#TIFF17: “MARY SHELLEY”
Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Many people credit the birth of horror to the book Frankenstein. What is often forgotten, however, is the Author of that genre-defining Book: Mary Shelley. In this eponymously-titled Movie, modern audiences are given a brief look into the life of this important literary figure.
When Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning) meets Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth) she has no idea the poet she has fallen in with is married, and by the time she does it is too late. Defying her father, she leaves with her lover in the middle of the night with only her beloved stepsister Claire (Claire Clairmont) by her side. The three live in poverty off Shelley’s earnings as a writer. A chance meeting with Lord John Byron (Tom Sturridge drowning in guyliner) eventually bring the trio to Geneva where Mary is inspired to write her first Book.
The formation of the ideas behind Frankenstein evolve on-screen in predictable fashion but the eventual discussion of the book in the Third Act will permanently alter how you see the doctor and his monster. Despite the rather florid dialogue, Saudi Arabian Filmmaker Haiffa Al-Mansour’s big budget debut is a solid Film. Led by Fanning, the strong cast makes Mary Shelley a must-see during the Festival.
Search Engine Pictures will screen Mary Shelley at the following times:
Saturday, September 09 6:30 p.m. Roy Thomson Hall
Sunday, September 10 1:30 p.m. Scotiabank Cinemas 2