A Monster Calls (2016)
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Liam Neeson
IMDb:7.7 of 6,000+ (Feels about right for this movie.)
Rotten Tomatoes: 88% and 7.7/10. (One of the few times I completely agree with Rotten Tomatoes.)
Plot: A young boy seeks assistance from a tree monster to help deal with his mother’s terminal illness.
What I Didn’t Like.
The movie is a downer. It is to be expected when you know a child is dealing with his mother’s illness, but there was never a reprieve from the tragedy. I am fairly well verse in the sands of agony and even then there was always something no matter how small which made life not constantly terrible. Perhaps the monster voiced by Liam Neeson was the one shining spot in this boy’s life, but not enough.
The first act of the film is a bit slow. It takes a while to build and the unpleasantness is overwhelming.
At first the special effects seemed very average, but it did improve quickly.
What I Did Like:
I must commend all the actors for doing a wonderful job. First, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones were excellent in supporting roles. Both of them should be nominated for their work in this film. They added heart and depth to the situation. Sometimes the emotions boiled over in such a manner, it took a talented actor to shine light on it. They were almost masterful in this film. Also, Liam Neeson’s voice was outstanding. The majority have known about his beautiful voice for decades, but once you remove it and place it into a giant creature, takes on a new life and it is magical.
The young Lewis MacDougall blew me away. I am not a fan of many child actors, but Lewis was way beyond anyone I saw in 2016. Further proof that Pan (2015) as a whole was the problem, because this kid was incredible.
I understand this is based off a novel and that makes sense. The themes in this film are very mature and complex. It dives into a very difficult situation and offers several vital tidbits of advice for us all. In a world that arguably tries to shield the young from everything they will eventually face, this film sugarcoats nothing. It goes after pain, death, and suffering like few films I’ve ever seen. Unapologetic and real and that coming from a fantasy film is quite impressive.
At first I wasn’t feeling the special effects, but once the monster was established, I found him quite impressive. The variety of artistic style mixed with special effects in this film was impressive.
A Monster Calls is among the more powerful films I saw in 2016 (or released in 2016). The visual effects are stunning, the acting of everyone involved is superior to most. The themes are very mature, but they are important for all of us to accept. If you appreciate good film making and can put up with some heart wrenching scenes, I strongly recommend you check out A Monster Calls.
A Monster Calls
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