Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Victor Frankenstein Adoption Movie Review
When medical student Victor Frankenstein visits the circus, he is surprised to see the medical knowledge of an unnamed, enslaved clown. Frankenstein is working on secret, controversial experiments to bring life from death and believes that the clown has the necessary skills to make his vision a reality. Frankenstein rescues the clown, names him Igor, and brings him into his confidence as his assistant and partner.
The Adoption Connection
Victor has taken Igor from an abusive situation. He has brought him into his home, cleaned him up, given him medical care, and given him a new name. Igor is thriving. Victor has become a sort of family to Igor, and also makes Igor a partner in his work. However, Victor frequently brings up what he has done to Igor, requiring Igor to cooperate with his work because of what he did for him. Igor acknowledges some mixed loyalties – he questions the rightness of what Victor is doing, but also expresses that Victor has done very much for him. **SPOILER: eventually Igor breaks away, but he still does care about Victor. END SPOILER**
** BIG SPOILER: There’s a big theme of familial loss in this one. Victor’s desire to create life from death started when his brother died. Victor’s father is ashamed of Victor, and compares Victor to his deceased brother. Victor believes that he is responsible for his brother’s death. He is trying to develop a way to create life from dead body parts, and in doing so, he is trying to resurrect his brother to rectify the loss he believes he caused. END SPOILER ***
The film shows that sometimes, losses need to be grieved, mourned, and processed rather than reversed. *SPOILER: Victor is able to reanimate a body, but he has to kill it, saying that it’s not really life. END SPOILER*
Igor shows that people who experience mistreatment can still develop thriving lives. It is charming to see his joy when he realizes that some of his torments have been overcome.
Victor does care about Igor to some extent, but it seems that Igor’s care of Victor is much more selfless. This is a story about two friends rather than an adoptive family, but if one of the characters has a parental role, it’d be Victor, and it’s a shame that he’s generally only pursuing his own interests. He tells Igor, “know your place,” when Igor questions some of Victor’s plans.
There are some frightening and disturbing scenes involving body parts of various deceased creatures, including humans. A character gets caught in gears and is left disfigured. A character suffers an attempted murder. A fther hits his son in the face.
Before his rescue, Igor is woefully mistreated in the circus. He is locked in a cage, kicked by other performers, and taunted by them when it seems like one of his friends will die. Kids who have been abused may find these scenes to be triggering. There are other scenes involving violence and injury.
*SPOILER: Eventually Victor has to kill his resurrected brother. END SPOILER *
This film shows an unhealthy way of dealing with loss; the character ultimately realizes that reversing loss isn’t the way to find wholeness. There is a strong theme of familial loss that motivates Victor in his work. This film isn’t an exemplary tale, but it could be a cautionary one. However, because of its violent and disturbing content, it isn’t a good choice for kids, although it might be OK for teens 15 and over. Parents should view it first to assess whether the corpse-related horrorish content and violence would disturb even their teenage viewers.
Questions for Discussion
How can we make peace with the losses we suffer, rather than trying in vain to reverse them?
Which losses in life are inevitable? Which are preventable? Which are reversible? How can we tell the difference?