Monster focuses on three separate perspectives of the same storyline. Just like in Kurosawa’s Rashomon, it allows looking beyond the narration and speculating where the truth lies. The plot is full of stereotypes, generalizations, lies and gossip that affect the characters in a complicated way. It is a tale of a boy and his struggles in school – between colleagues, teachers and an imperfect home. Monster speaks about children’s cruelty and mocking; the misunderstanding and trying to fit in.
The film is a visual and sonic treat – music of the late Ryuichi Sakamoto – and very limited in distractions. Most of the scenes take place in small spaces with only a couple of people. The close-ups give the uncomfortable illusion of being in the story. It is a play of “he said she said” where everybody is trying to protect something they hold most dear and hence are scared to tell the truth.
In its beauty, this is a variation of recent subjects in indie cinema and is a combination of Dhont’s Close and Vinterberg’s The Hunt. But due to the separation of points of view, it couldn’t focus on any protagonist and eventually, I lost my emotional interest in them. Even though all of them are people – too complicated to say if they’re good or bad – I was required to watch another story and sort of forget the one that was told prior to it. In mixing the ideas, Monster lost the heartwarming (and heartbreaking) touch of childhood that I found in Close as much as the helplessness and misunderstanding of The Hunt.