Why You Need To See The New Mary Shelley Movie Now
As a writer and a teacher, the movie Mary Shelley caught my attention from the second I saw the trailer. I always love a good backstory to the great writers of history, especially when they are strong females. I also have always had a soft spot for the classic of Frankenstein and was intrigued to learn more about the woman who wrote the story.
The movie (2017) features Elle Fanning as Mary and also has an appearance by Game of Thrones Favorite, Maisie Williams. This PG-13 movie is two hours in length and has stellar acting as well as beautiful film techniques. It really humanized the woman behind the famous tale and showed the struggles she faced as a woman writing in her time period.
I loved seeing the story of young Mary and learning about what influenced her to become the writer she was. I was shocked by the scandal in her love life (she was in a very open relationship with Percy Shelley, who was married at the time she started an affair with him). I found the movie interesting, though, because it really showed how revolutionary Mary was and how empowering she was of herself. She ignored social conventions of the time, choosing to seek her own version of happiness. It's no surprise, thus, that her writing would be so revolutionary.
I did feel that the movie focused a lot more on her sexual relations that on her writing, which was a disappointment. I understand they wanted to expose this scandalous aspect of who she was, but I wanted to see more of her writing.
The story of how she came to write Frankenstein, however, didn't disappoint. I had known that many people of her time assumed she didn't write it and that her husband, the poet, did. I was content with the ending, however, and the fact that she found her own version of happiness.
Many writers who become famous endure a lot of struggle and pain to get to the point they are. Mary Shelley is no exception. It was inspiring as a writer to see her struggles and to realize that sometimes the pains in our lives help us become the writers we are meant to be. It was also inspiring to see a woman rise up and rise against social conventions of the time period. It was empowering as a woman to see her challenge the gender roles and conventions of the time period and really showed that there is no excuse for modern women to do the same when necessary. If Mary Shelley could rise up during her time period, so can we.
All in all, I give the movie a 4 out of 5 star rating. It was engaging, the acting was spot-on, and the storyline was interesting. I do wish there had been more focus on her career instead of on her sexuality, but all in all, it was an eye-opening look at the woman who created the famous tale.
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