A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

 Official Review

By Brian Wallinger 

There are two types of films, ones that makes you think and ones that can make you feel. Very rarely these days does a film have the ability to do both simultaneously.  A Monster Calls, a film adaption based on the popular novel written by Patrick Ness, is not only entertaining but an in depth look at life.   A surreal experience that translates dreams into reality and moves the viewer by exploring humanity.

Life doesn't always go the way we plan for ourselves, things happen. We deal with depression, anger, loss, and loneliness.. Life sometimes has a way of reminding us we are not always in control. The film tells the story of a young boy at a very difficult and crucial time in his life. Connor (Played by Louis MacDougall), is an introvert who finds moments of escape from his hardships through pictures and music. He is constantly bullied in school, invisible to everyone around him except his mother (Played by Felicity Jones), who we learn is terminally ill.

The supporting cast includes his grandmother (Played by Sigourney Weaver), his distant father (Played by Toby Kebbell), and of course "The Monster" (Voiced by the always brilliant Liam Neeson). There are some visually stunning CGI effects that give both Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro a run for their money. Although the film feels a little emotionally manipulative and the scenes with Felicity Jones are short lived, overall this is a powerfully focused story about what it means to grow up at a time when our innocence is shaken by tragedy and the magic of our youth becomes diminished. Sometimes we look to our dreams and our beliefs to find answers.

The Monster comes at exactly 12:07, and  every time he encounters the boy, he tells the him one of three stories, leading to a fourth story that Connor tells himself  in order to "reveal his truths". A Monster Calls is a very beautiful, thought provoking film, that boasts an intelligent script, immense cinematic structure, and a very loud message about life as a child.

Directed by J.A Bayona, he demonstrates a clear mastery of the craft with stunning visuals and excellent pacing. A Monster Calls is an emotional film that will take you on a journey of vision and feeling from start to finish. It all leads to a subtle and hard hitting conclusion that will leave you in tears.

A Monster Calls is a movie about what it means to be different and a wonderful reminder that stories are "wild beasts".  This is film that says it all.

☆☆☆☆

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