When faced with having to cope with his mother’s illness, Conor unknowingly calls upon an ancient tree monster for help confronting a secret he keeps bottled up inside of him.
Based on the book by the same name, A Monster Calls is a powerful film about loss and learning how to cope with grief. I was glad that I was able to see this movie while it was still in theaters. I loved the book when I had read it in 2015, and the movie was just as well done. It may be due to the fact that the author of the book, Patrick Ness, also wrote the screenplay, but I felt that the movie stayed true to the book. The only change that I think could have made the movie better was a bit more explanation in some parts. For instance, it felt like there was a bit of information missing from the bullying story line that makes the way that it culminates at the end a little confusing to those who had not read the book.
One of my favorite aspects of the film was the art that accompanied the stories told by the monster. The main reason why I bought the book was because of the illustrations by Siobhan Dowd and so I was very happy when the stories were illustrated on screen with an awesome water color type art. The make-up done for the mother (played by Felicity Jones) as her illness progressed was also believable and well done. While I did enjoy all of the actors involved, I didn’t picture the grandmother being so young and there were some instances where I thought Liam Neeson’s voice acting for the Monster was a little off for the character, making it not as serious as it probably should have been. Although, since the movie is a tearjerker, it did help to have the mood of the movie lightened a bit.
Overall, I highly recommend seeing A Monster Calls when it comes out on DVD, especially if you’re in one of those moods where you need a good, long cry.