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The Bride, 1 DVD, 114 minutes
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"The Bride", en français "La Promise", est réalisé par Franc Roddam en 1985. Le film est moins une adaptation du roman de Mary Shelley qu'une réinterprétation du mythe de "Frankenstein". En effet, dans le roman, le Baron détruisait sa créature femelle avant même de lui donner la vie. Dans La Fiancée de Frankenstein, réalisé par James Whale en 1935, cette version féminine de la créature était bel et bien amenée à la vie, mais détruite aussitôt. Ainsi, "La Promise" ne peut être considéré ni comme une adaptation du livre, ni comme un remake du film de 1935.
Le script est unique en son genre dans le sens où l'on suit le parcours des trois personnages, celui du "Baron Frankenstein", du "monstre" et de la "fiancée". Le premier apparait comme un aristocrate égocentrique, aussi froid que passionné.Lire la suite ›
Le sujet: Pour tromper sa solitude et celle de sa créature "Viktor" (Clancy Brown, le Kurgan de Highlander où il s'appelait aussi Victor), le Dr."Charles Frankenstein" (Sting), génial savant torturé se met en tête de créer la femme de ses rêve, Eva (Jennifer Beals) avec des morceaux de chair humaine. Mais celle-ci, belle, douce et attentionnée au départ, décide de prendre sa liberté pour vivre sa propre vie et se jette dans les bras d'autres hommes.
Une version peu commune du mythe où l'on découvre un Dr Frankenstein fou amoureux de sa création qui cherche à s'émanciper et un monstre sympathique qui fait équipe avec "Rinaldo" (David Rappaport, "Simon McKay" dans la série "Le Magicien" ) un compagnon de voyage nain habitué des fêtes foraines
J'ai bien aimé... Un film rare et oublié.
Audio: anglais Dolby Surround, français, allemand, espagnol et italien Mono.
Sting était +/- bien dans le Dune de première mouture ... Mais là ...
Bref : à éviter ...
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Dr Frankenstein (Sting) creates a female companion for his original monster (played by Clancy Brown). Things go wrong when the monster reacts violently and the lab becomes engulfed by flames. The monster escapes and 'Eva' is left in the care of Frankenstein.
The rest of the film focuses on the 2 separate adventures of Eva and the monster. Jennifer Beals is luminous as Eva, a woman who somehow knows she is different and is always searching for answers. Sting plays Dr Frankenstein with all the pomp and circumstance he can muster, and suits the time period of the film perfectly. Clancy Brown gives 'Viktor' the monster a humanity and heart, and David Rappaport, as Viktor's tiny friend, is a real scene-stealer. Geraldine Page is wasted as Frankenstein's remote housekeeper.
The music by Maurice Jarre of DOCTOR ZHIVAGO fame is lush, and the scenic design is haunting (especially the eerie huge statues that Eva and Frankenstein ride past in the woods). Direction by Franc Roddam is perfectly-pitched.
Not your average horror film.
"The Bride" is more Thomas Hardy than Mary Shelley, and more Gothic romance than horror. Director Franc Roddam points out (on his DVD commentary) that he wanted to make a very different version of the old story by eliminating almost all elements of horror; so only the first ten minutes qualify as authentic horror.
Roddam does not discuss the illogic of making a film devoid of the very elements its "target audience" was interested in seeing, but we already know that "The Bride" had a very poor showing at the box office. This target audience disconnect was most likely the cause. Nor does he comment on the failure to market the film to another audience segment; those interested in Gothic period pieces.
It is especially cool that 20 years later the film is finally being discovered by this other audience and they are finding it a beautifully photographed example of their genre that emphasizes story-line and atmosphere over blood and gore.
Even the much criticized casting of inexperienced leads Jennifer Beals and Sting (both look great in period costume) takes on a different dimension when the film is re-classified into the Gothic genre. Suddenly you see that the director was the one most responsible for the apparent lack of chemistry between the two stars, particularly Beals lack of passion in the scenes they share. These were the performances the Roddam wanted and not a reflection of inexperience or talent limitations. Which is not to say that Sting will ever be mistaken for a great acting talent but Beals has been unjustly criticized for a shallow performance when it was simply everything Roddam wanted it to be. Her character is only learning how to feel as the film progresses and as events play out we learn that her emotionless attitude simply conveys her indifferent feelings toward her creator.
I highly recommend this movie as Roddam is an excellent stylistic director and has made a very good Gothic romance. The fantastic production design works to unify what are two stories as Roddam cuts back and forth between the Baron (Sting) teaching his creation Eva (Beals) while David Rappaport as Rinaldo teaches his other creation Victor, played by Clancy Brown. There is a psychic link between the two creations which will result in a interesting plot twist.
Roddam has created a visually gorgeous film that has held up much better than the 1980's mainstream features that outperformed it at the box office. Don't be scared away by the negative comments, if you know what to expect (gothic romance not horror) almost any fan of films will enjoy "The Bride". I recommend the DVD, it was made from a flawless print and the widescreen presentation better showcases both the top-notch photography and the terrific work of the production designer.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
I have always enjoyed this movie. Sting is great as Frankenstein and plays him with a hint of madness that such a man would likely have been. Jennifer Beals plays Eva with childlike innocence early on then shows the maturity of a bold, intelligent woman, but still she is disturbed about who she truly might be. (Check out the scene when she does discover the truth. Fantastic!) Clancy Brown, too, shows growth and maturity in the development of the creature (later named Victor by Renaldo) from clumsy, confusion to brave determination. Cary Elwes has the role of Josef, one of the Countess' guards. And how can we forget the late David Rappaport as the compassionate and insightful Renaldo. Through him we see the pain and prejudice he faces by being a little person.
The extras on the DVD are few, but nice to have. I don't recall ever seeing the trailer before so having it on the DVD was a plus. The Director's commentary could have been better. He admitted that it had been so long since he had seen the film. Knowing this, he should have watched it a few times and made notes. As it was, he forgot a lot of the information. Later in the film, he would comment that the movie never addressed this or never addressed that when in actuality, the movie had established those things earlier in the movie. To me, a great commentary is when the person commenting on the film is discussing the scene: either the actors or the background, or something relevant. This director sometimes went on little tangents that had nothing to do with the movie at all. I kept thinking "can we please talk about this movie?" There was some good information though about the French scenery, how Sting got the role, the relationships between the actors, and the loss of David Rappaport. So the commentary wasn't a total loss, but could have been better if the Director was better prepared.
The first film, the good one, tells the story of Rinaldo, a dwarfed circus perfomer, who meets up with Frankenstein's creation. Rinaldo christens the creature Viktor and the two become close friends. They make their way towards Budapest to join the circus. Their story is excellently told with humor and pathos. It's the kind of pathos that made the original BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN such a memorable film.
However, the film zig-zags back and forth between this story and the tale of the good doctor's efforts to create the perfect "modern" woman. In mind as well as body, he "teaches" her in an incoherent and completely uninteresting series of scenes, that give the film a choppy look. For nearly two hours we go back and forth between good filmmaking and bad.
Sting does what he can with his poorly written scenes, but quite frankly I expected more. At least he tries. Jennifer Beals, on the other hand is atrocious, going through her dialogue like Hulk Hogan doing Shakespeare. She proves once and for all that not only can't she dance (most of her choreography in FLASHDANCE was done by somebody else), she can't act either. Geraldine Page, a magnificent actress, looks like she wishes she were somewhere else.
But David Rappaport as Rinaldo and Clancy Brown as Viktor shine in their roles. In fact everything in THE BRIDE that is good is in their half of the film. Everything that is except the sets, costumes and music score. In these areas the entire film is excellent.
If you watch the film you will stick with it until the finale so I won't give away the ending. But unless you like your coffee with Half-and-Half instead of whole cream stay away from THE BRIDE.