Directed by Haifa al-Mansour, this movie is a beautifully rendered drama about the life of English author Mary Shelley (Elle Fanning).
The film is hugely successful in teasing out the struggles, inconsistencies and inequities that she endured to publish Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, one of the most revealing gothic novels about the modern world in the early 20th century.
The movie is set during Mary Shelley’s (Elle Fanning) youth when her literary abilities are encouraged by her politically aware father, William Godwin (Stephen Dillane).
Mary is brought up in a liberal household and fosters the lingering loss of her mother, feminist and activist Mary Wollstonecraft who died shortly after her birth.
As a young 16 year old, Mary meets her future husband, the poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth).
Elle Fanning plays a moving role as Mary, and illuminates her character with sensitivity and intelligence, revealing a young woman who deals with her life through her writing.
The screenplay is evocative with some tender and heart wrenching moments as the film explores Mary’s evolving relationship with Percy Shelley.
Some of the most intriguing scenes unfold during a stay at Villa Diodati with Lord Byron and his company. His dark and mysterious character is played brilliantly by Tom Sturridge and, it is proved the visit was instrumental in the birth of this classic story.
Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, is one of the most all-time influential novels, now celebrating its centenary year.
Words by Elizabeth Lamont
Details: Mary Shelley | Screening in Brisbane cinemas from 5th July | 126 minutes