Thursday, January 19, 2006

Movie Review : Monster (2003)

"Monster" is much of a "made for the Oscars" movie. It treads on the same path as Boys don't Cry : A real life story outlining the personal struggle of a social outcast. However, as far as performances or the story is concerned, it does not go anywhere near "Boys don't Cry". Charlize Theron fails to go anywhere near Hillary Swank's magnificent depiction of Brandon Teena, which shall probably go down as one of the best roles in modern cinema in the nineties.
"Monster" is the story of the American serial killer Aileen Wuornos. Aileen is a highway hooker, serving the needs of drunken truck drivers on empty highways in the night. The story largely deals with Aileen's lesbian relationship with Selby(Christina Ricci), which gives a new direction and meaning to Aileen's life. Aileen wants to make some big money and start life with Selby "for real". At the same time, one of her hooking deals go bad, and a truck driver tries to rape her forcibly. She kills the guy in self defence, in what is her first murder. Aileen soon takes to a new business, that of taking her customers to some desolate place, and killing them off, looting the money and the car. The movie, for most part shows Aileen in a sympathetic light. While the killings are a quick source of income for Aileen, she also feels no guilt in killing people whom she sees are the scums of the society, men who have brought her down to the gutters. Finally, like all criminals, she too makes a mistake and pays for it, a little too heavily. The movie takes the predictable turns, but I guess thats the price you pay for sticking to a "real life" storyline.
While Theron does a great job bringing out Aileen's terrible disgust for a society that has denied him the right to a good life, and plays the uncouthed, foul mouthed prostitute to perfection, beyond a point,her acting becomes boring and repetetive. Her style becomes hackneyed as she keeps on using the same mannerisms time and again.As a result, The story seems to drag on and loses the initial charm and awe. However, Theron's acting in a difficult role cannot be dismissed offhand, and certainly shows her acting prowess.
All in all, Monster is an average movie. Its great for a night's entertainment, but would not go down as one of those great Oscar movies. that become the essential collector's item.
If not made solely for the purpose of winning awards, the genre that movies like "Monster" and "Boys don't Cry" have carved out, can see exciting new experimentation in future.