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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
Columbia TriStar Home Video 11/94 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - horrific images

Robert A. Johnson, a Jungian analyst, believes that the inability to feel, or what he calls "the wounded feeling function," is the central malaise of our time. The idolization of rationality, abstraction, and pragmatism leaves little room for the warm realm of emotions. He writes: "To lose one's feeling function is to lose one of the most precious human faculties, perhaps the one that makes us most human."

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein focuses on this fascinating and thought-provoking theme. In Kenneth Branagh's visceral and energetic screen interpretation of this classic story, Victor Frankenstein is a driven scientist obsessed with conquering death. After his mother dies giving birth to his brother, he creates a living being out of spare parts.

Before long, however, the monster, played by Robert De Niro, is abandoned by Frankenstein and forced to retreat into the wilderness. He yearns to share the emotions of a peasant family he watches in an isolated cottage but is unable to do so. When this ugly creature meets his creator, he asks, "You gave me these emotions but you didn't tell me how to use them." The monster's feeling function is wounded and so is Frankenstein's. Mirroring each other, they both turn to violence.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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