I have a difficult time watching movies and television shows. Unless it’s something that really holds my attention, I’ll end up playing on my phone or doodling. In the past few months the only movies I’ve enjoyed sitting through are musicals, documentaries, and the occasional book-to-movie adaptation. Recently, however, I had the pleasure of watching the new Mary Shelley film.
I suppose I can no longer call it “new,” since premiered in 2017. As soon as I saw the trailer I was excited for it. A period-drama about one of my favorite historical figures and the mother of science fiction? Yes please!
Elle Fanning does a fantastic job portraying Mary Shelley and her performance is one of the highlights of the film. All of the cast is phenomenal and they, along with the grim setting, really bring the story to life.
I was surprised by the ratings the film received. Rotten Tomatoes has it at 40%, with the average rating being 5.4 / 10 and Metacritic gives it a 49 out of 100. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for it as well. Regardless of the ratings, I think Mary Shelley is definitely something worth watching, especially for struggling writers.
I’ve been having a difficult time working on my own fiction this past year. I’m not happy with anything I write and it feels like a chore I have to force myself to do, rather than something I get enjoyment out of. After watching this film and rediscovering the story of a woman I greatly admire, I felt inspired myself.
I think that history is one of the best places to draw inspiration from. Chances are, whatever you’re currently dealing with is something someone else has also gone through, whether that person be a historical figure, friend, or family member. Mary Shelley’s own family has a fascinating history, beyond her and her writings. Her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft was also a writer, in addition to being a philosopher and early women’s rights advocate. Her father was William Godwin, the founder of philosophical anarchism. Rebellion and courage was in her blood, and she definitely made her own mark on history.
Mary Shelley was a tough woman. She believed in standing up for herself and her rights as a human being. She was curious and loved learning new things. There are definitely worse role models to have.
Who are some of your historical heroes?