Saturday 25 March 2017 ,
Saturday 25 March 2017 ,
Latest News
  • Cop, BCL man killed in blast near Sylhet militant den
  • Cop, BCL man killed in blast near Sylhet militant den
  • After defence issues, Teesta back on focus again
  • BNP to unveil ‘Vision 2030’, ‘supportive govt’ proposal by next month
12 January, 2017 00:00 00 AM
A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls

The monster in A Monster Calls is a metaphor, made of gnarled bark, twisted branches and Liam Neeson’s sonorous baritone. This tree-demon charges down from its hill at night to confront a boy called Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall), whose already difficult life is about to crack wide open: his mother (Felicity Jones) is gravely ill, and the monster initially seems like a harbinger of disaster.
Instead, it might just be a spirit guide, a helping hand through crisis, cooked up by the boy’s own feverish imagination. It is, after all, a yew tree, held sacred for its regenerative properties.
Fantasies that spring from the creative turmoil of a child are a fertile subgenre in cinema – aspects of this film call to mind Labyrinth, the Laika animation Coraline, or even Bernard Rose’s undersung 1988 British chiller Paperhouse, which had a similar setting in rural England.
Cannily adapted by Patrick Ness from his illustrated book of the same name, this is a more choked-up offering than any of those, so overcast with sadness it sometimes seems to be gulping for fresh breaths.
Conor’s hobby, and a respite from thinking about his mum, or dealing with the bullies at school, is sketching with graphite. He stays up until the witching hour in his bedroom, where this tree-BFG, not only rumblingly voiced by Neeson but motion-captured so that it looms Neeson-ishly down at him, finds him nightly.
Instead of threatening to devour him, though, the apparition has stories to tell. “Stories?” asks Conor, unimpressed, and puckering his face as if the monster is mainly just wasting his time.
The stories – there are three, two of them animated in luscious watercolour – illustrate paradoxes which Conor, initially baffled, must grasp in his unstable state of mind. They tell of wronged witches, misdirected vendettas, in a fantasy world of dragons and rumoured poisonings, not unlike Hamlet’s play-within-the-play.
As Neeson’s tree narrates them, the film stands still, but expectantly so, and colours spill across the screen in thrilling splashes: given the chance, you’ll rewind and watch these painterly interludes again, stat.
Conor isn’t just a bystander here, but an outstandingly detailed main character. Spanish director JA Bayona has form with drawing powerful performances from children, if you think back to his horror debut The Orphanage, and discovery of Tom Holland – the new Spidey, no less – in The Impossible.
Even by his standards, though, MacDougall is very special: his face can hide away pockets of pain in one moment, and explode with furious resentment in the next beat.
There’s a Spielbergian showmanship to Bayona’s films, wedded to an unabashed emotionalism, and this one reaches for you down in the gut. Working on ever-larger effects budgets – next up, the Jurassic World sequel – Bayona’s like a stage-fond illusionist who loves to flaunt his tricks and devices, opening his films inside out for your inspection. Subtlety might not be the name of the game, exactly – he just happens to prefer more emphatic games.
The effects team have certainly gone to town, not only on the molten innards of the monster, but on the recurrent image of a church and graveyard crumbling into an abyss, where Conor fears he will lose his mother forever. Jones, while perfectly sensitive, doesn’t have a great deal more to do than pallidly disappear in her role.
There’s quietly terrific work, though, from Toby Kebbell as Conor’s runaway dad, pained by the problem of being honest about death, the dilemma of whether to shield his child, and his awareness, having married too young, of belonging on the fringes of the family’s grief.
Sigourney Weaver, unyielding and imperious as Conor’s house-proud grandmother, hasn’t quite got to grips with her RP accent, but her best scene – the film’s best – thankfully doesn’t need it. It’s her mute devastation when finding Conor, in the grips of a particularly wild hallucination, has trashed every inch of her living room. She’s lost for words, looking at all her ornaments obliterated on the carpet, as Conor tries to blub his apologies.
The scene is about everything they’re in the process of accepting, and the emotional violence of it, as they fight their way to a strange kind of understanding for the first time, takes you aback.
It’s a pivotal encounter, in a film which keeps devising ever-more-epic collisions between an angry boy and his own sorrow.

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Comments

Most Viewed
Digital Edition
More story
Why Are Exams so Terrifying?

Why Are Exams so Terrifying?

Isabella M Rozario      An exam isn’t about simply going to a huge hall, writing a paper and returning home. It is, indeed,…
Lokma Zamindar Bari A Haunted Palace

Lokma Zamindar Bari A Haunted Palace

M Mahmud Ali Most of us do not have any idea that so many abandoned zamindar palaces are scattered throughout the country. As per my observation, the…
BRAC ONNESHA: Beyond The Horizon

BRAC ONNESHA: Beyond The Horizon

BRAC University (BRACU) brought together Maisun Ibn Monowar, Abdulla Hil Kafi and Raihana Shams Islam Antara to share their experience of building BRAC…
CHOOSE YOUR WORDS

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS

CHOOSE YOUR WORDS Hale vs hail Hale describes someone hearty and healthy. Rarr. All hail the next word! To hail is to greet enthusiastically. And when…
Super Sons #2

Super Sons #2

Super Sons accomplishes something that too few comics do these days: it is pure joy.  From beginning to end, this book is an outright blast, and…
Liberation War Museum

Liberation War Museum

Sheikh Iraj The Liberation War Museum, commonly known as Muktijuddho Jadughor, started as a private initiative in 1996. Eight trustees established the…
Guerrilla Brothers

Guerrilla Brothers

Sheikh Iraj Bony Yousuf, 28, is a talented game developer. His first mobile game, Guerrilla Brothers, was released earlier this year. And since then,…
Baby Driver

Baby Driver

Music is not merely central to Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s new comedy-action-romance, but the skeleton upon which it is constructed. The British…
cv buzzwords
and how to avoid them

cv buzzwords and how to avoid them

Take a look at your CV. Do you describe yourself as creative? Strategic? Experienced? If so, you’re not alone, but you may want to consider a rewrite.…
History of Our Liberation War

History of Our Liberation War

After the terrible massacre in Dhaka on March 25, curfew was imposed on March 26. It was lifted from 8 am to 3 pm the next day and thousands of terrified…

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting