Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I, Frankenstein trailer brings thrills, but also questions - Jarys Maragopoulos

“I ought to be thy Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel...” - Mary Shelly
I have always loved Frankenstein and have identified with the monster (except for all the murder, I mean...come on). I was given a children's version of the book when I was eight and was rewarded with the full version at age eleven (I gave the book to a friend as a secret Santa thing, my parents gave me a better version for giving up my favorite book). I read them both right after getting them. I did not understand everything the book tried to convey, but I got a number of things: science and experimentation can dehumanize and harm in the wrong hands, humanity is about what we do not how we are born, Victor is the creature's creator god and father and he's terrible at both, Victor is the real monster whose treatment is what turned the innocent creature into a murderer. ETC...

Pretty even handed, right? I know my own bias, I love that monster, called "Adam" by the Author Mary Shelly after the last publication. I have long felt a kinship with the creature's own search for humanity within and kindness from without. I grew up looking for other like characters: robots, golems, anything that was constructed to be like human, was not treated as human, and had a desire to be more human. I ate up as many Frankenstein derived works as I could. I grew to love Young Frankenstein and became quickly bored with arguments over whether the creature could be called Frankenstein (children typically take on the surnames of their fathers, calling the creature "Frankenstein's Monster" dehumanizes the character to the researcher's failed experiment and nothing more. Calling him Frankenstein gives him a small human cultural tidbit. I find the semantics to be besides the point).

So I was delighted to find a new supernatural action epic Titled "I, Frankenstein", the trailer of which can be right here. What Underworld did for vampires and werewolves, this aims to do for Frankenstein. Go ahead and watch it, then I'll break it down.
Not like that.
What I take from this is that there are two central stories; Frankenstein's (named Adam, yay) moral arc and a conflict between what I can only assume to be angels and demons over the fate of humanity. An army of Frankenstein like beings seem to be instrumental to this plot. Also there's a girl, we don't know anything about her. They probably kiss. Yawn.

So far, so good. The character seems to be toiling over their moral identity, their feelings of alienation. That I want to see. Adam proves a very unique challenge to godlike beings, awesome.He seems to side with humanity, even better but also obvious in such a movie. I especially like the philosophical underpinnings behind the quote "God will surely damn you.", an angel says. "He already did." Adam replies. This touches on something very central to the original book. Adam's god isn't the god of these angels. Adam was made by man, one specific man who "damned him" as an ugly mistake, a false mockery of humanity. Adam is no stranger to the judgment of others and the status of those who judge him poorly does not deter him. Look at what he did the Victor's family. *shudder*

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.” -Mary Shelly
But this movie also brings up a curious question: what is to be done with the army of Frankensteins (am I the only one who finds it delightful to pluralize the names of monsters to talk about every monster in that class? Try shooting off a "We gotta a room full of Draculas here" at a vampire LARP. I love that.)? I would like to see Adam pained to see people like him used as objects in some war, but there are so many of them, how can he interact with them as more than a force? I hope he does, for any sort of dehumanization would deny the moral underpinnings of the source material, while any sort of mass destruction would be uncharacteristic of the Adam. To save humanity by slaughtering countless beings like him would be to deny others the chance at being as human as such a victory might cause him to feel. If that is the point of this movie, Adam coming to feel more human.....I surely hope it is. The idea that the monster was human in an unusual origin situation all along, an early example of trans humanism tickles my mind and warms my heart.

This warms something else, which worries me, see below.
Further questions include: "Will the female be anything more than a love interest?" What is the significance of the ax?" Can Aaron Eckhart truly portray a being of the uncanny valley with those Hollywood good looks?" and  "Why do the demons want to destroy humanity...unless it's the angels OOOOOOOOO *Thinks about that one*

I am fully bought into this film. I will see it, if I can. And no matter how mindless the action is or weak the plot is, I will probably enjoy it. It has one of my favorite characters of all time as protagonist, after all. I just hope whomever is writing this thing has been able to underscore the sort of moral quandaries I have been pushing on this short trailer. I would really like to see something with some depth.

Plus they need to rehash some quotes from the original book. Check out this amazing piece:
“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

Mary F*cking Shelly *DROPS MIC*

No comments:

Post a Comment