An Overlooked Gem

 

a-monster-calls

Just as some background information, I’m a huge movie person. I mean huge. Posters and movie tickets line the walls in my room, and I have a projector there instead of a television because I think it recreates the feel of the movies that much more.

In accordance with this, I recently went to the local Carmike Theaters on a Tuesday night (last Tuesday, January 10th, to be exact), because I had seen a trailer for a movie that I had heard literally nothing about, but had gotten very positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Quite frankly, the trailer blew me away.

 

Here it is, for the curious

It was absolutely, unequivocally, heartbreaking. But in a good way. I guess. If you’re into that kinda thing.

The idea was taken from a book. a-monster-calls-book

^^ That book, up there, to be exact. If you can’t read the fine print, the words “Johnathan Ness is an insanely beautiful writer” line the top, and these words were spoken (or perhaps written) by John Green himself. Author of my favorite book, “Looking For Alaska,” as well as “The Fault in our Stars,” and “Paper Towns.” Basically, yeah, that’s high praise.

The two awards must’ve been for “Most tissues used during a reading” and “Most souls altered,” because man, this movie blew me away. It is the story of a young boy named Connor, who’s mom has fallen ill to cancer, and he has the distinct duty of dealing with it. Already dealing with a somewhat absentee father, he slips into loneliness. The kind of loneliness that results in him “calling” for a monster, or dreaming of one and having it appear in his nightmares, or reality. The movie wasn’t quite clear which was which, but that wasn’t the important part.

The monster was there to tell three truths, or three stories, each giving a respective lesson. The fourth truth was Connor’s to tell, and only when he was ready to tell it. The movie is the weaving of Connor’s realities with his nightmares, where he takes these lessons he has learned from the monster (one being that people are complicated, and  what motivates people is subjective from person to person) and applies them to real life, eventually coming to an understanding.

An understanding that he has felt extremely guilty about his mother’s pain, and wants it to go away. But not just for her, for him too. He has felt guilty that his mother’s pain was causing him grief as well.

The movie so delicately paints this relationship between boy and ailing mother, and boy and father, and boy and grandmother (played by Sigourney Weaver), that you almost entirely forget that these are all actors that are paid to perform. I have never lost a close loved one, so I cannot speak for that crowd and I will not try to, but from what I have read, this movie does a nearly flawless imagining of it, and all of the emotional baggage that comes with it. Without giving too much of the plot away for those who haven’t had a chance to view it and are no doubt reading this extremely popular blog post, I will leave some holes.

 

My only advice: go watch it. As soon as you can.

 

And bring tissues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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