A Monster Calls is directed by J. A. Bayona and is written by Patrick Ness who also wrote the novel on which the film based. It stars Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson as the Monster.
This movie is about Conor O’Malley (played by Lewis MacDougall), he is a boy “too old to be a kid and too young to be an adult” who tries to cope with his mother’s cancer that is in terminal phase. It’s quite a dark movie considering what the topic is about and there are several highly emotional scenes. There is much more than just that obviously. What helps Conor to cope with the situation is a monster voiced by Liam Neeson. The monster tells him three stories and in exchange Conor must tell him the fourth story that is his nightmare.
When the monster tells the first two stories, it’s visually told with painted drawings, it’s beautifully done and it was a nice way to tell these stories and these are also interesting stories. On the surface, it just looks like a strange tale but deep down it’s about the complexity of human nature. And in some ways, it also mirrors the fears, the fight going on inside Conor.
Throughout the movie we see Conor struggling with different problems, the bullies that attack him at school, his grandmother that he doesn’t appreciate much, his father who comes and goes and obviously his mother’s cancer. All these problems, he deals with them thanks to the help of the monster. He deals with the bullies with the third story where he becomes visible. For his mother’s cancer it is with the fourth story, telling his nightmare, facing his fear and accepting the situation and that’s when he’s ready to let go that his mother dies. And for his grandmother, it’s by accepting that what unites them is his mother.
The final scene is wonderful and really emotional too, it’s Conor discovering his new bedroom at his grandmother’s house and he sees the drawing from his mothers, the drawings are the story the monster told him, and the final drawing he sees is a drawing of the monster with his mother when she was little. Through the monster, they both are united forever.
Liam Neeson voicing the monster was amazing, his voice was fitting so well with how the monster looked like, I really loved his design. Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver and Felicity Jones all deliver wonderful performances that are able to bring tears in your eyes in some of the scenes. That one scene when Conor smashes everything in his grandmother’s living room and then she comes home and sees what has happened was really one of the best moments of the performances of these two actors in the movie. There are so many emotions in that one scene.
The music is often a sad music with piano, that is beautiful and it mixes in a very good way with the scenes.
7.5/10 A beautiful movie with an amazing cast and a remarkable story!
This review was first posted on my blog A Fistful of Movies.
Published by Storai Thomas