A Monster Calls is one of the most talked about novels of the past few years, with the somber tale telling the story of a young boy who finds solace in a monster tree in order to cope with the constant overhanging unhappiness caused by his mother’s terminal illness. Written by Patrick Ness after he was given the original idea via the late Siobhan Dowd (who came up with the idea during her own terminal illness), Ness returned to write the screenplay for the upcoming movie, whilst Juan Antonio Bayona sits in the director’s chair.
Starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones and Lewis MacDougall, it’s Liam Neeson who steps in to play the monstrous tree - and now the actor himself has gone back to the novel, to give those interested in the big screen adaptation a taste of what they can expect. You can watch and/or listen to Neeson read from A Monster Calls (the book) for ten minutes, in the video above.
Early reviews for A Monster Calls have been very positive, though those hoping to go and see it are being warned it’s a tear-jerker of a fantasy tale. The video comes after it was revealed Spider-Man: Homecoming’s lead actor Tom Holland had stepped in on set to be physically present in the place of the CG character, so young MacDougall was given someone to look and talk to during the filming of scenes.
A Monster Calls' exploration of the themes of loss, life, death, faith and courage in such a momentous and unique way is certainly something that we don’t see much of in the big movie world. There’s every chance that this preview could turn some parents away from taking their young ones to the theater to catch this new release, as they might not be comfortable with allowing their kids to watch something with such a strong, emotional theme running throughout it.
Of course, in bringing monsters, fairy tales and magic into a movie that is at its core incredibly tragic, could be a great tool in allowing real-life young victims of loss to find new coping mechanisms. For that, a lot of people could be very grateful, as A Monster Calls tells a story that’s not too unfamiliar for anybody, no matter who they are or where they come from. We all deal with loss, and this is a movie that looks to allow us to escape those feelings of dread and upset, if just for a couple of hours.
Source: Focus Features