A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating: Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use
Starring:Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci
Directed By:Patty Jenkins

Final Grade:

All you need is love. Life works in unexpected ways. Big gifts come in small packages. All of those phrases have been handed down from parent to kid generation after generation and no one ever questions if they mean anything. But in the movie Monster, they do just that.

Aileen (Charlize Theron) is a woman who has lived the toughest of all lives. Growing up she hoped that her fairy tale life would come true, and that someone would find her beautiful. But she quickly learned that life doesn’t work out that way, and finds herself living a life of depression and homelessness. In order to survive she becomes a hooker, making a few bucks here and there. Just when her life comes crashing down around her, Aileen meets Selby, a young lesbian girl who gives Aileen hope for a second chance. Bound and determined to straighten her life out Aileen tries to make a relationship work with Selby while trying to sort out her life. However, What Aileen finds out is that once you start doing something it’s hard to stop.

Now normally a movie with Charlize Theron would mean a review written by the mike, but I snatched it up first. In all honesty, I don’t think Mike could really talk about his love for Charlize and how beautiful she is after seeing this film. Charlize gained about 30 pounds for this film, and actually looked homeless and trashy throughout the entire film. In fact many a times, I wondered how people could actually pay to sleep with her character and feel like they had made a “good” investment. In no time at all you forget you are watching a movie, and are sucked in by Theron’s character. You actually forget that you are watching a movie with actresses playing the main characters rather than a documentary on poverty and despair. Rumors have it that Charlize is being considered for Oscars for Best Actress, and after watching this movie, it’s not hard to figure out why. Her performance is brilliant, nicely done, and emotion packed.

Her Co-star Christina Ricci gives it her all as well, but once more many will hail this as Ricci’s “Breakout” film, but will probably do nothing for her. Ricci is almost trying to hard at parts, and her character, which is a reflection of a naïve young lesbian, is almost annoying in segments. However none the less, you start to feel for her character as well as the story unfolds.

But when it comes down to it, Monster is a decent flick. The acting is what makes it a great movie, not the feel good plot or story line. In fact the end of the movie is far from a “feel-good” ending at all. The film starts on a down note and really doesn’t let up the entire way through. Writer and Director Patty Jenkins does a nice job of bringing this downtrodden story to life, and what makes the story even more riveting is that fact that It is a “true” story.

While I can’t really say Monster is anything I would want to watch again, it is a film that deserves the attention that it is getting. Charlize for an Oscar? She definitely deserves the consideration. Her performance alone is worth your ticket price if you are up for a movie that by no means has a Happy GO lucky Walt Disney ending.

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