We’re on to week 2 of the 52 week challenge and… we haven’t actually even left the cinema. This week, my review film is “A Monster Calls” and, I can promise you, the title is accurate.
Shin’s rating: 4/5
The rest of this review contains spoilers, so beware if you continue!
This film is amazing if you want to cry for the rest of eternity. It is a real tearjerker but it’s also beautifully scripted, cast and acted. There are some ‘laugh out loud’ moments. One that had the entire cinema in stitches was: “What, here? We don’t even have a Tesco!”
I have to admit, my main issue with it was being unable, just about, to pinpoint where it was supposed to be set. Given how fast they could get to Blackpool, it was clearly meant to be somewhere in the North… so why did they have southern accents? That is a discussion for another time though.
Felicity Jones is spectacular and heartbreaking as Lizzie, and I’m impressed at how they played it so completely accurate for someone who is dying of cancer. Having been there through cancer treatment with my sister (and her ultimate passing) I was touched by the fact that there was no romanticisation of it. It was straight up about how hard it was for people.
So, the short summary of the film is a 12 year old with an absent father is losing his mother to cancer, is bullied at school and is distant from his grandma. He isn’t dealing well with his mother’s deterioration, and a tree monster (played by Liam Neeson) comes to convince him that good and bad aren’t black and white. That you can’t always be cured and that sometimes you have to let go.
The boy gets to a point where he can admit that he just wants it to be over, his biggest secret from himself, and the Monster helps him realise that. Lewis MacDougall is going to be phenomenal as he grows up.
The visual effects in this film are spectacular, and make it a thoroughly enjoyable, if tearful, watch!