This technique also helps keep the audience in suspense and not reveal the obvious so that they have to imagine what is going to happen for them-selves. For example the half burnt candle could mean that Doctor Frankenstein has been working all night or that he is beginning to fear what is about to happen. 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.
In comparing both films we can see that the two directors created their adaptations of the book differently from the beginning. James Whale’s version aims to scare his audience at that time by staying in the traditional gothic horror genre. Where as Kenneth Brannagh was trying to create more of an action movie closer to the original book by Mary Shelley. This can be scene throughout both films by the way the directors chose the lighting, sound effects, music or the lack of it. The creation scenes in both films are very important in their own way in how the monster has been portrayed.
Both have many religious symbols like the light shining brightly above Frankenstein’s monster in the 1994 movie that makes it look like its being lifted towards heaven or like in the 1931 movie where Frankenstein mentions heaven, which is quite religious and may show that he is acting like god. One of the most obvious differences is in how the monsters have physically been portrayed. In the 1931 movie the monster has been stereotyped to be evil with bolts in his neck and a big green square head. Brannagh’s version shows the monster with more human features making him more realistic.
The ending scenes are also so different and that also helps portray the monsters very differently. Brannagh’s monster choosing to die side by side with his maker makes him more likable where as the violence of the monster burning in the 1931 version keeps the monster evil. Both directors have described the monster and his experiences very differently. Brannagh tries to stay true to the original novel, in that he respects how the monster acquires his knowledge by observing De Lacey’s and reading some books he comes across.
Whale’s version also shows the monster observing a family but does not emphasize his intelligence nor the knowledge he gained by reading the four books. 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. Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Mary Shelley section. Download this essay Print Save Not the one? Search for