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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Brendan Fraser, Ian McKellen, Lynn Redgrave
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Bill Condon
MPAA RATING
Rated R
RUNNING TIME
105 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Lions Gate
 "Gods and Monsters" Review 

"Gods and Monsters" is based upon the life of Frankenstein director James Whale's last days...it features Oscar nominated performances by Ian McKellen in the lead role and Lynn Redgrave in a supporting role. A largely unrecognized but simply outstanding performance is turned in by Brendan Fraser as Clayton Boone.

I tend to take the view that the essence of this film is about companionship and growth...in other words, one need look beneath the surface to see the brilliance and simplicity of this message.

The role of Clayton Boone is essential to the peace attained by Whale...his ability to end his life on his own terms...to make peace with his past and to reach a peaceful, powerful resolution. While one could look easily at the conflicts, at the "failed" relationship and see that as a central core of this film...I believe one would be mistaken to do so.

In many ways, the father/son dynamic here becomes a healing force...a vulnerability exposed on behalf of Boone allows healing by both. To watch this...even in the facial expressions, the gestures of both actors is both exhilarating and yet heartbreaking.

I have heard complaints regarding the ending, yet for me it works beautifully...it is, in many ways, Boone's final tribute to the growth and empowerment he has experienced with Whale. Quite simply, I find it stunning and beautiful.

I enjoyed and appreciated everything about this film....it is beautifully designed, powerfully directed and stunningly acted. This is a character driven story of the dark sides and light within each of us and the absolute beauty in sharing the journey.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic