Benjamin Maio Mackay
A Monster Calls - 4 Stars
Beautifully crafted, but deeply, gut wrenchingly sad.
A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom's terminal illness.
Patrick Ness adapted his own novel, so he’s clearly familiar with the source material. The characters are crafted cleverly, all have both faults and redeeming features - as is the nature of humanity. The messages and metaphors are blatantly obvious, but still effective in the telling of the story. The cinematography and animation are amazing, the combination of live action scenes and animated “stories” is a superb idea and it works seamlessly. Director J.A. Bayona has cast well, there isn’t a weak link in the cast. Standouts are Sigourney Weaver and Lewis MacDougall.
However, I started crying about 50 minutes in and didn’t stop until the end of the film, it was so incredibly crafted that the entire audience was sobbing. It does beg the question, why would someone make this for entertainment and why would anyone knowingly watch?
Overall it’s hugely depressing, but brilliant as well.
A Monster Calls is released in cinemas January 26, 2017.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of KMPR