A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
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  • Some films are mistakenly advertised as fantasy movies - and you expect to watch these movies with that fairytale-ish ending you thought you deserved but instead you end up crying your heart out because of just how sad they are
  • I remember watching a 2007 film called Bridge to Terabithia when I was just 12 years old - a film that broke me so much to pieces that I had to ask myself why I watched it in the first place
  • It was probably because the trailers sold it as a fantasy adventure film, but in truth it handles very heavy adult-oriented themes that I don't think was suitable for my age
  • I think it's a given that movies which deal with terminal illnesses (cancer) will make their hardest to make you cry, and A Monster Calls is a no different
  • All in all, I am very surprised to see how much I love this movie


by Laudemhir Jan Parel

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    Some films are mistakenly advertised as fantasy movies - and you expect to watch these movies with that fairytale-ish ending you thought you deserved but instead you end up crying your heart out because of just how sad they are. I remember watching a 2007 film called Bridge to Terabithia when I was just 12 years old - a film that broke me so much to pieces that I had to ask myself why I watched it in the first place. It was probably because the trailers sold it as a fantasy adventure film, but in truth it handles very heavy adult-oriented themes that I don’t think was suitable for my age.
  • A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
  • The recent one is a new film by J.A. Bayona called “A Monster Calls”. In his case, I was not excited to see the film based on the trailer - it looked too childish. A talking tree monster is just not up in my alley anymore - but when my friend in Twitter started telling me how SAD and HEAVY the film is, I forced myself to check it out.

    It’s based on a book published by Patrick Ness in 2011. It follows the story of a boy (Lewis MacDougall) who befriends a giant tree (Liam Neeson) in order to cope up with his sufferings. He is beaten up in school, his mother (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill, and her commanding grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is opting to take him away.

  • A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
  • I think it’s a given that movies which deal with terminal illnesses (cancer) will make their hardest to make you cry, and A Monster Calls is a no different. This is honestly a tearjerker from start to finish. As I grow old I started to low-key dislike films that becomes overly sentimental and I was expecting A Monster Calls to be like those films, except in the end I was surprised because it isn’t. I honestly believed all the big emotional moments of the film are well-deserved and well-earned.

  • A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
  • Coming-of-age stories are done to death too, most of the time they don’t deviate to what is “normal” for the genre. Thankfully A Monster Calls delves deeper into the human condition, it tries to make its way to the dark ends of its character - of what makes us imperfect and utterly perfect at the same time. Grief is such a hard thing to go through, but it’s much harder when you are trying to prepare yourself for the worst. And this little boy, Conor, played thoroughly well by Lewis MacDougall, deals with the possible loss of his mom in a way that’s so gut-wrenchingly honest and poignant.

  • A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
  • The tree monster, voiced by Liam Neeson, is revealed too early in the film - I honestly told myself, if nothing interesting happens in the next 5 minutes I’m turning this off. Thankfully, the interesting things happen right after the reveal. He comes back to Conor every midnight to tell three stories and Conor has to tell the “4th” story in exchange. The stories are told in a really beautiful manner, at first I expected them to be cliched but I was proven wrong by the end of the first one - these stories are very humanistic, and even if we think they are too obvious, it’s still very important to hear these life lessons. These 3 stories guide Conor into learning the 4th story to tell.

  • A Monster Calls (2016 Fantasy Drama Film)
  • After learning these three stories, the film hits hard with a very emotional climax. The last 20 minutes is just this big affecting and powerful scene that has me crying really hard. This movie just crumbles all the hatred, anger, and pain and turns it into a beautiful lesson about redemption; a tale about motherly love that blossoms until the very last minute of this emotionally-satisfying journey.

    All in all, I am very surprised to see how much I love this movie. I think however, there are few keypoints that hurdled this movie to becoming a masterpiece: some scenes are to saccharine for my taste, and the use of mawkish music to heighten the emotional weight is too overbearing. But the journey AND lesson are far more important for this movie to succeed in justifying its emotional ending - one that will leave you in inescapable tears as you learn that “letting go” is just as crucial as “holding on”.



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Andrew says :

Do you think the title was good for this movie?

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