Emma Stone’s New Movie Gives the Bride of Frankenstein Her Feminist Due

The film is based on a 1992 novel of the same name by Alasdair Gray and not-so-subtly offers a feminist twist on Frankenstein’s original story. After all, Mary Shelley was born Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, whose maiden name came from the philosopher and poet William Godwin (her mother, meanwhile, was the Enlightenment era feminist philosopher and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft). And in Mary’s original novel, we were intentionally presented a story wherein a man wants to play God, so he creates life without the aid of a woman.

Yet what does Dr. Victor Frankenstein create but another man? One whom he immediately abandons with repulsion after his birth, leaving the creature to wander a cruel world alone. This is what corrodes his soul until he becomes a true monster. The concept of a Bride or female monster is also in the original 1818 book, although Victor ultimately reneges on his promise to make his creation a mate.

Director James Whale and Universal Pictures finally made good on that idea in The Bride of Frankenstein, but in its own kind of subversion, Lanchester’s eponymous Bride is the product of two seemingly gay-coded men wanting to play house without any wives. And after the Bride is born, all of them are flabbergasted that she wouldn’t immediately agree to love the original monster. Even Karloff’s otherwise sympathetic creature and antihero conforms to the patriarchy, wallowing in self-pity after she rejects him (seemingly for Dr. Frankenstein’s favor and protection). The first creature then decides for her that he will end their lives. “We belong dead,” he proclaims. Maybe speak for yourself, buddy?

Conversely, Lanthimos’ Poor Things is a story told entirely from the point of view of a woman who has been brought back to life, and not just as the third act climax. While the plot synopsis seems to suggest she was brought back to be the mad scientist’s mate, instead of that of another creature, she will have the opportunity to make her own choices—for good and ill. And knowing Lanthimos, it will certainly be both.

“I am finding being alive fascinating,” Stone’s Bella says in the new teaser trailer before slapping Ruffalo’s libertine lover. We have a hunch audiences will too.

Poor Things opens on Sept. 8 in the U.S.

Source : https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/emma-stone-new-movie-bride-of-frankenstein-feminist-due/

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