Horror movies are not my thing. At least not the ones produced today. Too much gore, blood and guts for my taste. However, I’m a fan of old school horror with the likes of Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff and the classic horror/thrillers. Have you ever wondered what kind of mind conjures up such tales the makes you shutter and quake under their sheets at night?
Mary Shelley is best known for being the author of “Frankenstein.” What we didn’t know is that Shelley endured gender bias, betrayal from her own husband and best friend to emerge as one of the most imaginative authors of her time. We also discover that her obsessive curiosity for science and human resurrection coupled with a love of poetry is what brought us Frankenstein in the first place.
It was not lost on me that her relationship with her father was extremely loving yet complicated. I mean, having a step-monster never makes life bearable under any circumstances. But it is perhaps her repetition of history regarding her mother’s adultery past as she joins forces with celebrated poet Percy Shelley. Elle Fanning is ethereally magnificent in the title role bringing the audience right into the emotional depths of Mary Shelley. Douglas Booth as Percy Shelley makes you loathe and fall in love with him all at once.
Most of my critic peers did not enjoy this film, but I found it rather fascinating to learn about an author I knew absolutely nothing about until this film. I appreciated that it was shot in dark, muted grey tones, but did not enjoy how long it took to unfold the story.
Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour and starring Elle Fanning, Douglas Booth, Bel Powley, Joanne Froggatt, Tom Sturridge, Maisie Williams, Mary Shelley hits theaters on May 25th in New York and Los Angeles with On-Demand access available on June 1st.