A Monster Calls


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After watching A Monster Calls on Monday this week, suddenly I start to like Felicity Jones. I saw her the first time in The Theory of Everything. She left me no special feeling then. This Autumn, I also didn’t have an intention to watch Inferno because I haven’t read the book yet. But my friend invited me to watch Inferno, so we watched it together. And I have considered her since that time. I started to realize how beautiful she is – the thing that I hadn’t realized in The Theory of Everything. But I still remember in The Theory of Everything how gentle her perfomance was. I like the way she cleaned the eyeglass for Stephen to see her clearly. But that “gentleness” was not enough to attract me. I need something more. Therefore, I forgot her after watching The Theory of Everything, just noticed Eddie Redmayne.

And in Inferno, she brought me some mysterious feeling, her eyes were not gentle but wild and hot, her ending made me feel that there was a small hole inside me, I wished if only that film could be deeper but it was a blockbuster, so in general, it was okay. I started to remember her since then.

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But I watched A Monster Calls not because of her, it was just because I thought its story would be interesting after watching the trailer two or three month ago. Well, the film is really interesting and it made me cry at one scene. It’s the scene when Conor met his mom, he knew that she wouldn’t be cured anymore after many methods, he was angry at her, he refused to hold her. And she said (I can’t remember exactly word by word): “I know how you are feeling now. Believe me, someday, you will be regret for what you did to me today. You will blame yourself. You will think everything you did was wrong. But, I hope that no matter how hard it is, you will forgive yourself because what you said doesn’t really mean how you truly feel. Eventhough you haven’t said to me yet, I understand all. If only you could know how much I want to stay with you, I wish I could have more one hundred years to be with you.” She cried, her eyes were sad and gentle at the same time, and so suddenly, I felt my eyes were hot just like someone set a fire in them, then the tears fell slowly. It was just a little bit of tears but I was really moved. I thought in my mind at that time: “He surely will be regret for what he did today. Foolish! Why he didn’t hold her hand, why he didn’t hug her, why he didn’t kiss her cheek, why he didn’t look at her so gently just like he has always looked. What he waits for. Oh gosh.” It’s really memorable scene. How I love Felicity’s acting in that scene.

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I like the scene introducing Conor’s mom so much. At first, we didn’t see her face, the director just showed us her back. We could hear her voice, it seemed to be healthy just like other normal mom. Then, we saw these two, mother and son watching King Kong together. The first shot of this scene was long shot, we couldn’t see their faces in detail, just could saw how happy the mother was and a little bit of anxiety on the son’s face. Then, when the mother slept, it was the first time, the director used close-up shot for us to see her face. And at that time, the expectation about normal, healthy mom totally disappeared; at that time, we could see her face in detail, it looked tired, she had just tried to be healthy, there were dark circles under her eyes. Eventhough I knew the main plot before, I knew she was ill but at that moment, at the first time I could look her face so closely, there was still something hit me in my chest, I felt pity for her so much. After that scene, I start to have a good feeling about J. A. Bayona, the way he transmits information is good. He didn’t rush to introduce the mom with the audience, he did it slowly but effectively. After A Monster Calls, the desire to watch The Orphanage became stronger in my mind. I have wanted to watched it for a long time but I didn’t dare to watch it alone. But now I think, maybe someday I can spend time watching it alone.

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Lewis MacDougall really has good performance in this movie. He expressed the feeling of suffering-too-much child believably. His face somehow made me remember some actor but I couldn’t remember. It’s the first time I watch him acting but I feel how similiar his face is. Then, maybe in the middle of the film, finally I could understand why I had this feeling. Eventhough Lewis is English, his face tends to be more Asian and he looks like Sometani Shota, I feel that he is a kid version of Shota-kun. Well, it’s just my thought.

Back to Felicity, I really really like her performance in A Monster Calls. She made me totally empathize with Conor, I was completely convinced about why he loved his mother so much such like that. Of course, most of person love their own mom but it’s not the truth all the time, I mean it’s not the duty attached to someone when one was born. There are some persons not love their parents with some certain reasons and it can be accepted, everyone has their own choices. Therefore, if someone loves mom, it’s not just because it’s absolutely right thing to love mom but one loves mom because mom is the one that one really loves, it means that mom has the specific things that one loves. And Lizze is really good mom, really gentle, really nice, really sympathetic, and also she is a talented artist. Felicity could express those things. I really love the mom that made by her. Felicity really did hard work this year and last year. There are four films she acts released in this year and I watched two of them: Inferno, A Monster Calls. Now, I’m really eager to watch Rogue One: A Star Wars Story next week eventhough I will watch it alone just like many other films. Felicity is really felicity, the felicity is not only for herself and her parents but now is also for me as well as those who love her acting.

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To me, A Monster Calls is not so good film, it’s just fairly good. The plot went too smoothly and maybe its smoothness prevented me from sinking deeper into its atmosphere. But I love the story and the ending. The whole story can be understood in two directions: everything is real or everything is just imagination. If it’s real, it means that the monster helped the mom in past and now, he helps the son. If it’s just imagination, it means that the mom had told the story about the monster to the son so many times that it was sticked to his mind; then he just imagined it as a friend when he had problem; maybe the mom told the monster story to help the son with preparing for her death; in this situation, the mom is also the monster. We can understand the story by whatever way we want. If the monster is real, the story tends to be children story just like Peter’s Dragon. If the monster is just imagination, the story is more complicated just like three stories which the monster told to Conor. Therefore, to me, I prefer to think it’s just imagination rather than real. Maybe, because I’m too old to believe fairy tales.

Rating: 7.5/10

Kodaki
5:40 pm
18.12.2016

P.S. In fact, I didn’t intend to write a review for A Monster Calls, just want to write something so short for Felicity, mainly to express my feeling for her. It’s the reason why I began this one like that. But then, it turned out to something like a film review (it’s still too simple and lack of many informations) more than a note for figure. Therefore, I wrote my rating mark for the film at the end of this “so-called” review.

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