A Monster Calls Review

ABOUT THE WRITER: Madison is a creative writer who dabbles in science podcasts and tattoo wish lists. You can find her on Instagram @middyscoot.

A Monster Calls
finally shows us Liam Neeson in what we can only imagine is his true form: a wise old tree. This alluring fantasy film deviates from the typical family/coming-of-age genre by revealing some of the darker themes of adolescence. This is a unique film based on the novel written by Patrick Ness; featuring a brilliant cast including Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver and the strident yet captivating voice of Liam Neeson. Let’s face it, any film with Neeson is a film worth watching.

This charming tale shows us the struggles of twelve-year-old Conor, played by Lewis MacDougall, as he attempts to cope with a flood of feelings. Anger and grief overwhelm Conor as he deals with his single mother’s terminal illness, an uncompassionate family and constant bullying at school. Conor feels alone and so he learns to overcome his fears with the help of an ancient tree-like monster. The monster guides Conor through an emotional journey, teaching him courage and truth. The fantastical elements are enchanting but the underlying themes of this narrative leave you with chills.

Patrick Ness and Director, J.A. Bayona, have not only created a beautiful story but heightened the fantasy elements with extremely captivating visual effects. This film even depicts several smaller stories with an utterly unique form of animation- watercolours. The smooth drift of these lively illustrations was a pleasant surprise that left audience members inspired and moved.

The entire film has elements suitable for all audiences, specifically if you love an intense story, because let’s not forget this is about a child dealing with the illness of a parent. It shows us the raw truth behind loss and acceptance. Simply put, your heart will clench. If you are prepared to shed a few tears, then you will experience a thrilling tale that blends fantasy and reality. A Monster Calls is a visually stimulating film that shows us the value of courage and truth; a unique story that tantalizes the mind and heart above and beyond.

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