Saturday, June 30, 2018

Movie Review: MARY SHELLEY (2018)

I love films that tell the stories of writers, especially if they are female. Most people have heard of the classic, Frankenstein. However, its true author, Mary Shelley, almost didn't get the credit she deserved. Besides being a great writer, she's also known for her marriage to Percy Shelley. During the time period in which they both lived, his views on love and wealth were radical, to say the least. The film, Mary Shelley, explores her relationship with Percy and her writing. It's a great depiction of a woman who was ahead of her time.

Mary Shelley tells the lovely, yet heart wrenching tale of Mary and her beloved Percy. She is the daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft. After Mary's mother dies, her father marries a neighbor, and the relationship between the two women is strained, to say the least.

One of my favorite scenes is when Mary is hiding from her stepmother while concentrating on her writing. Her father lover her very much and was supportive of her. Sadly, their relationship falters because of her involvement with Percy. Her father disapproved because Mary was 18 and Shelley was married with a child. 

I like the way Percy Shelley is depicted in this film, even though I disagree with his views on religion and free love. Douglas Boothe brings life to the character, and through his acting, you can see Shelley's passion for his beliefs, and I admire him immensely for that.
As a woman, I love a great love story, and this is one of them. Mary and Percy have a bumpy start to their romance, but their undying passion for one another makes it all seem worth it. Being in love with a married man does have consequences.

A scene that is essential to the plot of the film is when Percy's wife Harriet confronts Mary and tells her to stay away from him. It confirms that Percy wasn't forthcoming, and shows how she felt betrayed by this. However, her love for him was so consuming that she accepted it. Sometimes love is messy and beyond complicated.

Elle Fanning's performance as Mary Shelley was captivating. Her passion and youthfulness kept me watching, and she had great chemistry with all of her co-stars. Fanning bought Shelley's passion and fire to the big screen in such a wonderful way.

This film received a 33% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Well, it deserved better. I read some of the reviews. One critic said the film was "uninspiring", while another called it "the performance of her career". Even though Mary Shelley received a mixture of reviews, I enjoyed the film immensely. It flowed effortlessly and the script was well-written, so if you are a fan of Mary and/or Percy Shelley, then this is a film for you.

Lisa's Score: 9/10

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