What techniques does Kenneth Branagh use in the creation scene of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” to convey ideas about Victor Frankenstein and the monster? Frankenstein was originally a novel written in 1816 by an eighteen-year-old girl called Mary Shelley. The idea for the story came from a holiday she took to Geneva, Switzerland, visiting and staying with Lord Byron. Also travelling was Mary’s husband Percy Byshe Shelley and an Italian called Polidori. Byron, Percy and Polidori told ghost stories and decided they should have a contest- to see who could write the best horror story.
Mary wanted to join in and decided to write a story to ‘Curdle the blood, and quicken he beatings of the heart. ‘ She felt that if she did not achieve these objectives, her ghost story ‘would be unworthy of its name. ‘ I think that when Branagh decided to make the movie he was trying to make it as true to the book as possible, and use Shelley’s proposal to ‘Curdle the blood’ to affect the audience and make the film more plausible. He uses many techniques such as camera angles and sound effects to create this feeling. The story of “Frankenstein” was set in Ingolstadt, Switzerland.
The creation scene in particular is set in the lofty attic of an old house, which is typical of the Gothic Horror genre. Gothic Horror uses features such as darkness, supernaturalism, death, the conflict between good and evil, stormy weather, and the macabre. It is quite interesting that Branagh presents the character of Dr Frankenstein as being isolated from other people, and the vastness of the attic in which he manufactures his creation enhances this emptiness and isolation that Frankenstein feels from his peers. Victor Frankenstein enters the creation scene wearing a large, flowing cape.
This gives the impression that he is like a conjuror, and gives him a sense of power and authority that he desperately craves, after his colleagues all turned away from him in his time of need. It makes us feel that he is determined and really involved in his work, but also excited because we want to see what to see what happens next. However, as soon as he thinks the monster is dead (when it is knocked on the head by a rather large object), he stops caring about it, referring to it as “malfunctional, pitiful, dead. ” in his journal. He also says that “The secrets must be destroyed”, meaning that he must “destroy” his creation.
When we see that the doctor hasn’t even got clothes for his creation, we feel anger towards him for the fact that he wasn’t concerned enough to find it something to wear. We feel sympathy towards the monster and realise that it will have to fend for itself. Originally we feel that Dr Frankenstein makes the monster as a major medical breakthrough, but towards the end of the creation scene we feel disgust and even hatred towards him. He treats the creature as an inanimate object, not as a new life that needs the love and attention that a parent would give it’s child.
When we see the macabre scientific equipment going into the creature, especially the probes going into the creature’s feet, we flinch, feeling repulsed. This is done deliberately to create a shock effect and to make the audience feel sorry for it. When the monster has the electricity sent through it to give it life, and when Frankenstein goes to get it out the vat after shouting “Live!!! “, the monster appears to be dead again. Frankenstein walks off, leaving his creation in the tank. We feel sympathetic to the creature and when it goes to see Frankenstein when he’s in bed, we feel pity when the doctor chases it with an axe.
There is not much dialogue in the creation scene and it doesn’t occur very often, but when there is spoken word it is done to make a great effect on the audience. Dr Frankenstein’s lecturer has his face super-imposed over the top of the scene where the monster is chasing after Frankenstein looking for comfort. He says, “Shame on you, Victor Frankenstein of Geneva, God help your loved ones” and “Evil stitched to evil stitched to evil”, implying that what Victor has done is immoral and he is creating a body of immense horror and evil. It also creates sympathy for the monster.