A Monster Calls Reviews
It is a little too dark and sparse for little kids, and too obvious for those who have crossed over into adulthood
To have captured grief with such raw honesty, not just the confusion, but also the rage, is where Bayona has knocked it out of the park. This immense burden – to project the battered heart of this story, to grapple mortality (and morality) has been placed on the young shoulders of Lewis MacDougall, who, it has to be said, is a rare find. Not only does he carry the film for long stretches by himself, he also overshadows the towering Liam Neeson (who has voiced the monster).
Despite its best efforts at raising questions about the nature of grief and absolute good and evil, this coming-of-age gothic fantasy suffers from a debilitating inertia that renders it pallid, the stunning visuals notwithstanding.
This heart-breaking tale on life and death leaves a lump in your throat. It is enormously engrossing but is not for you if you seek light-hearted entertainment and romantic escapism in movies.
The cinematography by Óscar Faura is visually ensnaring. The special effects live action is enhanced by “paper cutout” animation and allows for great depth. The narration is strong on philosophical and emotional resonance. This is a film that has the power to shake you to your core.
If you love art, this masterpiece is worth your time. The not-so-sublime messages about humanity, grief and letting go not only will move you to tears but it will also clear a lot of things of the complicated creatures called humans. Watch it in order to understand that not all monsters are bad and sometimes they are just there to help you heal.
A Monster Calls is touching and it is lovely and it makes the biggest truth of our lives come alive on screen - "...humans are complicated beasts."
Audience Reviews for A Monster Calls
The film is a semi-fantastical drama dotted with splashy visual
effects, notably a Liam Neeson-voiced anthropomorphic tree that stalks
the young protagonist's dreams and subconscious.Director J.A. Bayona
("The Impossible") again ambitiously examines the mind- set of a boy
struggling with adult-size burdens, and he's got perfect material to
work from in the insightful script by source novelist Patrick Ness. But
MacDougall, fittingly, leaves the biggest mark. In a movie-going season
that has trained a spotlight on tamped-down emotion, he's impressively
stifled in his own right. "A Monster Calls" is a portrait of coping
that's both fascinating and heartbreaking. I go with 3.5/5 for Bayona directed fantasy yet emotional tale.