A virtual hoard of the shiny things I find on the internet.
Having now seen both versions of Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Version B (Miller as the Creature) works better together as a whole.
But the reason I think this is not that I think Miller was better as the Creature- both performances in that role had different things going for them. Cumberbatch’s Creature was a little more agitated where Miller’s was more deliberative, and they both brought the vulnerability and humor inherent in the Creature out at different points. I really enjoyed the differences.
It’s that Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein made so much more sense than Miller’s. I thought Miller played Frankenstein as a straight-up villain; cruel to the Creature, deceitful, arrogant, but ultimately, without a lot of inner life. I spent the whole of his appearance tapping my foot, waiting for him to figure out that this whole mess is completely his fault, to show some indication of hindsight, that OF COURSE he should have seen it coming that if he created a person, that person would have a will.
Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein, while still definitely cruel, deceitful, and arrogant, was also tortured. No, he hadn’t thought through the consequences of his own actions from the beginning, but he was starting to put them together now, and every decision he made had an air of inevitability about it, like he knew it was going to turn out badly but still held out hope he could beat it. After all, he’s beaten death, so he should be able to beat a little thing like causality, right? I never got the sense from Miller that Frankenstein felt anything but entitlement toward the Creature, but Cumberbatch’s Frankenstein seemed to be more trying to convince himself of that entitlement.
Frankenstein is a fairly despicable character in both versions, but Cumberbatch makes you think Frankenstein’s despicability spiraled out of his own control by bringing about a series of choices between bad and worse. Miller’s just made you think he had no conscience at all.