A Monster Calls: Movie Review

A few years ago three of my library co-workers insisted that I read The Knife of Never Letting Go and thus introduced to Patrick Ness. Last year I finally read A Monster Calls and really loved it. Last night I finally watched A Monster Calls and surprisingly, I really loved it!

The movie was great for many reasons: it was true to the book (from what I can remember, at least), the graphics were amazing, and I enjoyed the acting. I was nervous when I checked this out from the library. I would much rather watch a movie for a book I thought was just OK than one I loved. There’s always a certain way you visualize the book, and sometimes seeing that played out in a movie, especially a bad one, can irrevocably tarnish the way you’ve always thought about the book.

So, with that being said, I was very excited when the movie started and I saw that the screenplay was written by Patrick Ness. Who better to keep the story true to what the author created than the author himself? From what I remember of the book, the book and the movie were nearly identical for plot points. I find it amazing that the creators of the movie were able to make a 230 page book into a 1 hour 45 minute movie and not make it boring or drawn out. I think the amazing imagery in the book helped with this.

The graphics of  the movie were amazing and really made Ness’s imagery into something visually amazing. The monster himself was really, really cool. I’ve always loved tree characters (thanks, Tolkien) and the way they designed the Monster was very impressive. However, what I really want to talk about are the stories. Holy cow, when I saw how the stories were told, I was in love. I want these illustrations to be a book of their own that I can unfold and hang up, they’re just so amazing.

These are the best pictures I could find, and they aren’t even my favorites:

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Photo credit: digitalmediaworld.tv
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Photo credit: digitalmediaworld.tv

Aren’t these so cool? I can’t get over it. I loved the book illustrations and am glad they kept that trend going for the movie.

I think the casting was really good for this adaptation. I didn’t really know any of the actors besides Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson, but they all did a fantastic job bringing this book to life on the screen.

Sidenote: I did have to tell my brain that the Monster wasn’t really Aslan in disguise, but we figured it out eventually. #ForNarnia #ForAslan

As movie adaptations go, this is a really great one! I would definitely recommend making the book and movie a package deal: if you read it, watch it; if you watch it, read it!

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