Frankenstein: Part Deux

So last night, as a birthday present to myself, I went to go see Frankenstein again, this time with Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein and Jonny Lee Miller as the Creature.  It was a good decision, and it's really cool to have had the opportunity to see both of these great actors in both of these great parts.  I'm not going to do a full review, but I wanted to add on my thoughts of their individual performances.

I vastly preferred Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein.  He is just so intelligent (or at the very least he's quite good at pretending!) and I have no trouble believing him as a genius who's scientific ambition has led him to some very dark deeds.  I also get the cruelty and the sharpness that Victor inherently has.  Jonny Lee Miller, God love him, just comes off as too nice.  I want to give him a hug.  So that's an easy decision for me to make.

Now the question of which Creature I preferred...that's where it all starts to get murky, because they're both such different performances.  With Cumberbatch, the emphasis is very much on how bright the Creature is, how quickly he can learn, how literate and educated he has become.  And of course Cumberbatch is the sort of actor who savors his dialogue and really feels the lyricism of the words, which adds a great deal to the Creature's conversation.  With Miller, on the other hand, your heart breaks for the Creature because you really do feel that he genuinely wants to be a good person, that there's so much goodness inside him, but he's been made into a monster by society.  His humanity, ironically, is his strongest characteristic, and it's especially striking against Cumberbatch as Frankenstein, because at times he seems more human than his creator.

But which do I like better?  I honestly do not know.  I was sitting in the audience thinking, "Oh, I liked what he did there better," or, "Oh no, I liked it better the other night," so often that I really can't work out which one was "better".  Ultimately, Cumberbatch got more out of the dialogue (and the Creature has a hell of a lot of brilliant dialogue), but Miller's characterization had so much more feeling and emotion.'s too hard! looks like National Theatre Live is going to have to release a DVD so I can figure this out properly.  It's out of my hands now...they just have to. *sigh*

If you didn't get a chance to read the other part of my review, here 'tis: Frankenstein Review

Thanks for reading!

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