A Film Review By Jason L. King
| Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle
Directed By: Marc Forster
Rated: Rated R for strong sexual content, language and violence
Monster’s Ball is the story of coincidence. Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thorton) is stuck in a racist family who has done the same occupation for generations, working for the Department of Corrections. But when his son (Heath Ledger) kills himself, Hank realizes that there is more to life than killing. In his search for a new career and direction in his life, he stumbles upon Leticia Musgrove (Halle Berry) and for the first time in his life falls in love. But in order for the two of them to have a relationship, they must first confront their own troubles, Hank’s struggle with racism, and a past that will haunt the two of them forever.
Monster’s Ball was a great film. Thorton more and more is establishing himself in my eyes as an outstanding actor, and every time I see him in a film, I want to see it even more. Halle Berry, who is up for Oscars for her role, is definitely worthy of such an award. In fact I’d say after seeing all of the actress’s nominated, she would be my pick. Heath Ledger didn’t spend enough time in the film to really make a difference, but the acting done by Peter Boyle, who plays Thorton’s father, only enhanced the film even more. Even the likes of Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, as Lawrence Musgrove was a great touch. I was afraid of P Diddy in acting, but he carried his role well, and it only added to the overall greatness of the film. Many of the scenes had excellent lighting that only added to the movie’s overall effect. However, once again this isn’t one of those movies that will be for everyone. Filled with many graphic sexual scenes and dealing with the topic of racism, the movie all though well directed and well written just isn’t what the general public likes to see. In a society where everyone wants to see feel good movies, Monster’s Ball requires a higher level of thinking that not all audiences can appreciate.