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the other Frankenstein
norman and wolf

We just got back from seeing the Jonny Lee Miller as The Creature and Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor version of Frankenstein for the first time. I can't believe how different it seemed to me. I've seen the other version twice and although it was a while ago I was pretty sure I remembered it. The camera shots seemed different and the DIALOG seemed different. I can kinda see the camera possibly changing but not  the dialog. It must be because of the change of actors. Amazing really. I confess that I am a BC fan so I am obviously going to be biased in his favor. JLM was brilliant as The Creature. He starts out as very childlike which makes sense since he based his performance on his 2 year old son, Buster.  The thing that I took away from watching his Creature progress was how ANGRY he became. Some other's reviews I've read have seen him as being less menacing than BC's Creature but frankly I found him more so. The physical altercations between The Creature and Victor happened in a flurry of violence that was very convincing, although I think some of that was BC, who wasn't afraid to really thrash around and go down hard on the stage. Still, The Creature really was JLM's role. He was powerful in it and it suited him. Benedict Cumberbatch's Creature was a tour de force however. It's a role that has changed even his fan's ideas of what he is capable of. When I commented on the strength of JLM's  performance as The Creature my husband said "Yes, but there were parts from the other Creature that I missed." Me too, and if I'm completely honest it would be all of it. My perfect Frankenstein would have BC in both the roles. I feel so guilty about thinking that, poor Jonny, I'm so sorry. And BC's Victor! There was a lot going on there. He even made me feel some sympathy for the character, which was a first for me. There is an expression I like "When you find yourself in a hole, first thing to do is put the shovel down."  To me Victor found himself in a very deep hole and was desperately trying to get out of it but he just couldn't bring himself to put the f**king shovel down! I also felt that while JLM's Victor seemed distracted and disconnected most of the time BC's felt like he was a laudanum addict  teetering on the edge of a breakdown. When he enters his lab and sees the Creature for the first time he is well and truly freaked out. When JLM's Victor ran shouting from the room during that scene I thought he was perhaps going to get help, but I had no illusions about BC's Victor. He was running, screaming from the room in fear. He obviously he hadn't really thought what he would do if he actually succeeded in his experiments. It also occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons BC's Creature didn't feel as scary to me was that he was being played across to a rather passive Victor. Almost as if BC's emoting was being absorbed or muffled by this sort of soft Victor. The scenes between the two in this version however were like BOOM! All the Creature and Victor scenes in this version were far superior IMO but I preferred BC's Creature in everything else. Right now I would love to watch the other version again to compare and remind myself but it no longer exists. :-( Not unless they make a dvd and although I fervently hope I'm wrong, I really don't think that is going to happen. One last thing and it's a ridiculous fan girl observation. I have always thought of BC as being quite graceful and athletic. I've watched him  race, leap, hop, climb, fold himself in half and arrive on scene by sliding down a two story steel pole. Give the man a long, swishy coat and he strides and sweeps like a champion. He has an impressive physical presence. As noticed tonight in the preview documentary when he is sent out with the other actors to walk around the set during rehearsals , off he goes in converse sneakers, jeans, ratty tee shirt and hair sticking every which way, his natural stride a goofy, loping, and to me completely endearing, walk. What an actor! :-D

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Hi I was googling reviews on both versions of Frankenstein and found yours.

I have seen both via the live screenings in March, and have to say that I completely agree with your thoughts in regard to the fighting sequence when the Creature and Victor met again. It's because BC had no fear to throw himself heavily on the stage every other night to make that scene looked more convincing than the other way round. Miller is about a few inches shorter than BC is; even if he is very strong, I don't think he can easily throw BC on the floor in real life like he did on stage. I wish BC could play both roles on the same evening as well and it's not due to a fan girl's wishful thinking. I found Miller's raged Creature pretty one dimensional and as a result, his Creature couldn't carry the whole show as it supposed to be.

Welcome, It's funny that the fighting made such a big impression on me but it was so much more believable than the other version. There is quite a size difference between the two actors. In a couple of scenes with Jonny Lee Miller in bare feet and Benedict Cumberbatch in boots, I thought JLM looked like a child in comparison so I don't think it could be that he really was throwing Benedict down that hard. BC seems pretty fearless, he gives it his all. :-)

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