A Monster Calls is the story of Conor, a boy who faces the challenge of a very ill mother, school bullies and the isolation, or “Invisibility” the situation creates. In the vein of Where The Wild Things Are, Conor escapes into the world of fantasy and imagination, conjuring the Monster from an old and gnarled tree in the graveyard his bedroom overlooks. The source novel does not sugar coat the suffering of childhood either, and deals with the topics of loss, tragedy and loneliness that can be experienced at any age. (synopsis via Screenrant)
As someone who endured an unending torrent of bullying throughout almost all my time at school, I can completely relate to the idea that being cruelly and habitually excluded can result in an enervating sense of “invisibility”.
Unlike Conor, I didn’t have to cope with domestic issues on top of the bullying but so all-consuming was my daily torment that like the young boy, I escaped whenever I could into a world entirely of my own making where heroes made things better, unsolvable situations always came with a triumphant solution, and I had grappled back some sense of control, something in extremely short supply in my everyday world.
The teaser trailer for the film, the screenplay for which was penned by the source novel’s author, Patrick Ness, captures the sense of darkness, isolation and sealing off the rest of humanity damn near perfectly.
Watching it, I felt like I had stepped back in time and was reliving those years all over again, which is testament to how accurately it captures the emotional sense of being invisible to everyone but yourself.
But as Liam Neeson’s titular monster intones in a gravelly narration throughout the trailer, “… if no one sees you, are you really there at all?”
That is EXACTLY how it feels and I am looking forward to seeing what looks like a deeply personal, insightful and deeply affecting movie when it drops in October 2016.