“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”
A Monster Calls is originally a Young Adult book by Patrick Ness (based on an idea Siobhan Dowd had before she died). It follows a young boy, Conor, whose Mum is in the middle of treatment for cancer, as he gets visited nightly by a ‘monster’ wanting to tell him stories in return for the story of Conor’s nightmares.
I first read this book early in 2016, and, not for the first time since starting to read Patrick Ness, I cried on the bus to work. It was such a beautiful story but it was made so much more beautiful by the intricacies of the plot and human nature. There’s no such thing as a person, whether it be fictional (or at least, there shouldn’t. Not in good fiction) or real life people who are 100% ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Good people are flawed, bad people have good intentions. Character and personality isn’t black and white. And I love how this book showcases that, and the film is such a good adaptation of the book.
It has been quite a while since I’ve read it, and I didn’t remember the plot completely before going into the cinema, but from what I do remember, it was pretty true to the books plot.
When I first heard they were turning the novel into a film, I was curious how well they do the monster. I feel it could have been very easy to make it look out of place, garish, and out of place. But the cinematography was beautiful, and the monster blended right in with the rest of the film. The stories that the monster told were told through drawings, beautiful and reminiscent of The Three Brothers tale in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, although in colour.
Overall, I loved this film. I thought the casting was great, the production was great, and it caught the emotion of the situation just as well as the book did. Yes, I cried in the cinema.
Definitely recommend this film!