birds chirping in a tree, are displayed with such a wide-eyed innocence, you can’t help but feel anger and hatred towards Viktor and Marie.
And these feelings are justified when he finally confronts them. When Viktor tells him that he was flawed, and that they are working on another Adam, one that will be “perfect,” he angrily tears the body apart and screams “I am Adam!” The movie shows us, very distinctly, how we take everything around us for granted. A puppy or a kitten, creatures that need to be nurtured and cared for, we simply throw them away if we’re having a bad day and move on with our lives, “out of sight, out of mind.” “Frankenstein” shows us the ramifications of those actions and what could happen if these creatures were somehow able to come back into our lives and ask us one, simple question: why?
Available on Blu-ray & DVD February 23rd
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