Jump to content
IGNORED

A Monster Calls


JohnC
 Share

Recommended Posts

This might have potential

Quote


A visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”), based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith. Also featuring Liam Neeson who will star in performance-capture and voiceover as the nocturnally visiting monster of the title, and Sigourney Weaver as the maternal grandmother.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...
  • 5 months later...
On 12/04/2016 at 19:00, JohnC said:

This might have potential

It lives up to it.

 

 

On 13/07/2016 at 21:52, lordcookie said:

Hopefully it's just the marketing.

I think it's a lot smarter than the trailer suggests.

 

I haven't read the book but for me this was something special. For much of the film it's a solidly put together drama, until it reveals it's final card at which point it's really quite extraordinary. A perfect example of a film simply not overplaying it's point and letting it's characters do the talking.

 

Unfortunately, just like The Orphanage, it has an entirely superflous scene tacked on to the end. But also like that film, the proper ending shot is so magnificent you don't mind too much.

 

Made me think of My Neighbour Totoro, Inside Out, Where The Wild Things Are and (just a little bit) Kes. And it absolutely deserves to mentioned in the same sentence as those films.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

It lives up to it.

 

 

I think it's a lot smarter than the trailer suggests.

 

I haven't read the book but for me this was something special. For much of the film it's a solidly put together drama, until it reveals it's final card at which point it's really quite extraordinary. A perfect example of a film simply not overplaying it's point and letting it's characters do the talking.

 

Unfortunately, just like The Orphanage, it has an entirely superflous scene tacked on to the end. But also like that film, the proper ending shot is so magnificent you don't mind too much.

 

Made me think of My Neighbour Totoro, Inside Out, Where The Wild Things Are and (just a little bit) Kes. And it absolutely deserves to mentioned in the same sentence as those films.

What's the final reveal? I've seen it and I'm struggling to remember anything unexpected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Silent Runner said:

 

I assume it was that

  Reveal hidden contents

the mother had created the monster and that he was kind of real. And not just a scary metaphor. [\spoiler] 

Absolutely not, that's the entirely superfluous scene. Utterly pointless.

 

12 hours ago, oli said:

What's the final reveal? I've seen it and I'm struggling to remember anything unexpected.

 

MASSIVE SPOILERS, not just of the ending but of literally the entire film.

Spoiler

The stories told by the monsters relied upon a certain amount of mis-direction. Not by actively misleading but by artfully leaving out certain elements of the story, leaving the boy to fill in those gaps with his own imagination and prejudices. And then, of course, the monsters fills in those details and the stories look different.

 

The film pulls the same trick by showing the actions of the boy but never actually getting him to explain how he feels. We see his dream but the film actually misses out the split second when their hands part. As a result, we ascribe to the boy our own thoughts as to what his emotions are. We assume, rightly, that he's angry and afraid and we think that's the monster, but we don't realise the overwhelming, all consuming guilt that's all but destroying him. That's the monster. And it's only when Connor tells his story do we realise this. The (proper) final shot where his mother acknowledges that monster tells us that not only has Connor made peace with it but so has she. She's been living with the same guilt and is finally at peace with it herself.

 

My family has been through the slow, extended, painful decline and death of loved ones a few times over recent years and this really resonated with me. The awful strain that it puts on people, the horrible gnawing thought that you just want it to be over, even the slight sense of relief when it finally is. I've never seen that articulated this well before in a film and even though that monster is deeply familiar to me I still didn't see it for what it was until the end.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just wish to say this film absolutely destroyed me. I was a mess by the end. Its the first time since Amour and Dancer in the Dark that I've been left like that.

 

It fits somewhat in the genre of 'emotion porn' in that it doesn't hide the signposting of moments where you're supposed to feel. There's a lot of films that fit that category released each year, and I avoid them almost completely. This, however, felt a cut above. The lead is fantastic (as is the mother), really taking you through the wringer of his life. Superb performance, and the message at the heart of it resonated so much with me that, as much as I think this is an amazing movie, I'd struggle so much to a return viewing of it. However, one moment that didn't sit right with me (I haven't read the book, perhaps its handled better there):

 

 

Was the absolute final shot, his mother's drawings. Seeing the characters of the tales he'd been told by the monster, and also the monster itself, felt like a tacked on last attempt to wring those emotions somewhat. It did work to some extent, but it just felt cheap looking back at it. Can anyone who has read the book let me know if its handled better?

 


 

Anyway, this film plays on the one real fear I have in my life, long term serious illness, particularly of my parents who are now in their mid to late 60s. Just felt like being hit by a wave of emotion come the end. The rest of the film is handled magnificently.

 

 

Its something totally, fully deserving of a watch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re the ending:

I might have been readinh to much into it - but I took the ending as a sign that she had lost her own father in a similar way (we only see pictures of them together then she was a little girl) so went through the same thing as the boy. [/Spoiler ] 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Loved it. Not sure I agree with your thoughts there @Delargey , I just took it that

Spoiler

These were fairy tails etc the mother had told him when he was a kid, to cope with life. Perhaps passed down from the grandad but not sure. Liam neeson was the grandad anyway in the photo so a good shout just not something that was obvious to me in the cinema

 

Great film anyway, future classic for sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/6/2017 at 21:17, DukeOfEarlsfield said:

It lives up to it.

 

 

I think it's a lot smarter than the trailer suggests.

 

I haven't read the book but for me this was something special. For much of the film it's a solidly put together drama, until it reveals it's final card at which point it's really quite extraordinary. A perfect example of a film simply not overplaying it's point and letting it's characters do the talking.

 

Unfortunately, just like The Orphanage, it has an entirely superflous scene tacked on to the end. But also like that film, the proper ending shot is so magnificent you don't mind too much.

 

Made me think of My Neighbour Totoro, Inside Out, Where The Wild Things Are and (just a little bit) Kes. And it absolutely deserves to mentioned in the same sentence as those films.

From the synopsis in the OP Im surprised you didnt mention Pans Labyrinth, sounds very similar (not watched a trailer yet so I might be way off)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good film. An interesting take on some tough subject matter. It's well acted and feels very British (in a positive way). 

 

I'll beg to differ though as I don't think it's a classic although it's loose genre isn't something that typically floats my boat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

ONE page?!

 

Loved it. To me, The Orphanage (2007) is among my favorite most iconic modern films. I've not seen the other film director J.A Bayona worked on (The Impossible) as it didn't seem to have anything similar to what I loved about his previous movie so have been excited to see this ever since I first heard about it. I like A Monster Calls so much that I'm questioning if to give The Impossible a chance. Anyway, much like Orphanage I found myself compelled with the characters, even caring for them within the first 30mins and also like that film it left me in silence and broken inside as the credits rolled. 

 

I was looking at Bayona's IMDB page, he is working on a Jurassic Park sequel which disappoints me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, thought this was beautiful. Very nicely performed and directed, with a message that feels truthful rather than trite. Yes, of course it's targeting your tear ducts - with ruthless efficiency in my case - but I didn't feel like I'd been excessively manipulated by it. Surprised it's not really been in the awards conversation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 20/01/2017 at 14:39, Delargey said:

Re the ending:

  Hide contents

I might have been readinh to much into it - but I took the ending as a sign that she had lost her own father in a similar way (we only see pictures of them together then she was a little girl) so went through the same thing as the boy. [/Spoiler ] 

 

That's how I felt. 

Spoiler

When mum looked at the monster it seemed to me that she knew him from her own childhood and had the same help from the monster in coming to terms with losing her father.

 

That boy was a cracking little actor, convincing from start to finish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote

Originally scheduled for an October 2016 release, the film was delayed in order to avoid competition from Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Boo! A Madea Halloween, Ouija: Origin of Evil, and Keeping Up with the Joneses.

 

giphy.gif

.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
On 20/01/2017 at 14:39, Delargey said:

Re the ending:

  Hide contents

I might have been readinh to much into it - but I took the ending as a sign that she had lost her own father in a similar way (we only see pictures of them together then she was a little girl) so went through the same thing as the boy. [/Spoiler ] 

 

On 12/02/2017 at 11:10, Pug said:

 

That's how I felt. 

  Hide contents

When mum looked at the monster it seemed to me that she knew him from her own childhood and had the same help from the monster in coming to terms with losing her father.

 

That boy was a cracking little actor, convincing from start to finish.

 

I definitely agree with this.

 

Spoiler

She makes specific mention near the start of the film that she wishes he could have met his grandad. 

 

 

Anyway. This movie, and ones like it, make me determined to never give in to my mental health and leave my children.

I never want them to have to endure losing me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.