A Monster Calls - Movie Review
Matthew Brady - wrote on 11/13/16
LIFF30 2016 #2
“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
Before seeing the movie, I didn't know much about "A Monster Calls". The only information I got from it is that it's based on Patrick Ness novel and the trailer had a "Iron Giant" vibe to it. I also liked the director (Juan Antonio Bayona) previous movies, so I guess that's what peaked my interest in seeing it. And I came out pretty surprised of how good it was. Not just that, but how moving and heartfelt it was.
Juan Antonio Bayona is the type of director that knows how to tell a compelling story in his films. To screw lose the sentiment, until your eyes are filled with water to the point where you can't help but spill out. And in this movie he dose exactly that and how smart he was with it's decisions of the emotional scenes.
There's a lot of great actors in this and none of them are put to waste. Liam Nesson was excellent as The Monster. Sigourney Weaver was great as the Grandma. Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell were also great as Connor parents. But I think the real stand is Lewis MacDougall as (Connor). Even at the age of 14 this kid literally carries this movie and really dose reflect Connor's inner conflict.
That's what I notice in Bayona movies. All of the kid actors in his movies are pretty solid and I would go as far to say that they better than the adults. This is very rare for me to say that, because most kid actors suck. Yes there are good ones out there, but only some, as most of them don't fully bring their all.
The visual effect's were pretty stunning and impressive of how it interacted with the real environment that it was in. In all honesty, I was pretty surprised. And what I mean by "surprise" is that I was expecting The Monster itself to be the only effect in the movie. Because The Monster tells three stories to Conner and all three are done in a visual dye artwork that's beautiful to look at. It's good to be surprise.
For problems I had with the movie are slim, but if I had to pick, I would probably say that films message can be a little repetitive and oblivious towards the end. I think that may bug some people. But still, it's a great message that's speaks the truth and actually sticks to it. I mean, if the message was terrible or nothing special, then this might be a big complaint. The film doesn't have an happy ending and neither a sad one. There's no Hollywood ending or anything like that. It would say it's mixed.
Overall rating: "A Monster Calls" is entertaining, sad, and unforgettable tale that sticks with you after it's over. The film tells the truth and nothing but the truth of life. You want everything to be alright for this kid, but you're left with a feeling of stillness. Like you can't do anything about it, even with all the magical things that's happening. It just gotta let it happen....